Call for artists
The program is accepting artist applications now for the 2020 program.
Apply through March 1.
A discarded family photo album, a plastic wading pool, long-forgotten little league trophies, a bit of old lace — all raw material for an art experience that asks people to examine the things they consume and what they toss out.
GLEAN is an annual art program that gives five local artists five months to comb through piles of rubbage at Metro Central transfer station. The challenge is to transform trash into tangible bodies of work.
“The caliber of last year’s applicants was high. They were so talented,” says Leslie Vigeant, the program director. “I absolutely loved looking at applications as they came in.”
The program was created in 2010 and is a partnership between Metro, the government that manages the greater Portland’s garbage and recycling system; Recology, a company that manages garbage and recycling facilities; and crackedpots, a local environmental arts nonprofit.
Since then, GLEAN has supported the work of local artists while encouraging the reuse of all kinds of materials.
GLEAN artists are selected each year by a jury of arts and environmental professionals. The artists work independently and show their work collectively at the end of the program.
Vigeant, a former GLEAN artist herself, says that she values the relationships she built with other GLEAN artists during her residency. And she expects greater opportunities, this year, for group members to offer each another critical feedback and support along the way.
Tips for applicants:
- Make sure your proposal is specific to this opportunity.
- Portfolio images should be well-lit, clear and showcase your work in the best way possible. Professionally photographed documentation is encouraged.
Approaching its 10-year anniversary and reflecting the growing attention to the impact of human consumption on the environment, GLEAN had the highest number of applicants in its history last year.
To the roughly 110 artists who didn’t make the cut, Vigeant has some very personal advice. “As an artist, rejection sucks,” she says, "But new and returning jurors look at applications with fresh eyes every year." And they appreciate seeing the expansion and growth that happens in artists’ portfolios.
“I want to encourage those folks who didn’t get it in the past to reapply,” she says, “And I hope they do.”