Judith Selby-Lang and Richard Lang

artists / environmentalists / innovators

Bricolage: design for life

October 26 | 8:30 & 10:30 | 90 Minutes | McMenamins, Father Luke's Room

The intricate patterns and studied compositions we create are intended to be visually enticing and free of polemic. What started out as an act of "planetary housekeeping", picking up washed up plastic at Kehoe Beach has turned into an immediate and compelling source of free art supplies. As we have developed connoisseurship of the plastic, we have found, that each bit opens a window-view on the nature of contemporary life; that this colorful stuff is the thermoplastic junk of our modern culture. And, each bit has a story to tell about its origin, its use, and its demise. In our workshop we will take participants on a journey — from discovering the artistic potential of trash to transforming it into creative metaphor. We invite participants to discover the shapes and sizes that speak to them, then make their own artful arrangements Along the way, we will talk about our inspirations (Caravaggio, Hiroshige and Kandinsky) and influences (jazz music).

Where I'll Be

October 26 | 8:30 & 10:30 Bricolage: design for life

As a collaborative team we’ve visited Kehoe Beach hundreds of times to gather plastic debris washing out of the Pacific Ocean. From just 1,000 yards of this one beach we have collected tons of material. By carefully collecting and “curating” the bits of plastic, we fashion it into works of art that matter-of-factly show, with minimal artifice, the material as it is.

Our artwork has been featured in over 70 exhibitions in galleries, museums, educational institutions, and science centers including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the United Nations World Environment Day, Stanford University, and the University of San Francisco. International festivals and conferences are using our work as a visual focus: Mountainfilm in Telluride, Ocean Film Festival in Hong Kong and Inspire Film Festival in Houston. To date 10 films have documented our project, airing on The Today Show, PBS Newshour, The Travel Channel, Wowwow Tokyo, as well as Bay Area affiliates of NBC and ABC. Traveling exhibits have accompanied our films. In talks about our project we have presented at Applied Brilliance in Jackson Hole, Newseum in Washington, DC, Dallas Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Oxbow School in Napa, CA, and California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Our artwork is widely collected nationally and internationally including a display at the US Embassy in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. In addition, Cavallo Point Lodge in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area commissioned our artwork for each of its 155 guest rooms.

The California Coastal Commission commissioned advertising images seen in posters and on placards and bus signage. We are cited as co-authors in a report from the University of Tokyo about concentrations of pollutants in plastic pellets published in the 2009 Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Our work has been embraced by the public for its exuberant beauty and in this way, we have been able to bring awareness to a challenging environmental problem.