The Bad News

Portland area residents send over a million tons of waste to landfills every year.

The Good News

Unofficial and highly biased sources rate Portland as one of the most creative and diverse artist communities in the country.

What if we were to harness our region’s artistic energy to help address the problem of excessive waste generation?


In the fall of 2010, crackedpots, an environmental arts organization, Recology, an employee-owned company that manages resource recovery facilities, and Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area, got together to create GLEAN.

Taking its inspiration from Recology San Franciso’s renowned 23+ year Artist In Residence program, the GLEAN program’s goals are to prompt people to think about their consumption habits, inspire creative reuse and initiate larger conversations about the waste we generate.

Now in its fourth year, five new artists were selected in February by a jury of arts and environmental professionals to be our ambassadors:  Sarah Bernstein, Francesca Berrini, Alyssa Kail, Michelle Licardo, and Whitney Nye.

These artists will spend the next five months gleaning materials discarded at the Metro Central Transfer Station to make art for an Exhibition in the fall.  Each is paid a stipend of $2,000 and will create at least ten pieces of art from the treasure they find.

Visit our Flickr page to see images of GLEAN programs past and present at

Meet the GLEANers

The results of their creative efforts will be on exhibition at Disjecta Gallery in the fall.

Exhibition Dates: Aug 14 – Sept 6, 2015

Reception date: Friday, August 14, 2015, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Location: Disjecta, 8371 N. Interstate Ave, Portland                                                            Gallery hours: Friday through Sunday, 12:00 – 5:00 pm                                                  Phone: (503) 286-9449




6 thoughts on “GLEAN

  1. CARTM in Manzanita was founded by me and a friend 12 years ago. We have had a trash art show every year since. I still think that a whole cottage industry could be created from contractor’s wood waste, scrap fabric, cabinet-maker’s waste etc. For 10 years I sold almost everything I made each year from recycled and “found” materials in my 9 day art show. So….Good on you. Keep on believing. KR

    • Oh, we know all about you guys! Love, love, love CARTM! I’m on the Board of crackedpots ( and this art program is what I hope is an initial step towards doing something that has even more of impact on our region’s prodigious waste. How did you hear about us? If you’d like to be in contact, my email is
      Amy Wilson

    • Just beginning to wedge open this door of opportunity and I’m looking to get something like this started in my town. Would it be possible to rummage in your knowledge for bit?

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