Blue Trees in Jacksonville

gs-blue-trees

International Artist, Konstantin DimopoulosPaints Trees Blue in Hemming Park

This past Saturday, Jan 16, Greenscape of Jacksonville, Inc. invited North Florida families to meet internationally-respected artist Konstantin Dimopoulos in Hemming Park to help launch his project THE BLUE TREES in Downtown Jacksonville.

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Jamie Can (from left), Peter Valaer, Soo Lim and Donna Blackwell work on painting one of the trees.Photo by Fran Ruchalski

Jamie Can (from left), Peter Valaer, Soo Lim and Donna Blackwell work on painting one of the trees.

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Jamie Can (from left), Soo Lim and Donna Blackwell work on transforming one of the trees to a different shade of blue.

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Julian Homan, one of the many volunteers from Deutche Bank, paints the berries on his tree with the specially developed biologically-safe pigment in a water base.  The blue color will gradually be washed away by the rain and the trees will return to their natural state.

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Artist Konstantin Dimopoulos (right) discusses his vision for the Blue Trees project with Kenny Logsdon.

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The Acevedo family, Olive, 1, Joe, and Zane, 3, came out to participate in the project as a family.

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Felipe Rhossard was part of the clean-up crew, trying to mop up some of the massive amount of spilled paint to keep people from walking through it.

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Artist Konstantin Dimopoulos addresses the crowd, thanks them for their participation, and tells them of his vision for the Blue Trees project.

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Lauren Trevathan and Morgan Moran clean some of the blue paint off their hands after painting one of the trees.

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Anne Dooley speaks to the crowd of volunteers surrounded by members of Greenscape of Jacksonville and Friends of Hemming Park.

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More than a hundred volunteers came out to paint the trees to support the project which calls attention to the deforestation of the planet and the importance of trees for the survival of the animal kingdom, including humans.

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Mike Robinson, one of the board members of Greenscape of Jacksonville moves one of the painted trees to collect them at the fountain in Hemming Park.

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Artist Konstantin Dimopoulos joins Sophia Feagins, 8, and Lucy Feagins, 6, in turning one of the saplings blue.

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Alexander Lloyd concentrates on painting the upper limbs of one of the saplings blue.

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Five year old Jeremiah Easterling helps his dad Shannon Easterling reach some spots on the tree they were painting together.

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Four year old Lily Schatz uses all her concentration to paint one of the trees while she does the same to herself.

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Seven year old Kyle Schatz does his best to cover the tree with paint, along with himself.

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Vince Cavin, executive director of Friends of Hemming Park, paints one of the permanent trees in the park.

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Sarah Dooley, Alex Mejias (rear) and Alexander Lloyd work to make one of the permanent trees in Hemming Park an eye-catching shade of blue.

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Volunteers joined the artist in painting more than 40 small container trees with biologically-safe, water-based ultramarine mineral pigment. The painted trees will be displayed in Hemming Park as a public art installation to raise awareness for trees and their importance to our city and its citizens. The trees will revert back to their natural color within a six-month period and be donated for planting around the city.

This temporary social/environmental art installation is made possible by Greenscape of Jacksonville, Inc., The Late Bloomers Garden Club and The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s 2016 SPARK Grant program funded by Florida Blue. Additional support was received from Deutsche Bank, The Omni Hotel, Friends of Hemming Park and Lowes.

Official Blue Tree Events

Saturday, January 16 – North Florida Families are invited to visit Hemming Park, meet Dimopoulos and color 40 small trees for the kick-off event starting at 10:30 am. Official kick-off and press event scheduled for11:00am. At 3:00 the artist will address the Art in Public Places Symposium at MOCA.

Monday. January 18 – Beginning at 8:30 am, Edward Waters College students and faculty will be joined by Wells Fargo volunteers to commemorate Martin Luther King Day with a Day of Service. Between 20 and 30 trees on Kings Road in the heart of the campus will be colored.

Wednesday, January 2010:00 am The Late Bloomers Garden Club will assist in coloring three sites at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Dimopoulos addresses the Conservation Lecture Series at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in the evening.

Thursday, January 2111:00 am -Edward Waters College hosts an Art and Conservation Discussion. Dimopoulos will be joined by Dr. Quinton White, Head of Marine Science at Jacksonville University and Mr. Jim Draper, University of North Florida Artist in Residence.

FridayJanuary 229:30 – Jacksonville Veterans Arena will color a grove of crape myrtles. “The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena is proud to be included as a site for the Blue Trees temporary art installation.  SMG is committed to partnering with the community to raise awareness of social and environmental issues, including deforestation.  Our exterior landscape provides a perfect canvas and the iconic backdrop of the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena should only enhance the project’s visibility.  We are grateful for the opportunity to participate and look forward to continued collaboration with other community initiatives” said Bill McConnell, SMG General Manager.

 

About Greenscape of Jacksonville

Greenscape of Jacksonville, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization founded over forty years ago to enrich Jacksonville through planting, protecting and promoting trees. Nationally recognized as one of the oldest and most prolific volunteer driven groups in the country, Greenscape is credited with the addition of over 300,000 trees to the local canopy. 

About Konstantin Dimopoulos

Currently residing in Melbourne, Australia, Konstantin Dimopoulos graduated from university in New Zealand with a degree in sociology and continued on to study art in London. Dimopoulos describes himself as a humanist, using his art practice – from studio works to site specific installations to address social and environmental issues. Striving to address global deforestation of old growth forests and raise awareness of urban trees, Dimopoulos provides a visual platform to effect change. “So many universal concerns seem larger than an individual’s power of influence and I want to evoke in people the idea that we can all contribute to change.”

About Friends of Hemming Park

Founded in 2013, Friends of Hemming Park is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming Jacksonville’s oldest public park into a modern, urban space that engages diverse communities and brings vitality to our city’s public square through improved amenities, daily programming, a family-friendly environment, and community-driven partnerships. To learn more about the park and upcoming events, visit hemmingpark.org.

 

The Grantors Who Made This Possible:

The Late Bloomers Garden Club, founded in 1990, is a member of the Garden Club of America and the Garden Club of Jacksonville. The Club’s purpose is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening and flower arranging and to restore, improve and protect the quality of the environment through programs and action in fields of horticulture, conservation, civic improvement and education. The Club generously contributes to the community through its civic projects and grants and is committed to downtown beautification that will attract business, jobs and residents.

The 2016 SPARK Grant Program. The 2016 grant program was funded in part by Florida Blue and generous private donations to The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Greenscape of Jacksonville is one of five recipients of this competitive program for 2016. The SPARK District is a defined, walkable arts district in Downtown Jacksonville. The goal of SPARK is to revitalize downtown through arts and culture, increasing the economic vitality of the city as a whole.

Wells Fargo is proud to help strengthen communities through charitable contributions, volunteerism and team member leadership – all of which will be demonstrated through The Blue Trees project. Aligning philanthropic goals with social objectives, Wells Fargo requested a large tree coloring installation take place on Martin Luther King Day to “take the day on” and enable Edward Waters College to participate in this once in a lifetime service event.

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