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November 2006
Trash is artfully transformed in San Francisco
Kim Wellers designs include wood salvaged from discarded doors.

Sculptor Kim Weller spent the summer at the city dump creating a special installation inspired by her lifelong interest in Archie comic books.

“Its squeaky-clean values, G-rated mischief and never-ending teen romance point to an idyllic innocence that is alluring yet remote,” said Weller, who is working as an artist in residence at the San Francisco dump, also known as SF Recycling & Disposal, Inc.

A San Francisco resident, Weller made six brightly colored sculptures, measuring from four to seven feet tall out of door skin, thin wood salvaged from discarded doors.

A reception also featured photographs of Noah Wilson. During his residency, Wilson salvaged transparencies and negatives of West Coast landscapes dating from the 1920s and ‘30s and reprinted them, some in perfect condition, others damaged, dreamy and ghostlike.

Wilson, also a San Francisco resident, gave away plants he found in the garbage and brought back to life using planting mix from San Francisco’s Food Scrap Compost Program.

Artists living in the Bay Area apply to the unique art program; those offered residencies are given 24-hour access to a large studio at the dump, tools and equipment, and permission to scavenge through 80 tons of material a day.

San Francisco waste haulers initiated the Artist-in-Residence Program in 1990 to encourage residents and businesses to think about their own garbage and take steps to reduce trash. More than 60 Bay Area artists have completed residencies.

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