RAIR's mission is to challenge the perception of waste culture by providing a unique platform for artists at the intersection of art and industry. Situated inside a construction and demolition waste recycling company in northeast Philadelphia, RAIR offers artists studio space and access to more than 450 tons of materials per day.
Since its inception in 2010, RAIR’s flagship Residency Program has established itself as a unique opportunity for emerging, mid-career, and established artists. By facilitating artists’ direct engagement with the waste stream, RAIR encourages residents to consider their studio practice through the lens of sustainability and to thoughtfully re-asses their processes of material sourcing and waste disposal.
Collaborating with community groups, art institutions and waste industry partners, RAIR has also extended its reach far beyond its resident artists through Projects including recycling facility tours, class presentations, public events and exhibitions that illuminate the connections between art, industry and sustainability. RAIR offers assistance with the material sourcing, planning, design, and fabrication involved in a range of cross-disciplinary projects, and works with collaborators to maximize the creative potential of waste materials.
RAIR has worked with mostly local (Philadelphia) artists and arts organizations but have also been featured in international projects as well. Notable exhibitions include: “Mohamed Bourouissa : Horseday”, Le Bal, Paris, France.; “Abigail DeVille: Intersection”, Hauser Wirth, Los Angeles, CA; “ Bryan Zanisnik: Aquarium Painting”, 1646, The Hague, Netherlands; and “Filthy Rich, projects made possible by the waste stream”, the Galleries at Moore, Philadelphia, Pa.
RAIR has facilitated over forty artist residencies has gained a depth of experience as a manager and executor of large-scale installations through our Special Projects Program which has also developed strong collaborative relationships with dozens of local institutions including schools, galleries, museums, community organizations, and industry partners across the city, reaching a cumulative public audience of over 85,000 through exhibitions, tours, workshops, and more.
Notable support for RAIR has come from the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy; PhillyStake; the Philadelphia Cultural Fund; the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts; the Samuel S Fels Fund; the Barra Foundation; the Warhol Foundation and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.