Opening March 16th, 2018 The Reclaimed Room is excited to present WHAT IF? a group exhibition featuring the puzzling creations of three Bay Area artists whose process-based work draw attention to societal chaos and conflict. WHAT IF? artists Clint Imboden, James Shefik and Jamie Banes provoke viewers to question the reality and truths of the structures displayed before them. Although recognized for their use of everyday materials in unexpected and unusual ways, these artists’ sculptures and installations also stimulate and challenge their audiences’ preconceptions of material, purpose, and intent. This exhibition will be on view through May 11th 2018.

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Crutches, by Clint Imboden

“I come to making art with the perspective of a therapist. Just as a good therapist can act as a catalyst for change in a client, good art should elicit a strong reaction from the audience, provoking them to explore the reasons why they’ve been affected.”

“I find my materials at local flea markets and estate sales. I start with the artifacts of daily living, things that most people overlook: battered globes, worn shoes, and dilapidated tools. I’m drawn to old materials because they foster purposeful imperfection in my art, an attribute that’s connected to their previous lives. I use them for their connotative, associative or narrative possibilities. My installation work is tactile and handmade; as an artist, I focus on process and on topical, issue-based content.”

“Viewing my artwork is not meant to be a passive experience; it involves reading, deciphering, taking the initiative to engage physically and psychically with text and objects. I use materials that challenge my audience to consider multiple references in order to understand the full meaning of a piece. I want people to be caught up in the experience of my work, just as I am, in making it. My goal is to have them come away from an encounter with the work knowing something new about themselves.”


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Insomnia, by James Shefik

Conceptual, multidisciplinary artist James Shefik lives in Oakland. Along with making art in his studio, he is a scenic artist and scenic foreman on movie and television sets (Sense8, Thirteen Reasons Why, Steve Jobs, Big Eyes, Chasing Mavericks, and Milk, to name a few).

Primarily a sculptor, Shefik creates artwork that reveals his strong concern for the environment, for the government’s tyranny of purposeful invasion of our privacy, and social political absurdity that often accompanies concentrations of power.

His latest work employs photographic prints to mutate small transient into an almost theatrical experience. His work has been exhibited at the Aqua Art Fair in Miami, the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, CA, Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, CA, and Autobody Fine Art in Alameda, CA. Shefik was a recipient of a SF Weekly Mastermind Grant in 2011.


2017.Nominative Determinant

Nominative Determinant, by Jamie Banes

“Growing up in a blue-collar construction family, I connected with tools and materials at an early age. Exposure to the job site as a youth helped shape my interest in architecture and the ever-changing organism of the built environment. These early experiences continue to inform my work and contribute to my own sense of place and identity.”

“The built environment serves as a multilayered record of human activity, mirroring the effects of society’s needs and motives over time. The concept of structures as living entities is a natural starting point for my experiments, often stemming from themes of origin and decay within the urban landscape. The breakneck speed at which this life cycle revolves in the Bay Area underscores the socioeconomic and political issues of our time and further influences my work.”

“My process results in quirky assemblages reminiscent of childhood forts or tree house constructions in miniature. My most current work presents as a collection of eccentric architectural models and maps, wryly alluding to the seriousness of many ominous societal issues on our collective horizon. The materials I collect are typically found, bartered or bargained for in keeping with my inclination to reuse when possible.”





CONFIGURATIONS: Three Artists Assemble Themselves

This upcoming show, opening Friday January 12th 2018, will feature puppets, sculpture, jewelry and furniture, all deeply crafted from 100% salvaged material. The three artists, Francesca Borgatta, Charles Foss, and Miles Epstein, each bring work with personality, humor, and a recognition that a long studio practice will always reveal new surprises. Especially when the work is assembled in a new context and new configurations.


Blue Monkey, by Francesca Borgotta

Francesca Borgotta has been building puppets since the 1970’s, having been apprenticed with Bread and Puppet Theater in New York.  Since then, she has lived a full life of dance, drama and puppetry.  She comes to the Reclaimed Room from the East Bay, where she works at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.

“To make my artwork, I look for recycled materials. I bind random things together, say a crab’s shell and an insect husk. Then I add new things until they appear as a single configuration, a form which needs completion. I like puppets because each one has a name and a story, and is meant to be manipulated.”


Wooden Tablet, by Francesca Borgata

“At the Reclaimed Room, I will present each puppet with bits of dialogue to indicate the story. The wall hangings include a set of tablets describing these five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. I started these in 2015 when I was studying Chinese traditional medicine where each element is assigned a color, a season, an emotion, and other qualities. To understand this interaction, I gathered objects in that material and arranged them on a plywood panel.”

“I am very happy to be showing my work in the Reclaimed Room. This wide open space celebrates both the aesthetic beauty and practical value of recycled materials. Artists are encouraged to work together to plan their show, and explore possibilities for collaboration, to generate a much-needed sense of community. Hopefully, through our artwork, we can encourage a sense of ecological awareness.”  fborgotta@puppetfigures.com



Crystalline Spheres, by Charles Foss, aka c.H.u.K.

Charles Foss, also known as c.H.u.K, brings to the gallery work from his “Landfill Interception Project”, specifically his “Fauna” series. From his website freektures.com: “..an exploration of inanimate evolutionary improbabilities, using common everyday items which have been deemed useless, cast aside, and abandoned.” Originally from Maine, Charles has been a toy maker, prop fabricator, performance artist, part of a circus crew, a magicians assistant and a scary clown pie maker (among other things!) Currently he is creating “Funky Found Flora” and “Decolletorations ~ talismans created with magical parts and pieces we step on every day.”



Miles Epstein


Miles Epstein uses salvage materials and simple tooling to design and build art and other useful objects. His work ranges from furniture, sculpture and installation and uses paper, metal, cork and concrete. By allowing the qualities of his materials to drive many design decisions, Miles’ work is sometimes unpredictable and often quirky. The work is often very labor intensive but strives to appear natural, even relaxed.

For this show he says: “I’m revisiting the west-facing windows in the gallery, working with two new materials for me: clear acrylic sheets and colored, tumbled glass. By gluing the glass to the sheets with two-part epoxy I hope to create a hybrid visual experience, combining elements of graphic design, stained glass and painting. The process is exacting and fussy but has great potential for beauty. I am also bringing to the floor of the gallery a new collection of cafe style tables built primarily from cardboard and cork. The cardboard comes from salvaged bicycle boxes, and the cork is a mixture of reused  rolled cork sheeting and recycled wine corks. These materials are very familiar to me and I’ve been using them in furniture work for over 12 years. But they still amaze me with their resilience, strength-to-weight ratio, and their subtle color palette.


Cork Cafe Tables, by Miles Epstein







for the LOVE of ART


This is a group show honoring the tradition of gathering around the table among friends and socially producing art for pleasure. It will feature multiple mosaic artists, metal sculptures, craft jewelry, knitted critters, crochet, cast paper, glass tableware and original lighting designs, all sourced from reused materials. We open this show on November 17th from 5-7pm and it will run through January 5th 2018.


Dana Albany

“From the very grandest scale to the very minute, my artwork is a medley of recycled and discarded materials. I enjoy working alone, as well as collaborating amongst many! Gathering together with fellow artists has been a meeting ground of genuine support and swirling creativity. It has taken me out of my darkest moments, inspired me, and brought depth to my art, that left alone would not have arisen.”

haideen headshot

Haideen Anderson

Haideen Anderson works with a variety of materials in her sculptures but focuses mainly on paper-casting for mask-making and mild steel for nature and dream influenced sculptures. With both the masks and the metal, she is interested on exploring pairs of opposites and the healing potential in art.

The masks that she makes are from reused materials – paper grocery bags for the casting with the surface collaged on with out-of-date calendars, old magazines, cigarette packages, etc. Much of the metal she uses is also made from scraps. In a few sculptures this is obvious. They are constructed from car parts, door knobs, cake pans and other recognizable objects.

She is glad to be part of Reclaimed Room’s exhibit “for the LOVE of ART” with so many artists who are a part of the Art Nite gatherings. Making art is often such a solitary activity. Coming together, each person with their own project to work on, balances the lone time. Old friendships are strengthened and new ones are formed on Art Nite. The atmosphere is warm and supportive. Love of creativity is the unifying force.


Art Nite participants,clockwise starting from the top left corner: Angel Gurgovits, Chula Camp,         Haideen Anderson, Dana Albany, Aaron Harlan, Dave Hasse and his mother, Kathleen Hasse.


Chicken Wire-Glass Platter by Lauren Becker of Recycled Glassworks

Lauren Becker can occasionally be found at the yard (B R) sorting re-usable window glass and shelves for her work. The up cycling process involves cutting the glass to size and a kiln firing that softens the glass just enough to render it flexible. In this state it can be embossed with design from below, enhancing the aquatic virtues of glass and the natural aqua tint present in plate-glass. An extensive line of functional tableware with dishes, bowls and serving pieces has evolved in a wide variety of sizes. Currently working through a pile of glass display shelves from See’s Candy warehouse in Daly City, Recycled Glassworks has been diverting plate glass from Bay Area landfill since 1996. More info on her work can be found at recycledglassworks.com



Chula Camp

“I am a self-taught jewelry designer and work with traditional and uncommon materials. Every collection is designed and hand-made be me one at a time. I work in a tiny art studio in the historic Dogpatch District near the central waterfront in San Francisco. I have been designing wire and glass jewelry since 2003. In 2010 I entered my first competition in the recycled category and won. The excitement of winning inspired me to explore more options of designing jewelry with broken, found or discarded trash.”

“It’s been almost a decade since the recycling design challenge. Since then I have rescued over 48 different waste items and made many pieces into reclaimed and wearable art. Some of these rescued items have included chop stick rests, retired traffic signal lenses, key hole covers, chandelier crystals, bullet casings, champagne boxes, calendars, credit card tape cores, buttons, quilter’s scraps and vintage spools..”

“I love sketching new ideas and discovering the value in what others may consider junk. Creating new jewelry from broken, found and discarded objects fulfills my current creative instinct. There is no such thing as away. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”



Kat Pk Delurgio

“When I rediscovered crochet in 2013 there was an ‘A-ha’ moment. I was bed ridden in post-trauma-recovery, and this act of crocheting was Good Medicine. It tickles both sides of my brain as the process blends the sensual aspects (texture, color, visual aesthetics) and thinky-thinky (math & structural engineering.) The first hook I used was MacGuyver’ed from a chopstick, duct tape and a paper clip. About 95% of my materials are secondhand scores. I enjoy experimenting with non-conventional materials and find great inspiration while Crafternooning with friends!”



Sconce designed by Michael Donnelly

Mike was drawn to shadows and light, natural forms, and dumpster diving at an early age. These influences are ever present in his work with lamps and light fixtures.


Michael Donnelly with Dana Albany at Burning Man 2017



Angel Gurgovits

Angel Gurgovits has been a recycler her whole life.  She has worked at Building REsources for 13 years and counting, the last two years also curating the Reclaimed Room Gallery as well. She began to make mosaic art with Dana Albany back in 2010 and the advent of Art Nite was born. The duo was joined by others and they collaborated on many great projects together, including the Youth Educational Spacecraft which toured Maker’s Fair , Burning Man and Las Vegas in 2013.


Youth Educational Spacecraft, designed by Dana Albany

“Learning how to mosaic really changed and enriched my life. I feel like I can recycle anything into something beautiful with just a little glass and glue. My favorite projects now also include functional light fixtures,  and each day I am inspired to make more!”


Marble Lamp, by Angel Gurgovits




Anne Jatta

“I love knitting. Since I learned to knit in 1st grade (in Denmark), knitting has been a big part of my life. I can never just sit, must have needles in my hands. These creatures, composed of re-used materials, have been so much fun to make.”


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Ady Larsen

“I think of mosaic as life! When life falls apart (and our dishes) we have the option to transform the results. We pick up the pieces and glue them back together, allowing the unlimited possibility of fun colors to reflect the beauty in our world.”



Pauline Tolman, adding some touches to Dana Albany’s Tara Mechani

Pauline Tolman is a San Francisco artist best known for her large scale sculpture and architectural installations. She has achieved three major public commissions as well as a number of site specific commissions. She also enjoys figurative bronze work. During the pour for one such sculpture she was fascinated by the “splash,” the over pour of bronze into the surrounding sand. The very raw, primal forms created by this splash are the core and inspiration for the wall charms displayed here.


Bronze “Splash” Wall Charm by Pauline Tolman


“All of us who are in this show have spent time at the table, collaborating on something together and enjoying each others company whilst doing so. We have formed a strong bond with one another and continue to work together as often as we can. It is with great pleasure that we present this show, for the LOVE of ART.”


Works by Connie Murray, Martha Jones and Kim Larson


Opening September 15th, 2017 we have a show not to be missed!!! Three incredibly talented mosaic artists will be featured together for the first time: Connie Murray, Kim Larson and returning Reclaimed Room Artist from 2013, Martha Jones.

Connie Murray

Connie Murray is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Person-Centered Expressive Arts therapist. She has been artistic all her life; doodling, building lamps, sculpture out of obscure objects, and painting the interior of her home a variety of colors. Fifteen years ago Connie began tiling household furniture as an expressive outlet not only for herself but also in her practice as a healing resource for addiction recovery. In her practice following the sequential PCEAT approach all artistic venues offer a path to personal growth and healing.

As an older adult diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Dyslexia she has found that mosaic sculpture is a perfect medium for her artistic expression. The meditative quality of mosaics provides a vehicle for gaining an in-depth understanding of life experiences, and to organize ideas. Additionally this meditative quality has allowed her to seek a graduate degree as it structures time to process research. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology at San Francisco’s Saybrook University with a certification in Expressive Arts under the guidance of Natalie Rogers, PhD., REAT.

Connie’s mosaic adventure crossed over from furniture to mannequins when she was given a dancing figure and decided it was the perfect platform for expressing the frustrations of the transition through menopause. Her creations include a variety of glass, mirror and found objects in strong colors representing feelings involved with women’s issues, death and life transition, and the women who are currently or in the past have been an important part of her life.

Mosaic work by Connie Murray


Martha Jones at work in her studio.

As a Reuse and Upcycle artist, Martha’s work is created from discarded materials. Her quest for abandoned treasures are found on the street, in salvage yards, in thrift stores, yard sales or gifted, just to name a few.

Degreed as an Interior Designer, but with a passion for salvaging, Martha’s work is lively and humorous. Her color combinations and compositions reflect her professional training and inner talents.

“Interior Design has always been my first passion, although salvaging was a close second. I grew up just outside of Boston. I remember looking forward to trash night where you can go out and search street after street for goodies. The reuse passion never ended…things from the past have a soul.”

Mosaic work by Martha Jones


Kim Larson

Kim Larson’s exquisite mosaic work honors organic form as well as delights the eye. Using stained glass, broken china, recycled glass & mirror, found objects, etc as tesserae, Kim works in a playful and unique style.

“My current series, as with all my mosaics, is about the interplay between recognizable shapes and surprising textures & colors. I create very recognizable shapes (substrates) and then ‘flesh them out’ so to speak, with surprising juxtapositions of color and lay patterns. ”

“I find mosaics to be crazy-making! At times I have to admit I walk that fine line between sanity and insanity because each cut, each piece, each color, each placement has to be perfect! Specifically, I like to work with sparkly, mirrored, textured, brightly_colored glass, recycled glass and found objects. I feel like I am painting with light.”

The reflective qualities of the glass force the viewer to move around the piece to see it truly take shape and reveal itself. The recycled china, tiles and found objects create an intimacy with the viewer when recognizable things are used in new ways. “Mosaic art is not a static medium. The play of light adds an extra dimension one doesn’t find in many other art forms.”

Three cow heads

The show will run from September 15th through November 10th.













Transport Me



We are thrilled to present Transport Me, a dynamic two-person exhibition featuring sculptor Kat Geng and figurative painter Jon Levy-Warren. Using the once modern -and now extinct- phone booth as a central metaphor, Transport Me investigates what it means to travel to another realm, another time or another space without actually moving. Mining found-object canvasses  sourced from the streets of San Francisco and the scrapyard, the artists have built a colorful collection of works: Geng with her playful repurposings and Levy-Warren with his portraits of refracted reverie; which explore objects and the power they have to carry us away. The exhibition will be on view July 14 through September 8, 2017 with an opening reception on Friday, July 14 from 5-7 pm.


Visual art, music, literature, food, film, books, television, colors, sounds, smells, drugs, and technology all act as transportation vessels with the uncanny ability to tug on our imagination and memory. But where does this leave the phone booth and other relics of outmoded virtual travel? Where do these technological fossils take us? To whom do they connect us? Are they places of nostalgia? Do they transform us into Superman? Or, like Doctor Who’s Tardis, whose police booth literally can take us anywhere in space and time? By asking these questions, Geng and Levy-Warren begin the journey of discovery, examining how free thought allows us to escape our physical surroundings.


Drawing on her transitory lifestyle, Geng’s artistic approach allows the viewer to explore her whimsical alterations and humorous point of view wherein a whole, wild universe can be accessed by stepping thru the door (or phone booth) into her creative mind. She combines found objects form a new narrative based on common associations the items hold. In so doing, she requires that her audience put forth effort as they use their imagination to travel to new and unexpected places, giving old gadgets new meaning.


Levy-Warren creates with the intention of conveying his audience out of their physical bodies and into an otherworldly setting. Through this welcomed displacement from reality to fantasy, he encourages viewers to learn to see and understand themselves from a different perspective. The figures in his compositions are characteristically staring off into space, connected to one another in the ether, yet isolated in real life. His subjects are at once physically present and absent having transcended the material world into immaterial space.

About the Artists

As an itinerant Colombian-American artist, Geng has lived in over 100 houses in the Bay Area (as well as a dozen in Massachusetts and Mexico), becoming adept at transporting her belongings. She began her professional relationship with objects while working as an art conservator in North Adams, MA and Guanajuato, MX and continues to bring them wherever she goes. Geng has shown extensively in San Francisco, CA and was awarded artist residences at The Midway Gallery in 2016 and the Vermont Studio Center in 2017. Recently, she curated Om, I’m Home, an interactive exhibition at The Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco and enjoyed a solo show at Counterpoise. She received a BA in Art History from Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY.

Levy-Warren grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as a nervous wreck. There were people everywhere. He figured out that by focusing on individuals and becoming fascinated by them, the masses of humanity and the world itself faded away.  He has spent his life allowing himself to be transported into other people’s little worlds. He studied film and video making alongside drawing, painting and printmaking as an undergraduate at Princeton University. Levy-Warren lived in Brooklyn, NY and Stockholm, Sweden before beginning to bounce around the Bay Area in 2012. He continues to be inspired primarily by people and their environs. He has shown extensively at galleries in San Francisco, including the Luggage Store Gallery.



departure, closing reception

On Sunday, July 2nd, we will host a closing reception for our current show, departure. New works have been installed by Miles Epstein and Tim Armstrong, in place of ones that were sold.

Miles Epstein with his sold tissue painting; nicely framed by Rachel Leibman’s “Daily Dose”.

Tim Armstrong ‘s new art; made from branches, flour, instant coffee, burlap and elastomeric paint.

The celebration will be held July 2nd, 4:30 – 7pm. The show closes a week later, on Friday, July 7th.



departure is the work of these five material driven artists: Tim Armstrong, Ramiro Cairo, Katerina Connearney, Miles Epstein and Rachel Leibman. They are gathering together for the first time to create an art and shopping experience in the most immersive way possible, in a place where things “just show up”. Innovated objects will be presented in a way that can inspire you to see them in a different light. The show opens Friday, May 12th and will run thru July 7th.



Tim Armstrong

“Of economic necessity and invention, I have discovered a way to make monotype prints with materials salvaged from dumpsters. My skull prints are made using tar paper, mop heads and camping fuel gathered from dumpsters near construction sites and homeless encampments, I like the simple suggestion of a burning fuse. Mounted on the back of each print is the original collage. The wall sized work is an experiment using old car gaskets, stove burners and instant coffee. Originally conducted on a cement floor, the drawing was then coated with elastomeric roof paint and burlap and peeled off the ground. I am mainly interested in using undiscovered processes as an artist, in containing a method as it leads to a metaphor.”


Debris Mural

Skull Print


Ramiro Cairo


Ramiro Cairo is an Argentine artist, based in San Francisco. His speciality is the reuse of disused objects and technological scrap, creating works of art and design, such as TV mirrors, TV coffee tables, circuit board lamps, vacuum tube figurines and sculptures in limited editions.

“Most of my work navigates the space between design and art, between functionality and personality, combining creativity, surprise, humor and reuse. I’m motivated by finding a different use for objects originally built for a particular  purpose. My challenge is to find them a new line of work, giving them an extended lifespan and making them useful again.”

“Bricks for good is my latest work in which I make objects out of bricks. The tape dispenser is the first object of this series in which the pieces are shaped by chiseling down the brick as if it was a sculpture, using a hammer, chisels and an angle grinder. Why bricks? Well, I just want to give them a good use instead using them for a nonsensical Wall.”


Tape Dispenser


Katerina Connearney

Katerina Connearney is a figurative artist and woodworker originally from Greece and currently living in San Francisco. In this exhibit, the focus is on making functional furniture pieces from (almost) all recycled or reclaimed materials. The majority of the materials were, appropriately enough, found here at Building Resources. “One never knows what beautiful and promising bit of rusty metal or weathered wood one will come across when ambling around (the yard), and more often than not we go home with these treasures not knowing why or how we will use them. The fun is in playing with them – rearranging, bending, taking apart, putting back together, and eventually seeing what is recreated.”


BR Cabinet


Miles Epstein

“This is the second time I’ve had the opportunity to show work at The Reclaimed Room and I am honored and inspired to be showing with four other talented artists. We all know this space in our own way, and all work very independently and in different materials: brick, canvas, wood, plastic and metal, objects of interest, tissue and paper.”

“Of note is the name of this show. Hanging out at the yard I am most inspired when someone leaves with something encouraging, be it an idea, an inspiration, or a doorknob. departure speaks to the inspiration of the material object.”




tissue painting – blue head


Rachel Leibman

Rachel Leibman is a mixed media artist from San Francisco. Her artwork spans the gamut from tiny two-dimensional collages to room-sized installations. The unifying thread in all her pieces is repetitiveness and obsessive attention to detail. Leibman’s process is extremely meticulous and labor-intensive.

For the “departure” exhibit, Leibman has chosen to display two large installations from her “Vessels” series. “Elijah Makes the Rounds” is composed from vintage kiddish cups; goblets used in Jewish rituals such as Passover seders. With a sly sense of humor, this piece evokes sweet childhood memories. “Daily Dose” is composed from hundreds of plastic prescription pill bottles, collected from Leibman’s friends, family, and her own personal stash. This piece is a commentary on the state of the pharmaceutical industry in the U.S.

Leibman’ artwork has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows on both coasts. Her collages are part of many private and public collections including Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, American Airlines HQ in Dallas, and the Art Collection at the Hebrew Home in New York City.

Elijah Makes the Rounds

Daily Dose