December 17, 2014

Reception-Friday, January 23, 5-9pm
Reception-Saturday, January 24, 1-3pm
Additional viewing hours-Tuesday, January 27, 5-7pm with gallery walk-through with artists at 6:30pm at 503 Tunnel Avenue

Art Studio, 503 Tunnel Avenue and Environmental Learning Center, 401 Tunnel Avenue, San Francisco, CA

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 Kara Maria, Imin Yeh and student artist Matthew Goldberg on Friday, January 23, from 5-9pm and Saturday, January 24, from 1-3pm. Additional viewing hours will be held on Tuesday, January 27, from 5-7pm, with a gallery walk-through with the artists at 6:30pm. 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.

Kara MariaKara Maria: A Trash Menagerie
Painter Kara Maria combines abstraction and representation to address subjects that range from the personal to the political. During her residency she has turned her focus to her immediate environment, making work in response to the Recology site.

Using found stretched canvases, including amateur paintings and digitally printed, mass-produced artwork from Ikea, Maria has overpainted the works with recycled acrylic paint from the Household Hazardous Waste Program. The abstract portions of her paintings speak to the environment of the Recology facility, a constantly churning and tumultuous place whose frenetic nature is conveyed in Maria’s disjointed shapes and vibrant colors. The representational portions of her work reflect another aspect of the facility—the living creatures that inhabit or pass through the site. Interspersed within her paintings are detailed renderings of seagulls, raccoons, hawks, and other animals.

Though there is an element of playfulness simply by the animals’ presence within the works, Maria’s representation of them also has a more somber tone. Each animal seems imbued with a conscious awareness of their situation, and in some cases gaze out from the canvas as if pleading with the viewer to stop the metaphorical vortex of trash that they are surrounded by. Maria’s paintings speak to the interconnected lives of humans and animals, and the impact our trash and desire to consume has on the natural environment.

Maria received an MFA from the University of California, Berkeley, and has been an affiliate artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts and an artist-in-residence at the de Young Museum and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Her work is in the permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art, the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. She has exhibited at the de Saisset Museum in Santa Clara, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York, and is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.

Imin Yeh

Imin Yeh: Goldbricking
Used in labor, “goldbricking” is a term that means pretending to be productive. Its origins are in trickery and the act of conning someone by painting a brick gold. Though it could hardly describe Yeh’s dedicated work ethic, its use suggests a wry joke about her studio practice which is characterized by labor-intensive and often repetitive processes.

Yeh’s art has consistently explored issues of labor and production. While at Recology she has been struck by the volume of corporate waste, and has scavenged the detritus of businesses and offices. Trade show banners have been sliced up and coated with shades of white house paint, their marketing jargon still ever so slightly visible, alluding to the transient nature of their messages. From discarded hotel uniforms, Yeh has created a textile work of monochromatic, geometric forms. Slight variations in the shade and texture of the fabrics reflect the wear and laundering of each garment, and are suggestive of the individual experiences of each worker. In each case, Yeh’s attention to these subtle variations of color commemorates the often unseen individual and creative choices we make, regardless of how mundane they might seem.

Yeh’s roots in printmaking are also evident. Her limited edition artist book features snippets of handwritten notes printed from letterpress type she carved from old Ikea shelves, paired with woodcuts of discarded children’s drawings. Other works include collages on found slides and paper four-leaf clovers hidden quietly throughout the Recology facility as small interventions. And, of course, there are gold bricks. Neat and uniform, each brick is laboriously sculpted from corporate conference signs, spackled, sanded, primed, and painted—a tremendous amount of work in order to produce what Yeh describes as, “an object with neither the function of a brick nor the value of gold.”

Yeh is the recipient of a Eureka Fellowship, an Individual Artist Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, and an Irvine Fellowship at the Lucas Artist in Residency Program at the Montalvo Art Center. Her work has been exhibited in San Francisco at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Mission Cultural Center, and in San Jose at the San Jose Museum of Art. She holds an MFA from the California College of the Arts.

Matthew GoldbergMatthew Goldberg: Space Trash, Boomerang!
What would happen if our trash was launched into space in a misguided attempt to rid the planet of waste, only to orbit and return to earth? This is the premise for the artwork Matthew Goldberg has made during his Recology residency. In sculpture, photography, collage, and installation, he explores trash as an extraterrestrial force—both familiar and foreign, from the past and seemingly also from the future.  Says Goldberg, “The narrative is a fantasy—much like our perceptions of space and much like the general public’s perception of a ‘dump’ facility I have encountered when explaining this program.” Music is another outcome of his residency, which will be performed live by the appropriately named Sputnik (Goldberg and his brother) at the exhibition reception.Goldberg is currently a MFA student at the San Francisco Art Institute, and will complete his degree in May. His work is informed by appropriation, humor and the absurd, as well as by his background in ceramics. He received his BA from the University of Colorado. He has taught ceramics at City Studio, an after school art program for youth ages 12-19 at SOMArts, and is also a musician.

About the Recology Artist in Residence Program
Since 1990, the Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco has encouraged the conservation of natural resources while instilling a greater appreciation for art and the environment in children and adults. This one-of-a-kind program enables artists to work in studio space on site for four months, use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public about reuse and their residency experiences. Over one-hundred professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually in August.