Susan Leibovitz Steinman salvages materials directly from community waste streams to construct public art installations that connect common daily experiences to broader social issues. Projects include conceptual sculpture gardens that meld art, ecology and community action.

Conceptualized and designed by Steinman during her residency, the Recology San Francisco Sculpture Garden is a three-acre site with multiple functions. It is a reclamation site, a visually pleasing buffer for the families that live next to Recology San Francisco, a place of community involvement and educational potential, a model drought-tolerant garden, and a home for the growing sculpture collection of Recology San Francisco. San Bruno Mountain is the inspiration for the central sculptural mountain made of salvaged concrete. From it emerges a metaphorical river of cast concrete into which some seventy-five high school students wrote and drew their hopes and dreams for the future and their ideas on present-day life in the city. The “river” is a time capsule of San Francisco teenage thought in 1992, a place they were encouraged to visit in the future to see what eventually comes to pass.

The central garden is paved with cast concrete stepping stones in which are embedded objects collected by Steinman at the facility. These are all objects that were thrown away in the waste stream and reclaimed — again, as part of a “time capsule” idea, and as an educational tool to visualize what is being wasted.

Photos and press release for this artist.

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