Edmonton seeking resident artist for waste management centre

Art-wrapped City of Edmonton Waste Collection Vehicle by Edmonton Arts Council.
Artist: Jeff Chan.
Art-wrapped City of Edmonton Waste Collection Vehicle by Edmonton Arts Council. Artist: Jeff Chan. Credit: Laughing Dog Photography

It’s said that art is in the eye of the beholder, and the City of Edmonton is hoping one man’s trash will become another man’s treasure — or at least, inspiration.

The Edmonton Arts Council not-for-profit organization is inviting local artists to submit a proposal to become the first artist-in-residence hosted by the city’s waste management centre.

READ MORE: City of Edmonton Cemeteries seeking artist-in-residence

The request for proposals says the artist will “ideally reflect their residency experience through their work, and will have access to recycled materials from the facility, as well as potentially mentoring the artistic expression of interested staff and community.”

READ MORE: Edmonton looking at whole new garbage collection system

The successful candidate will be able to work in any number of media and scales. The request for proposals (RFP) said it is a full-time residency and the artist will be expected to commit to regular working hours during the operating hours of the facility, over the course of about six months. The artist will be expected to produce and present at least one public showing of work.

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The artist will have access to offices, industrial space and classrooms in which to set up their studio or work space at the waste management centre, located east of the Anthony Henday and north of Yellowhead Trail.

The Edmonton Waste Management Centre is touted as one of the most advanced garbage facilities in the world. At the facility, organics in garbage are sorted and sent to the composter — where they are mixed with treated sewage sludge (yes, poo) and wood chips to create compost. The city says this process keeps about half of residential garbage out of landfills.

READ MORE: From poop to perfect compost — Edmonton’s world-class facility

The centre is also home to the world’s first municipal waste-to-biofuels facility, which transforms solid waste — that would otherwise be sent to landfills — into biofuels and chemicals. The facility also sorts recycling, processes e-waste like old computers and electronics, and processes construction materials.

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It also has a landfill gas recovery system, which converts methane and carbon dioxide produced by decomposition into electricity.

READ MORE: Edmonton first in world to turn trash into biofuel

In addition to having a history of strong artistic work and an ability to complete their collection on time, the council is looking for candidates who are good with school-aged students so they can participate in facility tours.

The Edmonton Arts Council said it has put aside $25,000 for artist remuneration — as well as a modest budget for consumable supplies — but the final amount will be subject to negotiation.

The council aims for the residency to begin in late fall. The full request for proposals can be viewed on the Edmonton Arts Council’s website.

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