IMG_1015    group in front last chance 2


Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) and the Visual and Public Art (VPA) Program at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) have teamed up to create an Artist in Residence Program. Beginning January 2016, the collaborative partnership will allow VPA students to salvage for discarded materials and upcycle them into art.

The partnership will draw upon the expertise of CSUMB VPA faculty, who will mentor the student participants. MRWMD will provide access for material salvaging from Last Chance Mercantile and the Materials Recovery Facility. VPA artists will work and create in the yard at Last Chance Mercantile, providing the general public the opportunity to watch and engage with the artists.

Program Mission:

  • To educate and inspire the general public on the importance of repurposing, recycling and reusing discarded materials.
  • To create a professional platform for CSUMB VPA students to conceptualize, manage and produce a body of work using discarded materials.
  • To create community partnerships with schools, art centers and other nonprofit organizations to encourage dialogue on the importance of environmental issues.

Current Spring 2016 Student Artists 

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Alberto Araujo

I’m a conceptual artist who enjoys challenges both mentally and physically. My works of art mainly consist of paintings, but I also enjoy sculpting. Although I mainly work with these mediums, I feel that my true talent is in drawing with pencils & markers, as well as photography and installation. With photography, I feel that I can truly capture the moment itself without adding in my own emotions. With painting, I feel the most creative only being limited to the amount of paint I have. Mixing the actual objects with my creativity of organizing the objects I get installation. With installation, I can move the captured moments around to fit my own personal creativity to get the most of each item while creating a larger picture. Although I am a conceptual artist, I feel that talking about the simple things, depicting what everyone can relate to, which has a bigger impact on the audience as a whole, rather than trying to present a huge complicated piece. In my mind, less is more when trying to communicate with others. With art I can express that simplicity, while at the same time adding as much detail into each individual section of the work as I can. I do all this through patience, for I know in the end it will be worth all the time I spent into it.


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Ben Ward

The artist in residency program would be a fantastic opportunity for me and fits well with my art style. I like to create art using the same object many times and creating a sense of movement from an object that is immobile. If I am selected for the residency program I will explore the Waste Management Facility for an object (preferably in large quantities) and piece them all together in an organic way. My idea for the site is to create abstract “plants” that are made out of organic and inorganic materials to follow a theme of a forced evolution, in which the plants around us have to become stronger and less organic just to survive in a world that humans are slowly destroying. What I make will depend on the objects I find at the waste management facility but they should have the ability to work together with the same type of style as the sculpture next to them.

After I graduate I want to pursue a career in art and apply to other artist in residency opportunities. Being selected to be in residency at the Waste Management facility would aid me as I apply for other art commissions and residencies. As a Visual and Public Art student I am thrilled at the idea of being to create art out of “trash” and show the community that some of the things that they discard have far more artistic potential than they may have thought.  This can bring light to the problem of excessive waste in the United States and the rest of the world. Thank you for the opportunity to apply.


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Jessica Lara

As an artist I feel the urge to create. The Artist Residency at Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) would give me the opportunity to crate art beyond the ordinary. The kind of art that could be appreciated after it has been transformed. Art work that will make a statement. Transforming disposed items and giving them a new identity. I want to learn more about environmental issues as well educate others. I don’t see a better way of doing it than through Art. My goal will be to make visible what is overlooked.

As a member of Monterey County, this partnership will help me to incorporate myself in the community and build strong relationships. This residency would be a new challenge for me. Pushing my mind to see things in a different perspective. It would allow me to build on my artistic abilities in working with 3D art and Mixed Media. I want to take my personal identity and community as inspiration and use it to create a unique body of work. The MRWMD residency would help me build my career as a professional artist. This partnership can provide me with the opportunity to enhance my own personal artistic style, as I create artwork that will speak for itself. I would like to take the skills I have learned throughout my undergraduate education and put them to work in the field. I realize it will be a difficult task but I know that I have the potential to succeed, all I need is the opportunity.

*MRWMD Service Area Includes the following jurisdictions:

Moss Landing, Castroville, Marina, Seaside, Del Rey Oaks, Sand City, Monterey, Monterey-Salinas Highway area, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Carmel, Unincorporated Carmel, Carmel Valley, Carmel Highlands, and Big Sur