Coordinator: Darci Niva
Location: Fletcher Library, West campus
Available: July 17th – August 31st, 2012 during normal library hours
Description: This project was born at Urban Outreach’s art group of homeless and formerly homeless artists. The idea was to do a collaborative project that underscores how important each individual’s contribution is to the organization. A simple tree design was drawn onto 18, one foot by one foot canvas panels. The artists were instructed to use whatever colors they wanted and to add unique elements, such as leaves and fruit, as they sought fit. The original tree gathered a great deal of positive attention after it was put together.
This collaborative tree represented the organization that values all the guests that it serves. It was then that the vision of taking this project to the community of Tempe took form; each individual is vital to its organization and each organization is vital to the City of Tempe at large. Emails introducing the project were sent out to non-profit and educational organizations; a number of which replied and agreed to participate.
As the project is now beginning to show in gallery settings, fifteen trees make up a forest that represents Tempe. The trees are each unique and speak volumes about the organizations that birthed them. Many participants do not consider themselves artists, but by engaging in a collaborative, artistic project many found that working together was a valuable experience accentuating the true meaning of community. This project has many layers of meaning and responds to the ongoing discourse about socially engaged public practice.
Additional information may be viewed at http://mergeaz.org/