This article originally appeared on the Library as Incubator Project on May 24, 2012.
We’re excited to feature this partnership between an academic library and the innovative Recology Artist-in-Residence program. Many thanks to Shawn Calhoun, Head of Access Services, Library Outreach, and Assessment at the University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library, for sharing this wonderful project.
Recology is an innovative recycling program based in the Bay Area that has made San Francisco one of the greenest cities in America. The program heads up San Francisco’s municipal recycling by collecting residential, commercial, and hazardous waste, and applies the three Rs in new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle it. Since 1990, Recology San Francisco has also played host to an Artist in Residence program that encourages artists to scavenge for their materials and provides free access to a vast studio full of recycled waste collected from San Francisco residents.
You can find bios, links to artist websites, and photos of recent residents’ work on the Recology Artist in Residence website, as well as application guidelines if you’re an artist looking for a residency that will support and challenge your art, but here’s a brief intro to the program’s goals from the website:
The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is a unique art and education program that provides Bay Area artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a large studio space at the Recology Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center. By supporting artists who work with recycled materials, Recology hopes to encourage people to conserve natural resources and promote new ways of thinking about art and the environment.
So, how do libraries fit into this amazing resource? Shawn Calhoun shares a bit about how Gleeson Library partnered with Recology on a recent “Art in the Dump” exhibition, plus a fantastic photo gallery that showcases the pieces in situ:
“The Recology Artist in Residence Program is an institution in San Francisco. A USF dean with ties to Recology approached Gleeson Library about hosting a multi-artist show during the 2012 spring semester. The development was simple– Recology wanted a new venue for a show, and the library is always open to new ways to reach out and connect with the greater San Francisco community. So we made it happen. Recology covered all the costs for the show, and they also do their own promotion. At the library, we’ve talked a little bit about it via social media. USF students, faculty, and staff loved the art.”