On the way to Recology San Francisco we notice the gulls. We call it a venue, but it's mostly a transfer station, just across the freeway from the bay. It gets hordes of visitors in the form of birds, eager to scavenge from the piles of garbage brought for consolidation before being sent on to the landfill. Thanks to an unusual arts program, the site also attracts a different kind of scavenger: artists. These lucky few get to pick through all the rubbish they can navigate -- of course with face masks and heavy-duty gloves -- and then build things from the recycled and reusable materials they find. See what the past few months have meant for residents Lauren DiCioccio and Abel Rodriguez along with student-artist Kaiya Rainbolt in Artist in Residence Exhibitions, which open Friday and Saturday. Rainbolt, as seen in the image above, makes giant-scale jewelry from unexpected household items.
DiCioccio discovered bits of fabric and thread among the refuse that she turned into replicas of postcards, sheet music, and other objects steeped in memory. She highlights the inherent poignancy in looking at what other people have chosen to throw away. Rodriguez's work transforms discarded magazines and photographs into wildly expansive collages and sculpture.
Besides the quality of the work, never underestimate how fun it is to say you're going to an art opening at the dump.
The Artist in Residence Exhibitions starts at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and again at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at Recology San Francisco, 501-503 Tunnel (at Beatty), S.F. Admission is free.