Winners of the Best Onondaga County Tree Photo Challenge

Last year, I received the Individual Artist Commission Grant from the CNY Arts 2014 Decentralization Program to engage Onondaga County residents in an interactive art project that promoted nature appreciation and community involvement in artistic creation.

In the first part of the art project, my goal was to emotionally engage the community by asking Onondaga County residents to go into nature, find the most beautiful trees in our county, and send their suggestions to me with a photo. I selected eight trees from those sent to me, and I used them as reference in the creation of eight acrylic paintings on canvas.

So, without further ado, the recipient of the eight winning photos are:

Ray Trudell with Magnolia trees from Syracuse, NY;

Bryan Hills with an unknown tree from Oren, NY;

Deborah Goemans with a Magnolia tree from Tully, NY;

Dan Elsbey with a Dark Cherry tree from Camillus, NY;

Steven Marrone with a Willow tree from Syracuse, NY;

Tom Howard with an Old Sugar Maple tree from Liverpool, NY;

Mary Mollica with a Maple tree from Dewitt, NY;

and Ellen Leahy with a Gingko tree from Skaneateles, NY.

The submission’s deadline was October 31, 2014. I used different traditional media and social media platforms to promote this interactive project, such as Facebook, Twitter and e-mail blasts.

In the next blog post I will talk about the second element of my interactive art project and then, each week,  I will start writing about the eight winners of the Best Onondaga County Tree Photo Challenge. I will share who they are, what they do and why they were compelled to photograph these particular trees. Along with the winners' story, I will share the artistic journey of each painting that was based on their photos.