Southwest Garden Neighborhood Association (SWGNA) invites the public to join artists Agnieszka Gradzik and Wiktor Szostalo, creators of the TreeHugger Project, to an unveiling of “Critical Mass – Midnight Ramble”, on Friday, April 23, 6 pm, at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer. This new installation will feature two TreeHugger figures with their bicycles by their side. The public is invited to walk or ride their bicycle to the unveiling and become part of the performance planned by the artists.
The TreeHugger Project is an ongoing work of Environmental Art designed to help us re-discover our relationship with nature at a very personal and intimate level. Made from twigs, branches, sticks, vines, and other natural materials, these playful sculptures remind us that we humans are still very much part of our natural surroundings.
Agnieszka Gradzik and Wiktor Szostalo are internationally-recognized artists with installations in several cities in the U.S. and abroad, including Austria, Poland and Denmark. They were commissioned for the 2008 and 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conferences, in Poznan, Poland, and Copenhagen, Denmark, where a 14-figure installation titled “Lonely Tree–Lonely People” is still on display at the historic City Hall in the center of Copenhagen.
We welcome the new arrivals to the neighborhood with open arms and look forward to joining them in a symbolic gesture of hugging a tree. As much as many of us will want these figures to stay longer, they are meant to follow the natural cycle of life and decay. Within 3 to 5 years they will disintegrate to become soil, in order for new life to flourish, again and again.
In addition, the artists and SWGNA staff, in partnership with Missouri Botanical Garden’s Earthways Center, and AmerenUE will present the TreeHugger Project to area schools and civic groups. By joining hands to share the TreeHugger project, we hope this effort will inspire us all to take individual responsibility for our physical world by choosing sustainable lifestyles.
This project was accomplished with support from the Regional Arts Commission.
More information and pictures available on this flyer (PDF).