Concert in the Trees Artists

Welcome to The Social Life of Trees Art Stroll

The six artists whose creations are displayed along the path were tasked with exploring and interpreting the social life of trees. Their works reveal themes
of resiliency, interconnectedness, reciprocity, responsibility and beauty that reflect each artist’s interpretation of the animacy of trees.

We hope this art stroll will bring joy as well as enhance your connection to trees and their value to our community.

 

Concert in the Trees Artists

#1 The Seed Within by Dail Chambers

resilience /rəˈzilyəns/ noun 1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Historically, our society looks at the lack of resources in an area, or within a group, to determine how to enter with charity, support and programming. Instead, let us ask, how can we best amplify a community? A forest once burned will regenerate from the seeds banked in the soil. A community can regrow too. Honor the resilience of people and places. When we do, we strengthen ourselves, our community, and our environment.
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Dail Chambers

A visual artist, writer, and lecturer, Chambers’ artistic works focus on the migration of American black women. She employs ethnographic, genealogical and biographical research as well as her knowledge of natural materials to create sculptures of clay, bamboo, sand and found objects, often incorporating plants into her installations. Chambers is a founder of the St. Louis nonprofit Yeyo Arts Collective, which is dedicated to the creative empowerment of women and families. It operates a cooperative gallery and offers programs such as Girls Create, an empowerment program for young girls. She has won numerous awards during her arts career.
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Concert in the Trees Artists

#2 The Question by Aaron McMullin

Apples. Shade on a hot day. A home. We are given much by trees, but what do we give back? A bee sipping nectar collects pollen that fertilizes the seed that becomes the apple we eat. The bee receives and gives. The tree receives and gives. We receive, but what do we give? We often just throw the apple core in the trash, not even returning the seeds to the ground. What can we do differently? Do you recall the story of ‘The Giving Tree’? A tree always gives to us because we see it as a resource. It is so easy to take, and take some more. But when do we give back? We must ask ourselves this question, otherwise, we will find ourselves old and weary, in a world with only stumps.
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Aaron McMullin

Through photography and embroidery, McMullin, a MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, tells visual stories that deliver powerful messages about the dark and often violent history of cotton—a primary material in her art. She wants her audience to explore the “out of sight, out of mind” nature of capitalism and consumerism that exists today. Her goal is to encourage more mindful consumer practices and to connect consumers and those who grow cotton; particularly growers in India. This small change as an end user ultimately promotes social and environmental justice.
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Concert in the Trees Artists

#3 What Our Hands Create by Eugenia Alexander

Community is how well we depend on each other. In nature, a strong community is thriving – it is often diverse, less vulnerable to disease and it just looks inviting. A weak community, on the other hand, looks sickly. As human beings, having a strong community helps us to take care of each other in the same way. We create a more hospitable and inviting space. It takes many hands, diverse hands, each one adding to the growth and strength of the community.
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Eugenia Alexander

This multidisciplinary artist’s work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions for more than a decade. Her more recent experimentation using indigo dye in her creations led her to found The Indigo Garden Project. The project includes a green space compound in East St. Louis aimed at connecting art and agriculture education while providing a source of fresh produce to the community.
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Concert in the Trees Artists

#4 Eternal by Jurni Bayoc

This multidisciplinary artist’s work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions for more than a decade. Her more recent experimentation using indigo dye in her creations led her to found The Indigo Garden Project. The project includes a green space compound in East St. Louis aimed at connecting art and agriculture education while providing a source of fresh produce to the community.
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Jurni Bayoc


This emerging young artist has achieved recent attention as a chalk artist who focuses on uplifting quotes by influential people of color. Jurni, daughter of internationally known artist Cbabi Bayoc, began working in chalk during the pandemic and her chalk art has been widely embraced by city park visitors. She is currently studying graphic design at Columbia College in Chicago.
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Concert in the Trees Artists

#5 Unless by Britt Tate-Beaugard & Students at Bryan Hill Elementary School

Trees have no tongues, so it is our responsibility to speak for them. To make sure there are trees for future generations, we need to protect the ones we have and plant more for new kids to enjoy. Our truffula tree is here to remind you of how trees are not just here for humans. Trees are something everyone needs… Birds, bugs, especially bees. Unless we all work together and take pride in the only planet we’ve got, nothing is going to get better. It will not.
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Britt Tate-Beaugard & Students at Bryan Hill Elementary School

Students at Bryan Hill Elementary School, located in the predominantly black neighborhood of College Hill in North St. Louis, are thriving in art teacher Britt Tate-Beaugard’s classes. Connecting young learners to culturally relevant artists empowers her students to confront social and environmental racism. She has transformed a vacant lot into a sound garden and creative oasis for students, and in 2019, was named St. Louis Public Educator of the Year for her engaging curriculum. Kindergarteners and Fifth Graders helped to create this installation.
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Concert in the Trees Artists

#6 Whispers of the Mycorrhizae by Benjamin Bradshaw

Mycorrhizae are fungal networks found around tree roots that form a symbiosis with the tree, and even form bridges between other trees, so that an entire forest becomes connected underground. Neither mycorrhizae nor trees have mouths, yet they communicate. Dismissing a living being that does not have the same mode of communication as us to a category of inanimate is limiting on our part. Animacy is the state of being alive. ‘Whispers of the Mycorrhizae’ evokes the network of the natural world and encourages us to see every tree as a fellow being within the complexity of nature.
Concert in the Trees Artists

Benjamin Bradshaw

A multimedia artist whose myriad processes have their foundation in natural growth, Bradshaw is adept at animation, sculpture, textiles, ceramics and installations. A graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, Bradshaw is currently a MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville studying Textiles and Ceramics. His art employs innovative, sustainable structures such as nets, which enhance rather than obstruct the space in which the art is installed.
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Interested in becoming more social with trees?

Volunteer

Young trees require lots of attention. CommuniTree Gardens currently holds over 20,000 trees. We depend on volunteers to help us plant, water, and weed these trees. Both individuals and groups are needed year round. Applications are available on our website.

Plan a Planting Project

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri grows trees for you. Through our Project CommuniTree program, we provide free trees to individuals and groups for planting projects on public lands. Trees are available each spring and fall. Project applications for this fall will be accepted starting July 1.

Learn

Join our TreeKeepers Class or encourage a young person to attend Tree Camp. Or learn on your own by spending time outdoors and observing. Understand how trees benefit us and the planet. Nurture the trees in your personal landscape and share your experiences with others.

Donate

Your donations grow trees that change neighborhoods and lives. Each person can help to make our communities healthier, safer, and greener. Donate online at moreleaf.org.

Thank You

to the following people and organizations for their support: Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, part of State Parks, Home Depot on South Kingshighway Blvd. for their generous donation of materials, Tessa Wasserman for her time and talent to carve plywood boards into trees, and St. Louis County Parks for their continued support of our nursery operations on their land.

Land Acknowledgement

We, at Forest ReLeaf, would like to honor the original protectors of the lands that are now Creve Coeur, Missouri. The tribes of Missouri include Chicksaw, Illini, Ioway, Otoe-Missouria, Osage, Quapaw, Sac &  Fox, and Shawnee. We appreciate the rich culture of the indigenous people that came before us and are reminded that the land is sacred.

 

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri