Art trees are familiar to all Chicagoans. These trees look like fantastic animals and fairytale creatures of the most whimsical shapes.
Once labeled dead, they were sentenced for cutting down and removal. But their lives have been extended.
All thanks to the local artists who take part in Chicago Tree Project.
The city’s vegetation counts thousands of sick or dead trees because of the emerald ash borer and other infections. A group of artists brings them back to life by turning trunks into works of art.
Every year since 2014 a dozen of artists is selected from a pool of applicants who want to impress city parks’ visitors and send their own message of beauty. Each artist chooses a tree in Chicago and revamps it in a unique way.
The work they put into trees is a labor of love
“We’re not looking for a common theme. We make our work shine and have an interaction with the public too,” says one of the artists.
Chicago Tree Project is an initiative of Chicago Sculpture International. They want to stop active logging of dying trees and collaborate with Chicago Park District in transforming them into something nice. Authors are given a stipend for each carving, but, according to the project’s managers, “the work they put into trees is a labor of love.”
However, artists aim not only to please the eye of citizens. It educates people on the critical environmental issue – the destruction of trees by emerald ash borer. This small green bug have invaded the USA since 2002 and killed hundreds of millions of ash trees.
The project usually starts in summer and ends by the end of November. When the weather wears them out, sculptures are removed.
Featured image: Instagram