Monday, September 14, 2015

Meet Fast Forward Presenters >> Lucia Thomé & Fern Gookin

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
Giving Visibility to Things Often Unseen

RAIR's vision for the future of Philadelphia involves giving visibility to things often unseen. Our artist in residency program exists inside of a construction and demolition waste recycling facility in northeast Philadelphia. By making art out of trash and operating out of a recycling facility, the organization draws attention to an industry that is intrinsic to a way of life, yet hidden in plain sight. RAIR increases awareness of the waste stream and re-examines the idea of waste itself.

RAIR exists in an industrial corridor of Northeast Philadelphia, which, like the waste stream, is invisible to the general population. As development pushes beyond the center of Philadelphia, we use art to bring people to the next frontier of the city. The East Coast Greenway trail is slated to be built adjacent to our site where we envision building a sculpture park with the industrial landscape as a backdrop.

Lucia Thomé is a Philadelphia-based artist who is a recent alum of the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Currently she is a part of the core team that runs RAIR, Recycled Artist in Residency, a non profit artist residency housed within a construction and demolition recycling center. At RAIR Lucia works with artists and designers collecting recycled materials and constructing both artwork and functional objects. Lucia has recently shown work at the Philadelphia International Airport, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art Museum, the Woodmere Art Museum, and Vox Populi gallery in addition to having a solo exhibition of her work at LMNL gallery.

Fern Gookin is the Director of Sustainability for Revolution Recovery, a full service construction and demolition waste recycling company, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council. She has an Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Maryland and a Master's degree in Sustainable Design from Philadelphia University where she focused her thesis work on the role art can play in creating awareness about sustainability issues. Fern co-founded RAIR in 2010 and continues to build and grow the impact of the organization.

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