Press Release


CHICAGO (Summer/Fall 2017)—Chicago Sculpture International (CSI), in conjunction with the Chicago Park District (CPD), is proud to announce the “Chicago Tree Project 2017,” an annual citywide effort to transform sick and dying trees into vibrant public art. Using art as a vessel for public engagement, sculptors will transform a variety of trees into fun and whimsical experiences for the greater Chicago community. The collaborative project between CSI artists and CPD and is part of the greater initiative to expand the reach of public art in Chicago.

“The Chicago Park District strives to integrate art and nature in many ways to enhance the experience of public spaces,” said General Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Park District Michael P. Kelly. “This project builds on the city’s reputation for great public art, and brings the work of local sculptors to a wide array of neighborhoods throughout the city.”

Over the course of the Summer and continuing into the Fall, artists have adopted trees throughout Chicago and will modify them through sculpture. With traditional carving methods, as well as mixed media and other embellishment, each tree will receive a new life as a centerpiece designed to encourage dialogue and enrich the surrounding park. The chosen trees are in geographically diverse areas to give as many residents as possible access to the pieces.

The tree project was originally proposed and organized by Chicago Sculpture International, a group of artists devoted to the understanding and creation of sculpture as a unique and vital contribution to society. The project will be completed by the end of November, and the decorated and carved trees will remain in the parks as long as the trees remain secure.

2017 Tree Artists: JR Cadawas, Janet Austin, Sandra Bacon & John Hatlestad, Carrie Fischer, Nick Goettling, Tracy Ostmann Haschke, Anthony Heinz May, Cat Chiu Phillips, and Actual Size Artworks (Gail Simpson & Artistotle Georgiades)