The Blue Trees

Submitted by Rachel Pennington

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Client: City of Mississauga

Location: Mississauga, ON, Canada

Completion date: Jan 01, 2016

Artwork budget: $23,000

Project Team

Public Art Agent

Yvonne Monestier

City of Mississauga Public Art Program

Artist

Konstantin Dimopoulos

Overview

The Blue Trees is an international award winning, temporary public art installation which raises questions about global deforestation through social action and community participation. Using an environmentally friendly, water-based electric-blue pigment, living trees were transformed for a short period of time in Mississauga into a surreal landscape. This temporary public art initiative makes trees visible in urban spaces and raises social consciousness about the role of trees as the lungs of the world.

Goals

The City of Mississauga is committed to supporting and investing in the arts community. The Public Art Program aims to characterize Mississauga as a vibrant and creative community where people want to live, work and play. A variety of permanent and temporary art installations, such as The Blue Trees, enhance the quality of life for Mississauga's residents and create great experiences for visitors. The Blue Trees is an attempt to inspire conversation and community action around deforestation issues by using art as a vehicle. The project seeks to raise awareness and encourage discussion about the benefits of trees and forests for people and the planet. Forests provide many ecological, social and economic benefits, including retaining and filtering storm water, replenishing groundwater for streams and lakes, providing fish and wildlife habitat, sequestering carbon and releasing oxygen that we breathe and beautification of our communities and local landscape.

Process

Sculptor, environmentalist, performance and installation artist, Konstantin Dimopoulos was commissioned by The City of Mississauga, in partnership with local project partners to create The Blue Trees in the heart of downtown Mississauga. To launch the initiative Dimopoulos took part in an Artist Talk, hosted by the Living Arts Centre, to discuss The Blue Trees project and how art has the potential to change the world. Community colouring days were organized so that local residents could assist Dimopoulos in animating and completely transforming Mississauga's downtown into an outdoor art gallery.

Additional Information

The Blue Trees was funded through the City of Mississauga Public Art Program, with matching financial support from La Maison Simons and Square One, Oxford Properties Group. Community contributors included Sheridan College and the Living Arts Centre.