Step onto the campus at the University of Florida these days and it’s likely you’ll soon be singing the “blues” — but not of the musical kind. “Blue Trees,” a public-art project conceived by Konstantin Dimopoulos, has awareness of the critical importance of trees in the environmental landscape as its primary goal, bringing attention to the troubling issue of deforestation that is taking place on a global scale.
The Australia-based artist, who describes the undertaking as a “social art action,” has previously dressed up arboreal settings (the trees are colored with harmless pigments that degrade naturally) in such cities as Vancouver and Seattle. “In order for me to get people to see the forest, I had to get the trees visible,” he says. “Trees are largely invisible in our daily lives, and it’s not until it’s too late that we realize how important they are to us both aesthetically and environmentally.” As for the offbeat choice of color, Dimopoulos explains that, “The fact that blue is a color that is not naturally identified with trees suggests to the viewer that something unusual, something out of the ordinary has happened. It becomes a magical transformation.”
Depending on the weather, the “transformation” in Gainesville is expected to last through this May, while the woody perennials of Houston are scheduled for their own splash of color later in 2013.