Seeing the forest in the trees

Posted on May 29, 2011


Remember the Environmental Art Class from Cherryland Middle School? (If not, you can read all about it here.)  Wednesday was the last day of the project. It was drizzly, but an intrepid group set out for Library Hill armed with three bags of cherry pits and determination. The Village Council had harrumphed and asked some questions about the proposed designs: Will this be a temporary or permanent installation? Who will dismantle or maintain it? Will it be easily mowed around?

Hmmm.  Does Andy Goldsworthy have these issues?  (Yes.)  So—you want to see what the Elk Rapids students created?  I have two slideshows for you, one for each part of the installation.  Take your pick or look at both.

Roots and branches

One piece is on Library Hill, hugging the path from the footbridge across the Elk River to the magical Island House.  Everyone in Elk Rapids loves this place.  The project used natural materials deeply connected to local history.  I was . . . dubious. And ultimately I was surprised by my reaction to the work. You can form your own impression: Roots and Branches Slideshow.

Sticks and stones

The second piece is on the other side of the island, next to the parking lot at the Edward C. Grace Memorial Harbor. If you peer closely, you can see the stumpy remains of some shrubbery that used to line the edge of the lot.

I don’t know why it was whacked off like that and I’m content with the mystery. However, the stumps invited embellishment: Sticks and Stones Slideshow.

In a couple of weeks the participants (and observers) will cart off anything that’s left and give it a decent burial. We’re going to make a party of it, with treats. In the meantime, you’re invited to visit the Island and consider your own response to whatever you see. You can even come back in June to help us rake up the cherry pits.