'These Trees,' by Design and Nature, Fall Into History

Published 03.01.2016


The weight of time and weather can be seen in the installation’s drooping branches.Deborah L. Stabley (right), an adjunct arts faculty member, helps Michael L. Bremigen, General Services horticulture technician, remove the pieces Tuesday.The GS crew takes care of business.Campus trees stand watch over the space where "These Trees" stood. The footprint of the Fibonacci-inspired layout is still visible, but will be replanted with grass. The installation’s bench will remain nearby for quiet contemplation. "These Trees," the environmental art installation created during Penn College’s 2014 Centennial celebration, has returned to the earth. “With the assistance of students, artists-in-residence Kathy Bruce and Alastair Noble created a site-specific environmental art installation using materials that were grown on our campus," said Penny Griffin Lutz, manager of The Gallery at Penn College. "The project involved students from a wide variety of majors, and the artists educated students about environmental art while completing an installation that combined art, design, architecture, literature, horticulture, forestry, science and the environment. Though it is sad to see it dismantled, the installation was, in fact, temporary, as environmental art strives to create works that are not harmful to the environment. The memories that were made during the creation of the artwork will remain.” The built-in impermanence of "These Trees" was noted at the time by Kathy Bruce: “Rather than creating more ‘stuff’ in the world, the artwork returns to nature eventually. It will change through the seasons; that’s the point of environmental art: The work will respond to nature. Watching the changes becomes part of the process of the project.”