What Is It About Trees
El Camino College Art Gallery
February 18 – March 12, 2020
Curated by Susanna Meiers
Featuring works by: Kim Abeles, Adrian Amjadi, Marthe Aponte, Angela Aylward, Mariona Barkus, Phoebe Barnum, Randall Bloomberg, Gail Brown, Garrett M. Brown, Lorraine Bubar, Curt Caldwell, Art Constancio, Ray Carofano, Joyce Dallal, Raoul De la Sota, L. Aviva Diamond, Jeanne Dunn, Susan Einstein, Kathi Flood, Roger Fuentes, Joel Glassman, Joe Hardesty, Jason Jenn, Joyce Kohl, Noel Korten, Peter Liashkov, Betsy Lohrer Hall, Kaoru Mansour, Aline Mare, Karena Massengill, Nancy Mooslin, Nancy Mozur, Hilary Norcliffe, Sam O’Neal, Vojislav Radovanović, Roxene Rockwell, Marianne Sadowski, Anne Scheid, Jill Sykes, Pat Warner, Nancy Webber, Naima White.
El Camino College Art Gallery is proud to present the work of forty-two artists in an extraordinary exhibition of artistic work in response to trees. This exhibition contains images in a broad range of media including photography, drawing, sculpture, painting, printmaking, digital media, collage and jewelry to mixed media installation, and performance/video. Each artist deals uniquely with the weighty nature of trees, as objects of beauty, as philosophical symbols and as an essential aspect of life on earth as we know it.
A tree is a passage between earth and sky… You and the tree in your backyard come from a common ancestor. A billion and a half years ago, the two of you parted ways. But even now, after an immense journey in separate directions, that tree and you still share a quarter of your genes… Overstory by Richard Powers Is this genetic link the thing that makes us revere trees? Is it the resemblance of the human form to the trunk and upward reaching arms that moves us? Is it the generative quality of trees and the fact that trees create nurturing systems for each other in much the way that bees, ants (and sometimes humans do)? Is it their beauty and their gracious shade? Their delicious fruits and fragrant flowers? Host to bees, birds and termites, to name a few? Trees are among the oldest continuously living life forms on earth. Currently, a particular Bristlecone Pine in the White Mountains of California is more than 5,000 years old and an especially ancient Giant Sequoia, also in California, is 3,200. Many species of trees create living/cloning colonies connected by root systems that reproduce for vast periods of time. The Quaking Aspens of Utah are thought to have been in existence for between 80,000 – 1,000,000 years. Leaves from Gingko trees are found in fossils that date back to 270 million years ago. At last count there are more than 60,000 species of trees around the globe. It is no accident that trees are a central sacred image found in religions throughout the world – from Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Baha’i, to Christianity and countless others, from ancient Iran, Mesopotamia, China, Europe, Russia, Africa, Mesoamerica, to the Iroquois Nation in the US. Not only are trees intertwined with physical life on earth, they seem to be profoundly rooted in the human psyche as well.