NW MI Arts & Culture Network
Pine Cone Forest at MLAP
The Pinecone Forest project celebrated pinecones, wildflowers, and the forest, with small scale individual art activities, and a student/community-made large environmental art installation that is being displayed at Michigan Legacy Art Park (Art Park) from September 2022 through May 2023. Due to the materials and outdoor conditions, this piece is ephemeral and will have a short viewing window before it deteriorates. Utilizing a community generated, innovative art project, the Art Park provides an opportunity for all to “see the forest for the trees,” and in doing so, connect people to Michigan’s natural environment, history, and opportunities for the future.
Twenty-eight activities were offered at local schools, community centers, art fairs, and the Art Park during the period March 1-September 1, 2022. Environmental Artist Patricia Innis designed and implemented the Pinecone Forest community activity and the plan to combine hundreds of pinecone mobiles created by the public, while artist Dewey Blocksma designed a unique plan to hang the completed mobiles into a unified installation. Each mobile was made with a 12-foot string of natural twine wound around locally contributed evergreen cones from pine, spruce, and other conifers, to represent trees. This site-specific tactile sculpture is in the Art Park along the Access for All trail, near the Discovery Grove, and can be viewed by all visitors to the park, without limits of mobility and vision.
In addition to the pinecone mobile project, other art activities were offered on Saturdays and some Sundays at the Art Park, under the direction of Visiting Artist Ramona DeGeorgio-Venegas and Art Park staff and volunteers, these included pinecone birds, wildflower presses, and creating forest-themed Haiku poems.
This project got people outdoors, collaborating not just with other people, but with nature herself to create a lifelong art experience and memories. People expressed themselves through the creation of the pinecone mobiles and personal art pieces. Participants felt a sense of connection to the greater community and a sense of accomplishment when viewing the finished work. Additionally, non-participants in the creation of the project are being enriched when they encounter the installation at the Michigan Legacy Art Park.