Residents paint trees blue for art and awareness

Residents paint trees blue for art and awareness
Front: Joe Anderson, Adele Dimopoulos, Anna Dooley, Carol Worsham, Bob Chabot, Mike Robinson. Back: Konstantin Dimopoulos, Susan Caven, Jennifer King, Jason Worley, Becky Henson

Blue is the new green – at least temporarily.

Gavin Costello, Alana Costello, Gayle Rice, Andy Gallagher, Justin Chovanec and Mason Taylor made up some of Deutsche Bank’s “blue team” in Hemming Park.

Gavin Costello, Alana Costello, Gayle Rice, Andy Gallagher, Justin Chovanec and
Mason Taylor made up some of Deutsche Bank’s “blue team” in Hemming Park.

Thanks to grants from The Late Bloomers Garden Club, the 2016 SPARK Grant Program and Wells Fargo, with additional support from Deutsche Bank, more than 100 trees in several locations in Jacksonville are sporting a coat of a blue pigment.

The Blue Trees, a project conceived by international artist Konstantin Dimopoulos to prompt conversation about deforestation and its global impact, was hosted in Hemming Park on Jan. 16 by Greenscape of Jacksonville, Inc.

Dimopoulos, who describes himself as a humanist, uses his art to address social and environmental issues, including an awareness for urban trees.

“People don’t realize the importance of trees…once the trees are gone, all the other issues we have won’t be an issue if we can’t breathe,” said Dimopoulos. “Organizations like Greenspace have an important role working for trees. Without them every city will be lessened by a huge amount. We’re losing forests the size of 50 football fields every day.”

Among those who came out were residents from Riverside, Avondale, Murray Hill and San Marco, who took up paint brushes to coat tree trunks and limbs with a biologically-safe, water-based ultramarine mineral pigment, which will gradually wash off.

Sarah Dooley and Alex Mejias

Sarah Dooley and Alex Mejias

In addition to 50 trees in containers and four large trees in Hemming Park, 27 trees at Edward Waters College on Kings Road were “painted” on Jan. 18 by students, faculty and Wells Fargo volunteers. On Jan. 20 the Late Bloomers Garden Club assisted in coloring 15 trees at three sites at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Fourteen trees were made blue at Veterans Memorial Arena.

The container trees, supplied by the JEA, will remain on display in Hemming Park until Greenscape determines where to plant them. It will take about six months for the blue pigment to wash off.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News
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