UCSF Sustainability Stories

Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, May 2013

Recycled/Reclaimed Art Show at the LivingGreen Fair

LogoThe Visual Arts Club at UCSF and Campus Life Services Arts & Events have presented the Faculty and Staff Art Show for the past 25 years. We are excited now to be partnering with the 2013 LivingGreen Fair to present the inaugural Recycled/Reclaimed Art Show on May 9th, 2013 from 11 am to 2 pm at the Millberry Union Game Room, 500 Parnassus Avenue.

Mark your calendars.  We’re looking forward to a great show!

The Visual Arts Club at UCSF helps create a culture of engagement, pride and high spirits within the UCSF community and provides an alternative outlet for art appreciation and self expression.

The recycled/reclaimed theme is appealing to even the “non-artists” among us, as many of the submissions we have received so far are from people who don’t normally show in the annual staff and faculty show. Some of the artists and their work are highlighted below:

Marisa and Sadie McFarlane, Gastroenterology and Anesthesia

McFarlane“I liked the idea of taking broken objects and giving them new life. The watch faces have a lot of character and the vintage pieces / watch innards bring a cool steampunk quality into my artwork that I love and cannot get with all new pieces purchased. Also, broken watches are cheaper to buy and as an independent artist, I look for the cheapest, yet most aesthetically pleasing materials with which to work. I want to present my work in an event created by people who appreciate art that is hand-made with found, reused, recycled, upcycled objects and that are one-of-a-kind.  To have an art show within a medical academic institution is a very unique opportunity and a privilege for anyone working here because I doubt that is very common or encouraged in a non-artistic institution.”

Wenia Lee, Department of Surgery, SFGH

Lee“Rock Stars are made with grout left over from grouting sessions.  Each rock is formed by hand and are unique in shape, weight and size. 90% of the stained glass used are scraps. Mirror is from broken mirrors collected. Loose beads and jewelry parts are also used.

Peggy Woodward, Radiology, MRI

Peggy“The evolutionary process by which this unplanned, recycled project was accomplished began with a simple piece of palette paper (lower right) that contained very basic colors of blue, red and yellow, a canvas board previously painted on but “discarded” (left), and an old, beat up piece of wood (lower bottom edge).  By applying big dollops of those colors to the top edge of the canvas board and using the old piece of wood to scrape the colors down the canvas to the bottom, a streaky, somewhat insipid accumulation of colors emerged.  However, when I turned the palette paper upside down, in various directions onto that canvas board, the piece began to take on a much more interesting and varied character.  In fact, the leftover paint on both the canvas and the palette paper were transferred to the each other, leaving each with more paint than how they began, allowing further experimentation with the process.  One last time I applied the now, almost spent palette paper to a small canvas and -voila!-my first print!” 

Dulce MacLoed, Department of Surgery, Transplant

Dulce“My art is about reinventing the joy of color and words and ideas. I use books with colorful images, old comic books or poetry books. I reuse discarded paintings as canvas.  I use the paper images like paint by cutting out the shape I want . I use collage, paint and brushwork to get the image out of my head and on to a flat surface.

I don’t fully understand the meaning cause that isn’t what matters to me. Its the color and ideas that are exciting to me. I love to look for new ‘old’ items to use in my work. I look for discarded books and small trinkets for media. There is a sense of ‘another’ in these items that is appealing to me.”

Metal work from Haiti

MinnHaiti’s metalwork tradition is most often associated with the life and work of Georges Liautaud (1899 - 1991) an artist from the town of Croix-des-Bouquets, 12 km from Port-au-Prince.  Liautaud’s intricate ironwork cemetery crosses in the French tradition caught the attention of visiting American artists, who encouraged him to explore a diversity of themes in his work, including scenes of everyday life in rural Haiti and representations of Vodou spirits and cosmology.

These pieces are made from the steel barrels that are used to transport fuel into Haiti.  After being flattened and burned to remove paint or varnish, artists trace designs with chalk and, using a hammer and chisel, cut and texture the steel.  The pieces in this exhibit are all made from the lids of the drums, which vary in sizes.

HaitiMetalworkers in Croix-des-Bouquets organize themselves into atelye (ateliers) or workshops.  These workshops are generally comprised of eight to twelve members and involve apprenticeship, mutual support and division of labour.  Most of the pieces in the show were made by members of the Anti-Stress Atelier, a group of young men who learned metalwork from their fathers, uncles and brothers.  They are in their late teens and twenties, and support their family and kin networks through the sale of their art. 

Pierre Minn, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UCSF’s Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, has been conducting research on health and medicine in Haiti for over fifteen years.  He has been working to raise funds for a number of health, education and rural development initiatives in Haiti, including the Lambi Fund, Fonkoze, Konbit Sante and Haiti Outreach Pwojè Espwa. All proceeds from this art will be used to support programs in Haiti.

Mary Margaret, Analyst, School of Dentistry

Clock“When I learned of the Visual Arts Club’s upcoming art show I was thrilled.  This is my kind of show!  My artwork (I like to call it sacred play) always uses found and recycled materials.  My elemental assemblage is entitled—The Clock Is Ticking”.

Silk lined wooden box:  Presentation Tea Box from China via Japan to a colleague, gifted to me.
Crystal:  From our Mother’s bowels, to a rock shop bought by a friend, gifted to me

Feather:  Found on a wild iris covered hillside, 1976, Mendocino

Paper (cream, black & red):  Hand painted long ago in China, brought to USA with family, given to grandchildren, sold at estate sale, resold at a vintage paper show in 1980, SF

Key:  Found in basement of my childhood home, 1957, Mansfield, OH

Clock:  Second hand, Community Thrift, SF (batteries rechargeable)

Ink for text:  Made from walnut shells, 1992, Sonoma County

Tape & glue:  Second Hand, SCRAP, SF

:  Bone, shell & Bakelite from my grandmother (all being used for at least the second time)