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The Never-Ending Wood is a photo collage cycle selected for a large-scale public art project in Nebraska called An Enchanted Arboretum.
33 backers pledged $2,280 to help bring this project to life.
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The Never-Ending Wood: Part of 'An Enchanted Arboretum' project video thumbnail
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$2,280

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Photo Collage + Sculpture = Public Art

The Never-Ending Wood Original Design Cycle
The Never-Ending Wood Original Design Cycle

My project is part of a public art initiative in Nebraska City, Nebraska called An Enchanted Arboretum. My design, The Never-Ending Wood, is one of 21 artist-designed 6-foot-tall sculptural trees that will make up the project. I'm a Minneapolis photographer and the only artist outside of Nebraska selected for the project.

Blank Maquette for An Enchanted Arboretum
Blank Maquette for An Enchanted Arboretum

This project is a big step in my artistic development. It's a creative departure and a new way of working for me in terms of using my photographs to create layered collage compositions, taking my photos off the wall and applying them to a large-scale three-dimensional sculpture, and participating in my first public art project.

Finished Maquette - Never-Ending Wood Design Proposal
Finished Maquette - Never-Ending Wood Design Proposal

The night I created this series of images, it was one of those amazing moments you hear about (and always hope to experience) where the creative spirit just took over and all these ideas I had about the symbolic significance of the tree found expression in the design. 

Detail of Finished Maquette
Detail of Finished Maquette

Here's a little more description from my proposal:

My design is based in these ideas of the tree as both omnipresent and ever-changing. The title of the piece, “The Never-Ending Wood” stems from this interest in the relationship between the tree, the passage of time, and the world all around. The tree serves as connector between spheres - earth, air, and water - and provides continuity across time. It is a symbol of the cyclical nature of life as it embodies the seasons and transforms energy from one form to the next.

If you'd like to learn more about the inspiration behind the design, please check out my website where I've included a link to the project statement. 

Another view of the finished maquette
Another view of the finished maquette

When I found out my design was chosen, I was both excited and overwhelmed with the prospect of actually making this thing! While there are logistical details that I've worked out and the challenge of successfully wrangling these huge images onto the sculpture still lies ahead, the main obstacle has been the cost of implementing my design.

Tree Sculpture Arrived January 31st (and barely fit in my tiny garage)
Tree Sculpture Arrived January 31st (and barely fit in my tiny garage)

I am launching this campaign to try to raise money to cover the $700 printing costs for the project. If I am able to raise more than my goal, it will help to cover additional costs including materials, application and shipping fees, and renting a trailer to deliver the finished tree to Nebraska City.

1 of 4 original compositions from The Never-Ending Wood design cycle
1 of 4 original compositions from The Never-Ending Wood design cycle

My stretch goal - if I raise enough extra money - is to produce four large-scale prints (canvas or metal?) of the four images for exhibition. And maybe pay the artist, too.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my project. Please visit my blog to see more of my work and follow future projects.

Detail of one branch showing the branch details and contouring
Detail of one branch showing the branch details and contouring

Thanks to the whole project team behind An Enchanted Arboretum, project coordinator Liz Shea-McCoy, Tom Farrell, and Icon Poly owners Kyle and Daniele Vohland for giving me the opportunity to be part of this project and for their enthusiasm and support.

(*Note: The project board provided each artist $500 and they generously provided additional support by shipping the tree to Minneapolis, however, my total project costs will exceed $1200.)

Another composition from The Never-Ending Wood. This is the only one featuring a human figure, a young girl walking through the forest.
Another composition from The Never-Ending Wood. This is the only one featuring a human figure, a young girl walking through the forest.

REWARDS

Rewards feature images from the original design cycle. Choose a single image or the full series. Prints are special edition archival inkjet on cotton rag paper, signed by me. All prints are produced in Minneapolis, either in my studio or by West Photo. For reward offering a single image, you can choose which one you'd like.

Please indicate image selection by number:

The Never-Ending Wood Design Cycle: Numbered Images
The Never-Ending Wood Design Cycle: Numbered Images

Risks and challenges

Many of the big challenges of this project are things I've already figured out. The first was transportation - getting a big sculpture from Nebraska to Minneapolis and back again is no small feat. The project board generously supported my request to ship the sculpture to Minneapolis. In early April, we'll rent a U-Haul trailer and deliver the tree back to Nebraska City.

The other big challenge has been figuring out the best way to execute the design. I've been consulting with a variety of commercial printers as well as Kyle & Daniele from Icon Poly (the manufacturers of the tree). I think we've got the logistics worked out now. All that remains is for me to successfully apply the images to the tree. I anticipate some amount of trial and error and perhaps a bit of cursing but I'm confident that it will come together.

Of course, the other main challenge is paying for it all...

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Every bit counts! You'll receive a commemorative archival print postcard featuring one of the four photo collage images printed in my studio on cotton paper. A framable mini print with a handwritten thank you on the back.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    100% Recycled Journal. 5 x 8 with Archival Photo Cover Print featuring 1 of 4 images from The Never-Ending Wood design cycle.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Archival inkjet 5 x 7 print on cotton rag paper featuring one of the four images from The Never-Ending Wood series, mounted, matted and ready to frame. Signed by me.

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    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    Archival inkjet 8 x 10 print on cotton rag paper featuring one of the four images from The Never-Ending series. Signed by me.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Signed 9 x 20 matte archival inkjet print showing all four images from "The Never-Ending Wood".

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    9 x 20 matte archival inkjet print showing all four images from "The Never-Ending Wood" matted and framed and signed by me.

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    Limited 4 backers
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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    16 x 20 archival print mounted on handcrafted wood block featuring one of the four images from "The Never-Ending Wood". Stained and sealed with matte varnish to protect and add a hand-brushed texture.

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Funding period

- (24 days)