Lost and Found: Local Landfill Partners with CalArts for Art Competition

Art created from the Chiquita Canyon Landfill includes ‘To All Those That Breathe’ by Vivian Sming.

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Landfills—with their refuse and discarded items—have often become a treasure trove for artists working with found objects.

Earlier this summer, officials from the 592-acre Chiquita Canyon landfill, located in Castaic, Calif., announced the winners of its “Found Art” scholarship competition, held exclusively for CalArts School of Art students. Recipients are: Natalie Hon (Art BFA 14), first place – $4,000; Emily Shanahan (Art MFA 14), second – $2,500; Vivian Sming Chen (Art MFA 14), third – $1,500 and Sam Shoemaker (Art BFA 14), honorable mention – $500.

The partnership between CalArts and Chiquita Canyon was developed to demonstrate artists’ creativity in using discarded objects. Students who participated in the competition visited Chiquita Canyon last semester to select items for their art. 80 percent of each piece was required to be comprised of inorganic materials from the landfill and of a manageable size and weight for two people to transport.

The works were judged by a panel that included representatives from the School of Art faculty, the CalArts Board of Trustees and the local arts community.

We’ve posted works from the competition, above.

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