The Elders - CODAworx

The Elders

Submitted by Joanne Howard

Client: NYC Parks and Recreations Dept.

Location: New York, NY, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $10,000

Project Team


Joanne Howard



CMI Fabricators

CMI Foundry


Elizabeth Masella

NYC Parks and Rec,


Fabricated from carved dehydrated apples cast in brass, The Elders is a series of miniature portraits; I see these diminutive characters as guardians of nature, here to act as protectors of the natural environment by gently reminding passersby by of the precarious state of our cherished green spaces.

The Elders was installed in a NYC neighborhood park for a nine month ‘residency’ in 2021, surrounding a grove of cherry trees. Ideally, this site specific (size determined by site) installation sits in a green space. Thus far, it has been designed to retrofit standard NYC Parks Dept. wrought iron fences.


This project needs a permanent site, where the individual sculptures can be affixed securely. Typically, public art is temporary, which creates a very vulnerable situation (theft) for these miniature sculptures.


The collaborative process involves the artist carving apples and the passage of time. As the apples slowly dry out, they shrink and morph in ways that cannot be entirely predicted.

Additional Information

The depth and impact of climate change is here. This project is a quiet reminder of the power of trees and their urgent necessity for the planet's survival. This piece is not dogmatic. It nudges gently. In addition to feeling that these characters represent the force of nature in an anthropomorphic state, they also have the ability to fascinate and amuse.