RUST3…Advancing The Conversation On Sustainability, Art, And Urban Renewal

If nature was allowed to reclaim the land in the city, it would undoubtedly re-use humanity’s refuse and incorporate it into its new life. This sentiment is at the heart of RUST3. Though this multidimensional project, artists Andy Walker and Andy Heisey illustrate how materials found in Philadelphia can be recycled into a new structure that builds on the once-contaminated urban soil.

RUST is a wigwam-like structure that was first created out of recycled materials with the help of artists and local residents on the vacant lot at 313 S. Broad Street in Philadelphia in August 2012. A month later, the structure was recycled in a second version of RUST just across the street  and displayed the bones (wooden arches, living green roof, clay tiles with iron oxide prints of abandoned houses, and windows made from glass bottles) and skin (refuse mixed with slag cement creating collages) of the structure itself. The final version of this project, RUST3, has just been created at the Mt. Airy Art Garage at 11 West Mt. Airy Ave. This gallery exhibition also displays artists who created new work inside this studio, including Gary Reed; a new version of RUST, complete with a video of the entire process of the project; and a newly created special entrance and model. The opening for this installation occurs this Saturday, Nov. 10 from 6-8 pm.

The very next morning on Sunday, November 11th at 10 am, Andy Heisey and Andy Walker will host a workshop which will discuss the various ways one can recycle different types of materials in their artwork. From old bottles to CDS, from collages to cement, the Andy’s will guide you through a hands-on tutorial that is both fun and environmentally-friendly. Suggested donation is $10.

Following the morning workshop, a citywide panel entitled “Artists Taking Back Philadelphia – Brick by Brick” will take place at 2 pm. This panel will feature both Walker and Heisey; Gary Steuer, the Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia; as well as Shari Hersh and Dre Urhahn from Philly Painting (a project of the MuralArts Program). In this panel, topics of urban renewal as well as how artists have and can continue to assist in the changes needed to preserve our collective future will be addressed. Admission is $10.

All these events combine to enhance the importance of community involvement in the ever-evolving process of reclaiming our city and creating beauty out of refuse. RUST3 opens on Saturday, November 10th at 6pm and continues until Friday, December 7. Gallery hours are: Thursday-Saturday, Noon till 6pm and Sunday, Noon till 5pm. For further information, call 215.242.5074 or visit

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