December 16, 2019


San Francisco, CA–The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Kathy Aoki, Victor Yañez-Lazcano, and San Francisco State University student artist Charlotte Beck on Friday, January 24, from 5-8pm and Saturday, January 25, from 1-3pm. Additional viewing hours will be held on Tuesday, January 28, from 5-7pm, with a gallery walk-through with the artists at 6pm. 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.

Kathy Aoki
Toppled Times

Kathy Aoki reframes events in contemporary culture through artworks that use humor to talk about serious issues. During her residency, Aoki has considered the Me Too movement, the removal of controversial historic monuments, and the promise of the Equal Rights Amendment to produce satirical works in sculpture, installation and printmaking, presented in the format of a natural-history museum.

A selfie spot at a toppled and crumbling “Monument to Patriarchy” will allow the public to take Instagram-worthy photos before this odd vestige of an outmoded time. Museum displays, including dioramas viewed through peepholes, and detailed tableaux, will present scenes from the bygone age of male privilege, with accompanying wall labels explaining this antiquated era to younger viewers. Artifacts will also be exhibited documenting the historic tribulations of women, including monuments to poor lipstick choices and a mesmerizing enactment of the real Riddle of the Sphinx—how to achieve a successful makeover. During the Tuesday night artist talk, Aoki, in the role of curator, will discuss the exhibition and the fascinating, ancient era when men ruled the world.

Aoki holds an MFA from Washington University, School of Art, in St. Louis, Missouri. She has exhibited at venues including the San Jose Museum of Art, the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, and has been an artist-in-residence in the Bay Area at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program and the Headlands Center for the Arts, and at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Her work is in the collections of institutions including the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, SFMOMA, and the Achenbach Collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Victor Yañez-Lazcano
Long Division 

Much like the elegant equations that are the hidden work behind math, Victor Yañez-Lazcano calls attention to the beauty in manual labor that often goes unseen. Scavenged construction debris, and other materials related to painting, building, and moving, have been accumulated, divided up, and transformed by the artist into wall works and free-standing sculpture. 

Yañez-Lazcano has been drawn to multiples, including moving blankets and industrial paint roller screens. When grouped together these utilitarian objects become formal works of engaging patterns and colors. But, the large quantities of these items that Yañez-Lazcano has encountered, and which appear in his art, also speak to the realities of never-ending labor and repetitive processes. Demo-ed chicken wire with clinging pieces of plaster, likely once part of a structure, are reintroduced into the gallery wall, transversing it, and suggest the passing of time or the way someone’s mind might drift off into daydreams while doing repetitive tasks. Ladders arranged in a group act as stand-ins for workers themselves, illustrating their progress, struggles, and the occasional view of the horizon beyond work visible from the higher rungs.

Yañez-Lazcano has exhibited at the Royal NoneSuch Gallery in Oakland and in venues in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Boston. He is the recipient of a Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Award, a SOMA Summer residency in Mexico City, and a residency at ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) in Stueben, Wisconsin. He holds an MFA from Stanford University and a BFA from Columbia College-Chicago.

Charlotte Beck
Far Shooter

Referencing the god Apollo, known as the Far Shooter for both his marksmanship and his use of distance for clarity and knowledge, Charlotte Beck sends her own metaphorical arrows out into the dump pile to identify materials for art that contemplates belief systems. Primarily creating works on paper, Beck folds in illusions to Greek, Roman and Egyptian deities, as well as to concepts of Animism and other less-well-known religious practices. 

Beck has used found personal items, including an uncanny collection of 18 photographs of one distinctive mountain taken through multiple seasons and years. A well-loved catalog of Dutch flowers has prompted a series of cyanotypes made from the illustrations, including the image of a Narcissus flower, and a group of old loose-leaf writings and drawings that reference ancient lore has resulted in prints that pair the texts and images with objects Beck has chosen for their symbolic relevance.

Beck will complete her B.A. with a concentration in studio art and art history from San Francisco State University this semester, and has exhibited there at the Martin Wong Gallery and the Fine Arts Gallery. She is the recipient of a Christine Tamblyn Memorials Scholarship from SFSU, and a Wallace and Jeanne Jones Scholarship from El Camino College in Torrance, California where she received an A.S. in photography.

Reception-Friday, January 24, 2020, 5-8pm
Reception-Saturday, January 25, 2020, 1-3pm
Additional viewing hours-Tuesday, January 28, 2020, 5-7pm with gallery walk-through with artists at 6:00pm at 401 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. 

About the Recology Artist in Residence Program
The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco was established in 1990 to encourage the conservation of 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 Reuse and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public. Over 200  Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually, June through August.

Deborah Munk
Micah Gibson (for hi res images) 
Sharon Spain