April 19, 2011


Reception-Friday, May 20, 2011, 5-9pm
Reception-Saturday, May 21, 2011, 1-5pm

Art Studio located at 503 Tunnel Ave.
Environmental Learning Center Gallery at 401 Tunnel Ave.

Admission is free and open to the public, all ages welcome, wheelchair accessible.

San Francisco, CA–The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Scott Kildall, Niki Ulehla, and Alex Nichols on Friday, May 20th, from 5-9pm and Saturday, May 21, from 1-5pm. This exhibition will be the culmination of four months of work by the artists who have scavenged materials from the dump to make art and promote recycling and reuse.

Scott KildallScott Kildall: 2049
During his residency Scott Kildall has played the role of a prospector from the future who mines the waste stream from a previous generation (ours) to build survival devices. These imaginary inventions, such as the Reality Simulator and the Sniffer, will be exhibited in an installation that will include videos and paintings of invention blueprints. Kildall has used a playful approach to object making and the resulting sculptural works via their “homemade-ness” poke fun of the contemporary trend of immaculately designed gadgets.

While humor is an important component of this work, an underlying theme is the reality of a future time when people may indeed need to mine landfills for the resources that we are discarding today. Says Kildall, “I am free to create narratives in which I simultaneously critique our ecological disaster course, but also suggest possible futures. And, more than anything, have fun. Without this, we have zero hope…” Kildall received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited locally at the San Jose Art Museum, Electric Works, the Kala Art Institute, and internationally at venues in New York, Berlin, Hong Kong and London.

Niki UlehlaNiki Ulehla: The Inferno
Using materials from the dump, Niki Ulehla has created a cast of puppet characters for a production based on Dante’s Inferno to be performed during the exhibition receptions. The marionettes are made from a combination of miscellaneous scavenged items, wood which Ulehla has meticulously carved, and leather which she has molded and painted. Though Ulehla is not explicitly using the story as a metaphor for the dump or the depths of a landfill, Dante’s and Virgil’s descent into hell where greed, gluttony, and other human failings are met with never ending punishments, does point to our contemporary culture of consumerism and waste and their long-term environmental ramifications.

Ulehla, who is also a goldsmith, received her BA in painting and drawing from Stanford University. She has studied puppetry in the Czech Republic, and frequently leads puppetry workshops for Bay Area students. Instead of echoing the advice of the famous phrase that appears on the gates of hell in Dante’s story, “abandon all hope, ye who enter here,” Ulehla’s puppets and performance should inspire hope, illustrating the potential of repurposed materials.

Alex NicholsAlex Nichols: Transfer Station
Alex Nichols has created interrelated poems and artworks that together serve as an abstract account of her time at the dump. She has crafted a series of fourteen sonnets that are connected through the repetition of lines—the final line of each poem becomes the first line in the poem that follows. “I am interested in containers and the use of form to hold meaning.” says Nichols, and within her sonnets’ framework she brings together gathered language, stories found at the dump, encroaching world events, and her own experiences in an act of memorial.

Nichols will exhibit fourteen mixed-media works that echo the forms of her sonnets, employing visual motifs that are sustained from one piece to the next. Like the gathered language, her art pieces gather found objects, and place them within new structures. Poems and photos of artwork will be presented together in a publication, available for sale. Nichols has exhibited at Modernism West and recently held a performance/reading at the Headlands Center for the Arts. She will complete her MFA in poetry and writing at the California College of the Arts in May.

The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind program started in 1990 to encourage people to conserve natural resources and instill a greater appreciation for the environment and art in children and adults. Artists work for four months in studio space on site, use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public. Over eighty professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies, and applications are accepted annually in August.