Two weeks have passed since the grand opening of Trees of Onondaga: An Art Exhibition at the beautiful Onondaga Free Library in Syracuse, NY.
I decided to make this post visually interesting and simple by sharing with you all the moments that made this event really special. To learn more about this project read Melinda Johnson's beautiful article at "Artist Maria Rizzo ends her community tree projects with art exhibition,".
To follow are some pictures of the event taken by photographer, Ray Trudell.
At the event, I gave the 1st limited edition print to each of the photographers whose local trees were selected to be painted by me in 2014 then Tom Howard gave a wonderful presentation about some of the best trees we have in Onondaga county!
Lastly, the Symbolic Tree created by 45 Onondaga County residents was finally unveiled. But before showing the final piece, I want to share some of the many people who painted into this piece throughout 2014.
And now is the time to show the final piece!
The Onondaga Symbolic Tree, created by forty-five Onondaga County residents, was donated to the Onondaga Free Library on Saturday, March 14, 2015. It's limited edition prints are available online at https://squareup.com/market/maria-rizzo-art
My latest projects were made possible with a $2,500 Individual Artist Commission Grant from CNY Arts Decentralization Program.
Here is a list of participating libraries and residents:
• Solvay Public Library, April 5: Wendy Pitoniak, Pattie Hicks-Fiegl, Suzanne Masters, Mitzie Testani and Teresa Gardner-Barndollar.
• Liverpool Public Library, April 13: Domenico Gigante, Mary Mollica and Kathryn Wehrung.
• Fayetteville Free Library, April 19: Nicole Moss, Lewis Karpel and Angela Cwickla.
• Skaneateles Library, April 26: Megan Jae Riggs, Renee Marati and Deb Tomushunas.
• Onondaga Free Library, May 4: Ray Trudell, Susi Buschbacher and Lynn Hofsonner.
• Salina Library, May 17: Vicky Storey, Celine Nicholas, Kathleen Reed-Buck and Anne Iles.
• Fairmount Community Library, May 31: Marylin L. Marcy, Dan Elsbey and Linda Helles.
• Maxwell Memorial Library, June 7: Shailesh Joshi, Mick Mather, Rena Brower and Theresa Stachurski.
• Baldwinsville Public Library, June 14: Maryann Guinta, Steve Nyland and Jeff Madison.
• East Syracuse Free Library, June 21: Angela Arrey-Wastavino.
• LaFayette Public Library, June 28: Connie Marion.
• Dewitt Community Library, July 12: Father and son, Nick and Nick Lozoponi.
• Marcellus Free Library, July 19: Debbie Fratter, Paulette Quinn and Stephanie Moncavage.
• Manlius Library, Sept. 6: Ellen McCoy and Phoebe Vitharana.
• Tully Library, Sept. 20: Sonya Shepherd, Brianna Darling and Isabella Puentes.
• Petit Library, Nov. 1: Stasya Erickson and Lynne Odell.
This week I highlight the story of Ellen Leahy and her photo of a Gingko tree. She is one of the eight winners of the Best Onondaga County Tree Photo Challenge, an interactive art project that asked Onondaga County residents to go into nature, find the most beautiful trees in our county, and send their suggestions to me with a photo.
Describe yourself: name, age, location, what do you do for a living and what are some of your hobbies? Hello, I am a ladylike lady who is also a bit feral, living in the old veterinarian’s house in Skaneateles. I like to wonder.
Why did you choose to photograph this particular tree?
I am particularly drawn to gingko trees because their beauty and hardiness. This gingko in particular is rather tall. Gingkos are ancient!
What time of the year was it? It was in the fall - every Fall I watch this tree change from green to yellow.
What is the exact location of this tree? The tree is on the eastern side of the historic Kreb’s Restaurant building on Route 20 in Skaneateles.
How did you find out about this challenge? I think Facebook
The making of the 'Gingko Tree'
I chose this tree because I was attracted by its shape and color and because I was intrigued by its unique name. After doing some research I realized why the Gingko tree is such a fascinating species. Let me share a couple of facts with you:
"Botanical.com recognizes Ginkgo biloba as 'the oldest living tree on the planet that's been used safely for over 3000 years,' noting that this relic from dinosaur times 'was nearly wiped out during the Ice Age everywhere except in China.' " "Another notable ginkgo tree fact - the bark and leaves of the plant are believed to secrete a sap which acts as a fire retardant. One of the useful functions of ginkgo biloba is thus as a natural means of protection against fires."
Below you will see the development of this acrylic painting.
The finished Gingko tree from Skaneateles, NY was painted with Golden acrylic on a 24x18" gallery wrap canvas during the month of Febrary, 2015.
This week I will highlight the story of one the eight winners of the Best Onondaga County Tree Photo Challenge, an Interactive art project that asked 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 asked Ray Trudell to share with us who he is, what he does for a living, what are some of his hobbies, why was he compelled to photograph these scene, if he knew what type of trees they are and how did he found out about this challenge. Here it's his response:
"I’m 60 years old and live in Solvay now, however I have lived in Central New York all my life. I work in a paper plant on the corrugator that produces corrugated boxes. My hobbies are photography, reading, and writing poetry to go with some of my photographs. When I retire I hope to do more in the arts. This photograph happens to be an old favorite of mine that was taken in Franklin Square. The street is Plume St. and was on a Sunday morning just after a snow storm in February. While having coffee at Freedom of Expresso I was asked if I had my camera with me because the snow looked so beautiful. That’s when I went out and shot the picture. I know that two of the trees are Marigold, but I’m not sure what the trees are that line the street. I know that they have beautiful flowers in the spring and that the leaves are the last to fall in the autumn. I seen a posting on facebook and thought that this would be a very nice thing to be a part of."
- Ray Trudell
The making of 'Trees on Franklin'
What I found striking about Ray Trudell's photo was the unbelievable beauty of the tree in the foreground and its dancing shape against a spectacular urban winter wonderland's background. This is the very 1st painting I started in 2014 for the Best Onondaga County Tree Photo Challenge and probably the most difficult to paint due to the amount of details and me being a perfectionist... which is a curse, really! I'm glad I took my time with this piece and I hope you do enjoy it, too. Trees on Franklin is a 24x30x1.5" acrylic on canvas that I painted in April and May and finished in December, 2014.
This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.
~ Maria Rizzo