Jen LaMastra is really into garbage. Like, really into garbage. She is Portland's poster child for the eco-fashion habit of up-scaling discarded objects like soda can tabs, smashed mirrors, and plastic bags into furiously detailed costumes meant to raise awareness about pollution and waste while creating a visual spectacle. Around here they call it "trashion," and LaMastra has become the go-to artist, creating public installations and appearances at fashion shows with her labor-intensive, ultra-embellished designs.

Earlier this year she was one of five artists (along with Andrew Auble, Chandra Glaeseman, Greg Hanson, and and Sarah Wolf Newlands) chosen to participate in the second GLEAN, a joint effort between Metro, Cracked Pots, and Recology that allows artists to access the Metro Central Transfer Station (AKA the dump), where they mine for materials to be used in a group art exhibit. They get six months, $2k, and have to make at least 10 pieces each. They also blogged it out for good measure (LaMastra's personal blog is also a pretty absorbing read in its own right).

Details: LaMastra made itty bitty beads out of tiny little strips of paper for her Dictionary Dress because thats how she rolls.
  • Jen LaMastra
  • Details: LaMastra made itty bitty beads out of tiny little strips of paper for her "Dictionary Dress" because that's how she rolls.

The GLEAN project is about to launch, with a September show at Disjecta (opening reception is 6-9 pm on September 14), featuring the largest collection of wearable sculptures LaMastra's ever created. Called "Disremembered," it and the other GLEAN pieces will be up during gallery hours through Sept 30. I've never seen LaMastra pull a punch with her design and work ethic, so I'm guessing this is going to be quite a thing to behold.