Artist Carol Rawshanna Williams looks up at her newly unveiled installation, “Dragon Trash Guardian,” at the Jefferson County Transfer Station on Monday evening. As part of the county’s Artist in Residence and Education program, Williams seeks to connect people with art, upcycling and one another. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/For Peninsula Daily News)

Artist Carol Rawshanna Williams looks up at her newly unveiled installation, “Dragon Trash Guardian,” at the Jefferson County Transfer Station on Monday evening. As part of the county’s Artist in Residence and Education program, Williams seeks to connect people with art, upcycling and one another. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/For Peninsula Daily News)

Sculpture now on display at Jefferson Transfer Station

Artist in Residence program celebrates its debut creation

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County Transfer Station’s Artists in Residence and Education Program debuted its first piece Monday, a sculpture now on display at the station.

The sculpture, “Dragon Trash Guardian,” was created by Seattle artist Carol Rashawnna Williams for the program’s inaugural year following a pilot program.

“It was a big celebration and lots of cool people showed up and seemed very interested,” said Tracy Grisman, the AIRE Program’s lead and an artist herself.

Artists are selected through an application process that started in December and are allowed to work from June to August in a studio space donated to the program by the transfer station.

While there’s no stipulation that art pieces be made from materials gathered from the transfer station, Grisman said the goal of the program is to bring attention to waste and consumption habits.

“23,000 tons of garbage went through there,” Grisman said of the Jefferson County Transfer Station. “It’s an overwhelming and unsustainable amount of garbage.”

Artists are selected through an application process and given a $2,000 stipend for their work, which can be in a variety of mediums.

Grisman said she drew up a proposal for the AIRE program based on a similar one in San Francisco. But that was during the pandemic, and while the program was supported by the county and the staff at the transfer station, it wasn’t until this year that organizers were able to accept applications for the program.

For the first pilot year of the program, Grisman said she and other artists created pieces themselves.

The program aims to get sponsors, either business or personal, to help pay for artists’ stipends.

For this first year, Grisman said the program was sponsored by Acoustic Disc, a music label company owned by herself and her husband as a way of getting the project on its feet.

In the future, Grisman said she hopes to attract other sponsors.

Williams’ piece will remain on display at the transfer station near a community garden, which is also a project of the AIRE program.

Both the sculpture and the community garden are open to the public.

More information on the AIRE program and Carol Rashawnna Williams is available online at aireatthetransferstation.com.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsuladailynews.com.

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