August 29, 2016

San Francisco, CA–The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Miguel Arzabe, Sherri Lynn Wood, and student artists Paula Morales and Kathy Sirico on Friday, September 23, from 5-9pm and Saturday, September 24, from 1-3pm. Additional viewing hours will be held on Tuesday, September 27, from 5-7pm, with a gallery walk-through with the artists at 6:00pm. 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.

Two events will take place in conjunction with the exhibition. At 8:30pm during the Friday, September 23 opening, Miguel Arzabe will enact a live paint pour. The following day, beginning at 12pm and continuing during the 1-3pm opening, Sherri Lynn Wood will facilitate a drop-in, ruler-free patchwork clinic where the public is invited to construct a quilt out of pockets using found sewing machines.

Miguel ArzabeMiguel Arzabe: I Can’t Make It by Myself
In video, installation, and paper weaving, Miguel Arzabe explores the formal and physical properties of the items he has been finding while at Recology. He has, in a sense, been working in collaboration with these things, creating a space for chance and spontaneity and allowing them to release untapped potential in new contexts. Arzabe’s videos capture a row of paint cans slowly pouring out their contents onto a massive canvas, audiotapes unfurling en mass, and flat screen TVs falling back into each other like dominoes. Found recordings, such as the 1967 Stu Gardner song which gives the exhibition its title, serve as soundtracks for these cathartic metaphors that suggest the anxiety of living in uncertain times.

Arzabe also continues his practice of slicing and weaving art related imagery, such as gallery announcements or mass produced art prints. He applies this technique to found original works on paper as well, and again collaborating, in this case with an unknown artist, extends the creative life of discarded artworks.

Arzabe holds an MFA from UC Berkeley and an MS in Environmental Fluid Dynamics from Arizona State University. He is the recipient of a Headlands Center for the Arts Graduate Fellowship, a Montalvo Art Center Irvine Fellowship, and has been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center and the Santa Fe Art Institute. He has exhibited in venues including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, and will have a solo project at the DeYoung Museum in November 2016.

Sherri Lynn Wood: AfterlifeSherri Lynn Wood
During her residency, Sherri Lynn Wood has focused on the concept of “making do” as a creative strategy for survival after system collapse. Wood stresses the potential power in this practice—not merely learning to use what one has to get by, but instead activating a level of creativity that may only be possible when we are freed from unlimited choice. Trusting that the dump pile will provide, and accepting the limitations it sets, Wood has constructed a series of quilts that are connected to this art form’s roots in scarcity. But instead of cutting up old clothes into squares and triangles, Wood allows the shapes of trousers and shirts to be expressed, resulting in quilts of unusual geometric abstraction, that are simultaneously suggestive of the human body. Wood also brings unusual materials, such as stuffed animals and beaded curtains, into her practice and will exhibit sculptural works along with her quilts.

Wood is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and a Headlands Center for the Arts Residency. She has exhibited locally at The Lab and the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art. She holds an MFA from Bard College and a Masters of Theological Studies from Emory University in Atlanta. Her 2015 publication The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters provides frameworks for creative exploration, along with practical instruction in stitching techniques and color theory.

Paula MoralesPaula Morales: The Act of Pretending
While at Recology, Paula Morales has worked with obsolete technology, as well as found objects, audio, and footage, to bring an analog past into the digital present, and in turn, a digital aesthetic into the physical world. Using synthesizing software, she has distilled VHS content to pure color and line, emphasizing the materiality of the medium, then has reintroduced it on modified monitors in sculptural installations and still life photos. Morales also incorporates found objects that speak to domestic and gendered spaces, as well as to the clichés and nostalgia connected to them. Vivid colors and an over-the-top aesthetic serve as unifying constants and guilty pleasures throughout the works.

Morales has exhibited at Rollup Gallery, Artillery Gallery, and Swell Gallery in San Francisco, and in venues in Guatemala City. She holds a BFA in photography from the Academy of Art University and will complete her MFA at the San Francisco Artist Institute this December. Her artwork has appeared on book covers for publisher Editorial Catafixia in Guatemala, and in magazines and journals in the United States.

Kathy Sirico: Sugar Ghosts
Kathy SiricoFor Kathy Sirico, whose art has touched on issues from the melting of the polar icecap to genetically modified foods, the dump has been an ideal space to further explore environmental concerns. Sirico combines painting, sculpture and textiles, and while at Recology she has constructed free-standing, biomorphic forms—soft sculptures that grow around or out of found objects such as chairs and vases. Her use of elegant fabrics and rich colors lure the viewer in, but on closer examination the works suggest environmental breakdown or biological ills—unraveling threads and shredded materials speak to neglect and decomposition, and intestine-like shapes and bulging forms become metaphors for consumption in the extreme. Situated between the enticing and dystopic, the works ultimately mirror the dump pile itself.

Sirico holds a BS from Skidmore College and will receive an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in spring 2017. She has also studied in Paris and Florence where she focused on medieval architecture and sacred spaces. Her work has been exhibited at ARC Gallery in Chicago, and at the Diego Rivera Gallery and Swell Gallery in San Francisco.


Reception-Friday, September 23, 5-9pm
Reception-Saturday, September 24, 1-3pm
Additional viewing hours-Tuesday, September 27, 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 is a one-of-a-kind program 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 Disposal and Recycling Area, and speak to students and the general public. Over 125 professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually, June through August.