Aurora Robson is a multi-media artist known predominantly for her work intercepting the waste stream. Her practice is about subjugating negativity and shifting trajectories. Her work formally references recurring nightmares that she had as a child. She was born in Toronto in 1972 and grew up in Maui, HI. After over 2 decades living and working in NYC she recently moved to the Hudson Valley. Robson holds a double major (B.A.) in visual arts and art history from Columbia University.
Robson's work has been featured in Sculpture Magazine, Art in America, WIRED, Art & Antiques, the cover of Green Building + Design and other publications. She is a recipient of the Pollock Krasner Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture, a TED/Lincoln Re-Imagine Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts Art Work Grant.
Robson is also the founding artist of Project Vortex, an international collective of artists, designers and architects who also work with plastic debris. In addition she has been working on the development of a college course called "Sculpture + Intercepting the Waste Stream" designed to foster creative stewardship at academic institutions. Her goal with the course is to encourage shifting of paradigms in art and science education while helping restrict the flow of plastic debris to our oceans. For more information see her TEDx talk entitled Trash + Love.
Born 1972, Toronto, Canada
2000 B.A. (Double Major in Visual Art & Art History) Columbia University, New York, NY (Magna Cum Laude)
1993 NYS Certified Structural Welder, Apex Technical School, New York, NY
1987 Central Technical School of Fine Arts, Toronto, Canada
Solo Exhibitions + Large Scale Sculpture/Installation Work
2018 Gravity Schmavity, Penn State Arboretum, PA
Aqueous Remains, Rockland Center for the Arts, NY
Arise, (Installation) Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE
2017 The Tide is High, The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC
Anthroposcenery, The New Gallery of Modern Art, Charlotte, NC
Atomista, Talfourd Lawn PS 50, Queens, NY
Safety Dance, KRASL Center, ArtLab, Lake Michigan, MI
2015 Dyno, (large scale outdoor sculpture), Kingsbrae Gardens, St. Andrews, NB, Canada
Jetsam, (large scale sculpture) Bank of America Plaza, Charlotte, NC
2014 Stayin’ Alive, (solo exhibition, large installation) McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, NC
2013 Circumdare, (solo exhibition) Southampton Art Center, Southampton, NY
2012 Sacrifice + Bliss, (solo exhibition) Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Columbus, OH
2011 Everything, All At Once, Forever, (solo exhibition) Figge Museum, Davenport, IA
Be Like Water, David Owsley Museum of Art, (large scale installation) Muncie, IN
2010 Be Like Water, Skybox, (large scale installation) Philadelphia, PA
Lift, (large scale installation/sculpture) Rice University Health + Recreation Center, Houston, TX
2009 Land Mines, (solo exhibit) Salve Regina University Art Gallery, Newport, RI
Honor System, (solo exhibit) Project 4 Gallery, Washington, DC
2008 The Great Indoors, (large scale installation) Rice Gallery, Houston, TX
What Goes Around Comes Around, (large scale sculpture) Merrill Lynch HQ, Hopewell, NJ
2007 Makapiapia, (installation) Islip Art Museum Carriage House, Islip, NY
2006 The Jungle, (solo installation) Art212 art fair, New York, NY
2005 Wake up, Wake up, it’s in the Morning, (solo exhibit) Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
Selected Group Exhibitions
2018 Elemental Forces, The Catherine Konner Sculpture Park (Rockland Center for the Arts), Nyack, NY
Reality, The Kaneko Museum, Omaha, NE
2018 Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park, PA
Metamorphosis, 2 person exhibition with Sayaka Ganz, Lauritzen Gardens Botanical Center, Omaha, NE
2017 Sea Change, 2 person exhibition with Chris Jordan at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art,
Water Line: A Creative Exchange, Center for Visual Art, Metropolitan State University of Denver, CO
Made Out of What?!, Design Pavilion, New York, NY
2016 Repsychling, The Old Pfizer Building, Brooklyn, NY
Plastic Fantastic?, The Honolulu Museum at Spaulding House, Honolulu, HI
Currents & Confluences, The Sanger Gallery, Key West, FL
2015 Convergence, The Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, CA
Re:Purposed, The John and Marble Ringling Museum of Art, FL
2nd Nature, Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA
2013 Cathedrals, Atmosphere + Architecture, Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY
The Big Show, Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY
Re-Imagining Past Possessions, Works of Recycled Materials, Transform Gallery, New Rochelle, NY
Re-Imagine, TEDActive, La Quinta Villa, Palm Springs, CA
Convergence II, Monmouth University Art Gallery, Long Beach, NJ
2012 Luxuriant Refuse, The Pearl Fincher Museum, Houston, TX
2011 Extreme Materials II, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY
Being American, Visual Arts Gallery, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
Lucky 13, MKG, Houston, TX
Under the Sea, Mass MoCa Kidspace, North Adams, MA
Re-Purposed, Welch Gallery at Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Water Views, FIGGE Museum, Davenport, IA
Hudson River Contemporary, Boscobel Gallery, Garrison, NY
Green Light III, Bank of America Plaza, Charlotte, NC
2010 Convergence, Lumenhouse, Brooklyn, NY
Women, Silas Marder Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY
Spill, 212 Gallery, (two person exhibit) Aspen, CO
2D/3D, Traywick Contemporary, Berkeley, CA
Elements of Nature, City of Lancaster Museum, Lancaster, CA
Debris, PPOW Gallery, New York, NY
Spark, Borrow and Steal, Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Two Degrees of Separation, Satori Gallery, New York, NY
2009 Trash Menagerie, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
Up-Cycling, Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles, CA
New Now, The Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown, MA
Abstractions and Contractions, Lumenhouse, Brooklyn, NY
Thinking Small, Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2008 Micro Macro, Satori Gallery, New York, NY
Painting Pink Pajamas, Contemporary Art Center, Peoria, IL
Discarded to Distinctive, Ross Art Museum, Delaware, OH
Summer Journeys, Summer Dreams, Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Lather, Rinse, Repeat, 4 person show, Lumenhouse, Brooklyn, NY
Couplets, 2 person show with Lisa Solomon, Square Foot Gallery, Nashville, TN
2007 Force Fields, Sevengaits, Southbridge, MA
Eclectic Eye:Selections of Fantasy & Illusion from the Frederick Weisman Art
Foundation, Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LA
Impossibly Familiar, FIT Art Market Graduate Thesis Show, New York, NY
Wallworks 3, Traywick Contemporary, Berkeley, CA
Scapes Within, Inaugural Exhibit, Poietis Gallery, New York, NY
Memento-Mori, The Artists Network, New York, NY
2006 The Summertime Show, Judy A. Saslow Gallery, Chicago, IL
2005 Faculty Exhibit, The Ernest Rubenstein Gallery, New York, NY
Resonant Part II, Hun Gallery, New York, NY
Spring Combustion, 3 person show, Jennifer Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Mostracolletiva Colorfixation 02, Barone & Odom Gallery, Rome, Italy
Introduction’02, Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2004 13, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
La La Land, 2 person show, Makor Gallery, New York, NY
2017 Lorvik Waterhouse, Ann-Hege. "Med Kunst I Barnehagen", Norway.
2016 Stambouli, Anissa. "Trash Talk, Eco-Activist Artwork and Sustainable Creativity", INSPADES
2015 Shreiber, Barbara. "Aurora Robson, The McColl Center for Art + Innovation", Sculpture Magazine.
Allan, Jennifer. "Radical Recycling", WIRED Magazine (UK).
2014 Winter, Debra. "The Ethereal World of Aurora Robson", SOMA Magazine.
Novakova, Katerina and Henri Achten. 150,000 PET Bottles.
Susan Sabin and Barbara Shreiber. "Stayin’ Alive’ won’t be around much longer",
The Charlotte Observer.
2013 Silver, Mike and Mitchell Joachim. "Post-Sustainable:New Directions in Ecological
Design", Metropolis Books.
Stunda, Hilary. "Metamorphosis in Studio", Beyond Magazine.
Leisa Rich. "Plastics in Fiber, Fiber Art Now", Volume 2, Issue 4.
McGraw-Hill Ryerson. "Environmental Science, A Canadian Perspective", Canada.
Dummett Paul, Rebecca Robb Benne and Robert Crossley. Aspire, National Geographic Learning.
2012 Gaillard Cindy. "Fantastic Plastic", cover: City Scene Magazine, Columbus.
Alles, Chantal. "Crazy Art", back cover.
Tommaso, Francis Di." While You Dream", Being American.
2011 Vickery-Davidson, Devany. "Ocean Debris Becomes a Work of Art", Ke’Ola Magazine.
Weiden and Kennedy. "Day Trip", Issue No. 4.
A-M Bruehl, Thalia. "Lost + Found", cover: Green Building and Design Magazine.
2010 Corbett, Sea. "Fantastic Plastic Oceans", Philadelphia Weekly.
Gomez, Edward M. "Drawn Together", Art and Antiques Magazine.
Oksenhorn, Stewart. "Spill", The Aspen Times.
Cheng, Dewitt. "California Exhibitions that Keep the Summer Hot", Huffington Post.
Sturm, Lindsay. "Debris", Beyond Race Magazine.
Hudson, Makena. "Green Art: 10 Artists Working with Recycled Materials", Beautiful Decay.
2009 Gomez, Edward M. "In The Studio: Aurora Robson", Art in America.
Campbell, Wendy. "Aurora Robson: Recycled Art", Daily Art Fixx.
Beitiks,Moe. "ECO ART: Aurora Robson Recycled Plastic Sculptures", Inhabitat.
Chua, Jasmin. "Aurora Robson: Art From Recycled Plastic Bottles & Junk Mail", Treehugger.
Randall, Lisa Utman. "Plastic Power, Aurora Robson’s Landmines", The Mercury.
McQuaid, Cate. "Exhibit is a Fun Way to Take in the Trash", The Boston Globe.
Mohamed, Nimo. " Aurora Robson", Format Magazine, Issue #60 – Female Issue.
"Transformation", Garden 91 Magazine.
2008 Fielder, Garland."The Great Indoors", cover: Arts Houston Magazine.
Lee, Steven K. "Art: Message in a Bottle", Plenty Magazine.
Hendley, Meghan. "The Front Row, Aurora Robson", interview, Houston Public Radio.
Ramey,Julia. "The Great Indoors", Houston Press.
Britt,Douglas. "Robson Displays Her ‘Body’ of Work", Houston Chronicle.
"Aurora Robson: The Great Indoors", Houston Arts Alliance.
Callender, Alex. "Emerging Art in Bushwick", NY Art Beat.
Reiger, Christopher. " Aurora Robson’s 'She Bang", HungryHyaena.blogspot.com.
Maddox, David. "Domestic Terrorism", Nashvillescene.com.
Danyelle, Jill. "Aurora Robson Interview Pt. 1", The Laboratory.
"Aurora Robson and Lisa Solomon", Juxtapoz.
2007 Novo, Alexandra. "Inspired Metamorphoses", Attitude Magazine.
Watson, Steve. "Dream Catcher", Wonderland Magazine.
Cohen, David. "Pollinium", Artworld Digest Magazine.
2006 Gordon, Margery. "Art Basel Miami: Pulse Beats Sophomore Slump", Artinfo.com.
La Ferla, Ruth. "Fashion & Art", The New York Times - Styles Section.
2005 Gomez, Edward E. "Contemporary Sculpture", Art & Antiques Magazine.
"Best of the AAF", Domino Magazine.
"Alibi’s Review of Pentimenti’s Introduction ‘02", Philadelphia Inquirer, February 2005.
Pulka,Wesley. "Artist Executes Work with Skill", The Sunday Journal.
Awards, Grants, Fellowships
2017 National Endowment for the Arts "Art Work Grant"
2014 ArtPlace America Environmental Artist-in-Residence
2013 TED/Lincoln Re-Imagine Prize
2012-13 Elizabeth Doenges Visiting Artist Scholar Award
2011 Dave Bown Projects Award
Sculpt the Future Foundation Grant
2010 The Arthur Levine Foundation Grant
2009 The New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Sculpture
The Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant
Montefiore Hospital, NY
Morgan Stanley, CA
Neiman Marcus, WA
Noble Energy, TX
Pérez Art Museum, FL
Poipu Beach Hotel, HI
Public School 50, NY
Rice University, TX
Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, FL
The South Carolina Aquarium, SC
Corporate, Public & Major Collections
Alliante Hotel, NV
Daniel Fine Art, CA
The David Owsley Museum of Art, IN
The Figge Art Museum, IA
The Franklin Park Conservatory & Gardens, OH
The Frederick Weisman Art Foundation, CA
The Four Seasons Hotel, St. Louis, MO
Grand Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Kingsbrae Gardens, NB, Canada
Merrill Lynch / Bank of America, NJ
2015 Artist-in-Residence, Kingsbrae Gardens, St. Andrews, NB, Canada
2014 Environmental Artist-in-Residence, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, NC
2013 Artist-in-Residence/Community Engagement, TEDActive, Palm Springs, CA
Artist-in-Residence, Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA
2012 Artist-in-Residence, The Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Columbus, OH
2010 Artist-in-Residence, Waimea Ocean Film Festival + Parker School, Waimea, HI
2007 Artist-in-Residence, Islip Museum Carriage House, Islip, NY
2002 Artist-in-Residence, Maho Bay Eco-Resort, St. John, USVI
2017 Visiting Artist/Lecturer, Sculpture & Intercepting the Waste Stream, The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC
Lecture Teaching Artist, The Tide is High, The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston, SC
Visiting Artist/Panelist, The Arts Fighting Climate Change, Abu Dhabi Culture Summit, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Lecture/Panelist, EPA Trash Out of Waters Conference, State University of New York, Newburgh, NY
Lecture/Panelist, New Approaches to Environmental Art, The Art Students League, NY, NY
Visiting Artist/Panelist, The Art Students League, NY, NY
Visiting Artist/Instructor, Fox Meadow High School, Yorktown Heights, NY
2016 Visiting Artist/Lecturer, SUNY New Paltz, NY
Visiting Artist/Lecturer, Fox Meadow High School, Yorktown Heights, NY
Visiting Artist/Panelist/Community Engagement, The Ford Foundation, NY, NY
Visiting Artist/Teaching Artist/Lecturer, Pawling High School, NY
Co-Instructor/Visiting Artist, “Sculpture & Intercepting the Waste Stream”, Kansas University
Visiting Artist/Teaching Environmental Arts, PS50, Queens, NY
Keynote Speaker, NYS Art Teachers Association Regional Conference, SUNY New Paltz, NY
2015 Visiting/Teaching Environmental Arts, Middletown High School, Middletown, NY
Keynote speaker, NYS Art Teachers Association Annual Conference, Albany, NY
2014 Teaching Artist-In-Residence, "Sculpture & Intercepting the Waste Stream", Central Piedmont
Community College, Charlotte, NC
2013 Visiting Artist/Instructor, “Sculpture & Intercepting the Waste Stream”, Mary Baldwin College,
TEDxPeachtree, “Trash + Love”, Atlanta, GA
2012 Visiting Artist/Lecturer, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH
Visiting Artist/Lecturer, Philadelphia School of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA
Visiting Artist/Lecture, Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA
2004-6 Teaching Artist (electric & gas welding/ sculpture), Education Alliance Art School, New York, NY