The Chicago Tree Project (CTP) is a collaborative initiative between the Chicago Park District and Chicago Sculpture International. The CTP is an annual citywide effort to transform sick and dying trees into vibrant public art rather than cutting them down. Using art as a vessel for public engagement, sculptors transform trees into fun and whimsical experiences for the greater Chicago community. Each year, twelve new trees are installed throughout the city. A complete map and more information can be found at www.chicagotreeproject.org
Artist's Statement: My concept for the tree was to visually depict nature, where new life is nourished and can grow from “deadwood,” and the similar constant renewal of the urban setting.
Though the kiln-fired ceramic flowers I created do look familiar, they don’t exist. Once I was given the location of my tree, I visited Welles Park. The gazebo there provided inspiration for the oversized six-petal red flower near the middle of the tree. Heart-shaped shaped edges from the black ironwork were incorporated into red hibiscus/poppy-looking petals. Closer to the top of the tree, a more exotic-looking grouping arguably resembles a cross between a passionflower and Peruvian daffodil. I’d like to think that passersby would see the project as a window to the new growing season, when the piece will become more compatible with its park and urban surroundings.