Sacramento, CA (November 13, 2012) – Over 130 ACTrees Day attendees were in the right place to see “The Blue Trees,” a living outdoor art project. Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos and Sacramento Tree Foundation volunteers used environmentally-safe pigments to paint the trunks and limbs of 20 trees at the Sacramento Convention Center to raise awareness for the value and unique benefits of the city’s trees. Ray Trethway, ACTrees President and Executive Director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, was instrumental in bringing the installation to the city.
Another 40 container trees showcased around the city were also transformed to an electric blue. The lower 12 feet of the trees was colored with a weak solution of pigment and water. The all-natural, nontoxic dye is safe for trees, people and creatures, and will wash off in about six months.
Sacramento is the fifth city worldwide to get a splash of color from The Blue Trees. Dimopoulos has colored trees in major cities worldwide with the vivid blue pigment to shake up familiar urban landscapes and call attention to global deforestation. The blue is meant to represent “oxygen.”
Dimopoulos has installed The Blue Trees in Melbourne (2006), Vancouver (2011), Auckland (2011)and Seattle (2012). After Sacramento, the project will be taken to Gainesville, Florida, and Houston, Texas. The artist is currently in discussions to expand the project to New York, Boston, Liverpool, and Vienna.
Dimopolous uses bright blue as a metaphor for oxygen deprivation, and because it’s an “unnatural” color for trees, it’s meant to jolt the viewer and spark conversation. He chose trees as his medium because he’s alarmed at the rapid loss of the world’s forests.
The Blue Trees came to Sacramento after Sactown Magazine published an article in June about the effort in Seattle, calling on the “city of trees” to bring the artist to Sacramento. That was seen as a challenge by Ray Tretheway, executive director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation and ACTrees president, and he answered it.
The foundation partnered with the magazine, the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau, and other businesses and nonprofit groups, raising $25,000 in private donations in one week to pay for the artist, his travel and supplies. Tretheway wants to promote tree planting in the Sacramento region, both for the environment and the economy.