Aurora Robson is a multi-media artist known predominantly for her meditative work intercepting the plastic waste stream. Her practice is about shifting negative trajectories. Her work formally references recurring nightmares that she had as a child which she hybridizes with organic forms found in nature. Robson holds a double major (B.A.) in visual arts and art history from Columbia University.
Her 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, a National Endowment for the Arts Art Work Grant and an Annenberg Scholar.
Robson is also the founding artist of Project Vortex, an international collective of artists, designers and architects also working with plastic debris. Through her work she explores the intersection of art, science and education while helping restrict the flow of plastic debris to our oceans. For more information about her work and related initiatives, 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
- Displaced Abundance, James K. Schmidt Gallery, Principia College, Elsah, Illinois
- Aglow, The Schuylkill Center, Philadelphia, PA (forthcoming)
- Hunterdon Art Museum, (forthcoming)
- Kuleana, Diner en Blanc, Turtle Bay, Oahu, HI
- Gravity Schmavity, Penn State Arboretum, PA
- Arise, (Installation) Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE
- 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
- Dyno, (large scale outdoor sculpture), Kingsbrae Gardens, St. Andrews, NB, Canada
- Jetsam, (large scale sculpture) Bank of America Plaza, Charlotte, NC
- Stayin’ Alive, (solo exhibition, large installation) McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, NC
- Circumdare, (solo exhibition) Southampton Art Center, Southampton, NY
- Sacrifice + Bliss, (solo exhibition) Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Columbus, OH
- Everything, All At Once, Forever, (solo exhibition) Figge Museum, Davenport, IA
- Be Like Water, David Owsley Museum of Art, (large scale installation) Muncie, IN
- Be Like Water, Skybox, (large scale installation) Philadelphia, PA
- Lift, (large scale installation/sculpture) Rice University Health + Recreation Center, Houston, TX
- Land Mines, (solo exhibit) Salve Regina University Art Gallery, Newport, RI
- Honor System, (solo exhibit) Project 4 Gallery, Washington, DC
- The Great Indoors, (large scale installation) Rice Gallery, Houston, TX
- What Goes Around Comes Around, (large scale sculpture) Merrill Lynch HQ, Hopewell, NJ
- Makapiapia, (installation) Islip Art Museum Carriage House, Islip, NY
- The Jungle, (solo installation) Art212 art fair, New York, NY
- Wake up, Wake up, it’s in the Morning, (solo exhibit) Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
Selected Group Exhibitions
- Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
- Can’t You Sea? Ocean Plastic Artifacts, Franklin G. Burroughs Simeon D Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC (forthcoming)
- Remake:Remodel, 2 person exhibition w/Heather Harvey at The University Gallery at Fulton Hall, Salisbury, MD
- Elemental Forces, The Catherine Konner Sculpture Park (Rockland Center for the Arts), Nyack, NY
- Aqueous Remains, Rockland Center for the Arts, Nyack, NY
- Reality, The Kaneko Museum, Omaha, NE
- Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park, PA
- Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR
- Metamorphosis, 2 person exhibition with Sayaka Ganz, Lauritzen Gardens Botanical Center, Omaha, NE
- Sea Change, 2 person exhibition with Chris Jordan at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC
- Water Line: A Creative Exchange, Center for Visual Art, Metropolitan State University of Denver, CO
- Made Out of What?!, Design Pavilion, New York, NY
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Luxuriant Refuse, The Pearl Fincher Museum, Houston, TX
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- The Summertime Show, Judy A. Saslow Gallery, Chicago, IL
- 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
- 13, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
- La La Land, 2 person show, Makor Gallery, New York, NY
- Lorvik Waterhouse, Ann-Hege. "Med Kunst I Barnehagen", Norway.
- Stambouli, Anissa. "Trash Talk, Eco-Activist Artwork and Sustainable Creativity", INSPADES
- Shreiber, Barbara. "Aurora Robson, The McColl Center for Art + Innovation", Sculpture Magazine.
- Allan, Jennifer. "Radical Recycling", WIRED Magazine (UK).
- 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.
- 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.
- Gaillard Cindy. "Fantastic Plastic", cover: City Scene Magazine, Columbus.
- Alles, Chantal. "Crazy Art", back cover.
- Tommaso, Francis Di." While You Dream", Being American.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Novo, Alexandra. "Inspired Metamorphoses", Attitude Magazine.
- Watson, Steve. "Dream Catcher", Wonderland Magazine.
- Cohen, David. "Pollinium", Artworld Digest Magazine.
- Gordon, Margery. "Art Basel Miami: Pulse Beats Sophomore Slump", Artinfo.com.
- La Ferla, Ruth. "Fashion & Art", The New York Times - Styles Section.
- 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
2018 Annenberg Visiting Scholar Award, Pu’uhonua Society Grant for Creative Stewardship
2017 National Endowment for the Arts "Art Work Grant"
2014 ArtPlace America Environmental Artist
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
2018 Annenberg Visiting Scholar, Principia College, Elsah, IL
Artist-in-Residence, Pu’uhonua Society, Oahu, HI
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
2019 Speaker, Intercepting the Plastic Waste Stream, MSA ConFab, Chattanooga, TN (forthcoming)
Speaker/Panelist, The Role of Art in the Environmental Crisis, Christie’s Education NYC, NY (forthcoming)
Lecture, Re:Fuse, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA (forthcoming)
Lecture/Panelist, CAA Ecology of the Studio: Art in the Waste Stream, NYC, NY
2018 Keynote Speaker, Art Educators of Iowa Annual Conference, Storm Lake, IO
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
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
Montefiore Hospital, NY
Morgan Stanley, CA
Neiman Marcus, WA
Noble Energy, TX
Pérez Art Museum, FL
Poipu Beach Hotel, HI
Pu'uhonua Society, H
Public School 50, NY
Rice University, TX
Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, FL
The South Carolina Aquarium, SC