Since the new year I have been blissed out learning about the power and benefit of urban forests while serving as an artist in residence at Tree Pittsburgh. By burying my nose in books, following maintenance crews caring for street trees, and studying the contents the organization’s tree nursery, I have gained a reverence for these mighty stewards of our shared environment.
The data I geeked out on suggests a green landscape can protect and heal our bodies and reduce inner city crime. Trees specifically are credited with mitigating floods, cleaning air and water, capturing carbon, reducing energy consumption, increasing home values, supporting an astounding variety of flora and fauna, and more. It seems trees are the cure to so many of our troubles, and a relatively affordable one at that. Why then do we often feel indifferent to trees and regard them as disposable?
The aim of the work I’ve made during this residency is to shed light on what we stand to gain by protecting and expanding urban forests – easing childhood asthma, putting money in our wallets, preventing crime, taming storms. The work also repeats a theme of reciprocal service – when we plant and care for trees, they generously give back to us. And because I want loving trees to become a widespread household philosophy, this exhibition is full of pieces you might categorize as “decorative art” – prints of wallpaper, dinnerware, paintings more that bring my visual narrative of cherishing trees into everyday use.
Come see the work and celebrate our vulnerable urban forest at the exhibition opening reception on Thursday, June 27, 2019, 6-8 PM at Tree Pittsburgh‘s new and sustainably-designed building along the Allegheny River. Enjoy drinks and refreshments as well as print-making with fresh leaves (a kid-friendly activity). The event is free but registration is required.
While you’re on the registration page, pre-order a signed and limited edition silk-screened print of “Reciprocal Service.” This print of a toile-style pattern includes two scenes of people caring for trees and two of people benefitting from them. All pre-orders will include the handwritten value of a tree of your choosing based on calculations by i-Tree Design. Learn more here.
25% of all proceeds from the exhibition will support Tree Pittsburgh programs.
Thank you to The Fine Foundation and the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund for their support of this residency collaboration.