Tell any artist worth his or her pigment that you have unlimited access to a junkyard, a recycling depot, or any place stuffed with society's detritus and watch that person go into a trance as imagination runs amok. The things an artist finds in such places generate strange ideas and carry the psychic weight of life itself. The junk wasn't always junk it was made for a purpose, and the artist gives objects new purposes by sawing, painting, refinishing, sanding, and bolting them onto other objects. Tonight, meet the latest lucky group that's gotten 24-hour access to a refuse transfer station (not to mention a studio and a stipend) in the Recology Artist in Residence Program. Suzanne Husky's creations include a number of Sleeper Cells (they're just what they sound like), one resembling a porcupine and another a cross between a flying saucer and an Airstream trailer. Not surprisingly, Husky sees her art as activism as well as social commentary. She uses scavenged wood as well as recycled fabrics and other materials; her sculptures are part of a larger project called The Sleeper Cell Hotel. Ferris Plock takes a step toward the figurative with his two-dimensional works made from scavenged acrylic paints and wood panels. He employs bright colors to render detailed characters that show influences from comic books as well as East Indian or Chinese art. Bill Russell, meanwhile, calls himself a visual journalist. Rather than finding the found objects, he uses them as a subtext. Through various means (including drawings and a blog), he depicts the lives and duties of the mechanics, collectors, engineers, and others who run the waste-hauling and recycling operation.
The exhibit for the Recology Artist in Residence Program starts at 1 p.m. (as well as Friday at 5 p.m.)
Fri., Jan. 21, 5 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 22, 1 p.m., 2011