Recology® San Francisco Artist in Residence Exhibitions: Work by Cathy Lu, Erik Scollon and Curtis Reid Henderson

August 16, 2017


San Francisco, CA–The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco will host an exhibition and reception for current artists-in-residence Cathy Lu, Erik Scollon, and SFAI student artist Curtis Reid Henderson on Friday, September 22, from 5-8pm and Saturday, September 23, from 1-3pm. Additional viewing hours will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 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. Please note that Friday receptions now end at 8pm.

Cathy Lu
Real Imitation

Cathy Lu’s work explores the way Chinese art and cultural objects are understood in the United States. As a ceramic artist, her practice often references Chinese pottery traditions, and she is as interested in tourist shop trinkets as she is in highly valued museum pieces. During her residency, she has continued her investigation of how value and meaning are attributed to objects, and what constitutes cultural “authenticity” in a transnational world. 

Lu applies pottery techniques to primarily non-ceramic materials, such as coiling Ethernet and coaxial cable in the same way one would coil clay, to produce her own versions of classical Chinese vessel forms. Work alludes to the meeting of craft and technology, especially 3D printers which reproduce pottery in coiled, extruded plastic. She also explores the history of pottery repair, such as the use of staples in China and kintsugi, a method of applying gold lacquer to mend pieces, used in Japan. But in this case, Lu uses pink Styrofoam for her repairs. Shipwrecked ceramics, curious forms created when corals and shells grow onto ancient pottery trapped under the sea, are also a reference point. Lu flips the concept, creating vessels out of plastic tubing and attaching them to large pieces of coral. The work suggests our impact on nature and the modern version of shipwrecks—shipping containers lost at sea that spill products, often plastic, into our oceans. Other materials used in her work include concrete, which she casts in various containers, including Asian food packaging and dishware resulting in forms both abstract and familiar, and the ubiquitous red, blue and white striped laundry bags. 

Lu received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has exhibited at Bay Area venues including Root Division, the Asia Society SF, SOMArts, Johansson Projects, Berkeley Art Center, Aggregate Space, and Pro Arts Gallery. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado, the Interlochen School for the Arts in Michigan, and the Mudflat Pottery Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Erik Scollon
Bring Your Body with You

It is possible that during his residency Erik Scollon has walked 26.2 miles in the studio, literally completing a marathon to create his artwork. He has used his phone’s tracking software to arrive at this number, with the underlying idea being that process and physical experience are key in the work. His residency project is rooted in the theoretical ideas of Maurice Merleau-Ponty who emphasized the role of the body, instead of the mind, in human perception. As the title of Scollon’s exhibition suggests, he asks the public to also engage physically to fully experience his art.

Like his studio-mate, Cathy Lu, Scollon is a ceramic artist, but has made new objects and environments from non-clay materials during his residency, including from VHS tapes of movies (everything from Blockbuster rental tapes to home-recorded compilations) and uniforms from a defunct startup. He researched the craft of rope-making, creating versions in varying gages and lengths out of videotape. He also uses the material to construct large curtains the public can walk between or through. The idea that this might place viewers in close proximity to one another, and in direct contact with the piece, is central to the work, reminding us that there can always be a physical aspect to the consumption of media and popular culture—be it sitting next to a stranger in a movie theater or handling a videotape. Behind the curtains, a large monitor presents a scrolling string of text—the titles of all the films on the VHS tapes used—immersing visitors visually, as well as tactilely, in the work. Inflatable soft sculpture, made from the bright blue jackets of a former tech company, will be let loose in the studio yard for some hands-on, possibly cathartic, fun.

Scollon has exhibited in the Bay Area at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, and Worth Ryder Gallery, and at venues nationally and internationally, including in London and Milan. He holds an MFA in ceramics and an MA in visual and critical studies from the California College of the Arts (CCA), and a BFA from Albion College in Michigan. He is an associate professor at CCA and is represented by Romer Young Gallery. 

Curtis Reid Henderson
Punitive Damage

Curtis Reid Henderson creates a series of sculptures that play with elements of institutional infrastructure to express anxiety about consumption. A familiar “exit” sign becomes an “excess” sign, and a single school bell produces ear-piercing rings on the hour as a literal alarm clock/symbolic wake up call. He also manipulated a fire alarm light to slowly increase and decrease in intensity mimicking human breath—perhaps a lesson in deep breathing to get through uncertain times. Henderson also reinterprets tools using found handles in combination with crafted shovel and axe heads made from wood and aluminum. A series of relief prints Henderson produced by carving 2 x 4s juxtapose illustrations from technical manuals with images from comic books. Graphics, text, and some quintessentially American references are a through-line in the work.

Henderson is pursuing a BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute where he has served as curator of two campus galleries, Gallery Student Affairs, and West Wall Gallery. His sculpture and printmaking practices are rooted in the exclusive use of found, salvaged, and recycled materials to encourage sustainability on individual and communal levels. He is originally from Santa Monica, California.

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 150 Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually, June through August.

Reception-Friday, September 22, 20175-8pm (Please note that Friday receptions now end at 8pm.)
Reception-Saturday, September 23, 20171-3pm 
Additional viewing hours-Tuesday, September 26, 20175-7pm 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