GLEAN: to gather, collect bit by bit, or pick over in search of relevant material


2017 Glean Exhibition

2017 Glean Exhibition

Thanks to the 2017 artists and all the people who braved the heat to attend our Exhibition at FURTHERMORE Gallery for making this year such a success!  Click here for some great photos of the event taken by Nolan Calisch.

The 2018 Call to Artists will go out this December.  The deadline for applications is January 31, 2018.

GLEAN is a juried art program that taps into the creativity of artists from the Portland metro region to inspire people to think about their consumption habits, the waste this generates, and to reconsider the value of these resources.

In February of 2018, a jury of arts and environmental professionals will choose new artists to participate in the program.  The artists will have 5 months to glean materials from the Metro Central transfer station (aka, the "dump") from which to make their art.  Each artist will be required to make eight pieces and will receive a stipend of $2,000.  The program culminates in a formal exhibition in the fall.

GLEAN is a partnership between Recology, an employee-owned integrated resource recovery and recycling company; Metro, the regional government that manages the Portland area's garbage and recycling system, and crackedpots.

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What's a transfer station?

Up until the early 1990s, most regions around the country still had local “dumps” where the community’s waste was taken. Due to concerns about public health and the environment, as well as increasing regulations, most of these local landfills began to close.

As communities struggled to figure out what to do with their waste, large waste management companies began construction of “mega-landfills” in remote locations designed to accept waste from hundreds of miles away. This new system created a new challenge — how could waste picked up by small, local garbage trucks be transported over such long distances?

The solution was to build transfer stations where waste from local garbage haulers and citizens could be processed and reloaded onto long-haul trucks, freight trains and even barges, in some instances. The Portland region’s waste is trucked 150 miles to the 2,000-acre Columbia Ridge Landfill in eastern Oregon. While we can be very proud of our high diversion rate, we still send more than a million tons of waste to landfills each year. Ouch.