Alumni Turn Urban Waste Into Artist Studio

Andy Walker MFA '10 (Painting) and Andy Heisey MFA '10 (Ceramics) build Renewed Urban Studio Tent out of recycled materials to raise awareness

August 9, 2012

According to alumni Andy Walker MFA '10 (Painting) and Andy Heisey MFA '10 (Ceramics), the urban environment is in desperate need of rejuvenation. Their answer to raising awareness of such issues as pollution and abandoned buildings was to construct the Renewed Urban Studio Tent (RUST), a temporary artist studio built entirely out of found, reclaimed and recycled materials.

"In the hands of the right person, trash can be art," Walker told WHYY’s NewsWorks during the RUST opening party held August 3.

Read the NewsWorks article >>

The last completed panel (Alaina Mabaso/for NewsWorks).

RUST represents the culmination of over a year's worth of planning, research and execution for the two Andys. "We were both working with urban renewal and were interested in using the materials that were being wasted all around us into making some kind of art," explains Walker in an interview with The Jewish Exponent.

Read The Jewish Exponent article >>

He describes the project as "like an igloo, a wigwam. It's kind of an urban tent, because it's made out of urban materials" that would otherwise be destined for landfills, vacant lots and any of the other innumerable spaces in the city where illegal dumping occurs.

RUST was built on just such a vacant lot at 313 South Broad Street, across from the University’s Hamilton Hall and next to the Broad Street Ministries. The self-contained, stand-alone studio space is available for artists to use until August 28. Work created inside RUST will be on exhibit at the Mt. Airy Art Garage in November.

A view from inside the tent (Alaina Mabaso/for NewsWorks).

Artists who are interested in working inside RUST should contact Heisey and Walker directly. Sign up is for one hour at a time, but you may sign up for multiple hours. All types of work will be accepted.

RUST Artist Hours:

  • Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 5 – 8 p.m.
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