Public Art Project: Bottle Trees at Annmarie Garden
SOLOMONS, MARYLAND -Glitter is the new green for Dale Wayne, artist-in-residence this summer at at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center. Proof of the success of her new green vision is on exhibit as inspiration for participants in this summer’s public art project.
In an event ongoing through August 26, 2012, guests are invited to help create Dancing on Joy’s Horizon, a glittery forest of bottle blossom trees made from plastic bottles salvaged from the Appeal Landfill. The bottle blossom trees will grow over the course of the summer, as guests of all ages add their painted and glittery blossoms to five 8-foot trees.
“I love the transforming power of play and how people of all ages and abilities are moved by the process of turning ‘trash’ into something that will be celebrated as art. The glitter, silly as it sounds, draws people into the process and everyone goes home a little more sparkly,” Ms. Wayne said.
Guests can participate in the growing process of these delightful trees, painting, decorating, cutting, and glittering will be involved. Annmarie Garden’s 2012 Annual Summer Public Art Project is a collaborative project for all ages and is included with site admission. The activity takes place in the artLAB, open 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, and Sundays where you can either cut, paint, or douse your creations (if not yourself). When it comes to this garden party, it’s not strictly BYOB (bring your own bottle). The public is welcome to bring their own plastic water and soda bottles to recycle into Ms. Wayne’s project, but if you don’t have any on hand don’t worry. Annmarie Garden provides all the materials needed to participate. This activity is appropriate for all ages; reservations are not required.
For her Dancing on Joy’s Horizon installation, Ms. Wayne borrows from the African tradition of bottle trees, “hanging glass bottles in trees can still be seen in the deep-south and is a popular trend in today’s gardens. Historically, colorful bottles were thought to mesmerize and capture evil spirits.” Dale explains then continues with a laugh, “when I first made the connection I was already attaching the plastic bottles to trees and I thought, oh no, I’m metaphorically letting out all kinds of evil spirits! I soon realized that since my theme at the time, ‘The Trees of Life’, represented paradise”¦where there are no evil spirits and all spirits are free.”
Wayne developed her technique of cutting, painting, and heating plastic bottles in 2004 while teaching art classes in Orlando, Florida. “I was working in glass and was trying to figure out a way to translate that medium into a classroom setting. My dad, who is a sculptor, showed me how he was able to manipulate plastic to make armatures, to support the material he was working with at the time. I wondered if I could paint plastic bottles and use heat to make them take on a glass-like quality. It wasn’t long before I had a classroom of students diving into the project and going home in glitter from head-to-toe.”
Annmarie Garden’s Artist-in-Residence Program provides a serene place on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay for visual, musical, and literary artists to create works that address ecological issues and/or inspire community involvement. Artists have access to a private studio space, in addition to a variety of classroom studios and garage spaces, a waterfront, and fifty acres of forest and field.
Residencies focus on merging the arts and the environment that includes the involvement of the local community. Artist Wayne, a world traveler, who now resides in Florida, is fueled by the unexpected and embraces the opportunity to involve the public.
Dale Wayne’s works include an Earth Day installation for The Orlando Museum of Science; a poolside tower for a Home and Garden Television (HGTV) design program; award winning Christmas trees for The Orlando Museum of Art’s Festival of Trees, and an installation titled, “The Trees of Life Reclaimed” acquired by the Kent County Michigan Recycling and Education Center. Wayne has been featured in magazines, newspapers, television, and has published her methods widely. “I figure the more people who learn this process; the fewer bottles will hit the landfill,” Dale explains, “and the side-effect of their involvement is joy.”