Roaming Art Installation to Spark Tree Ordinance Conversation

May 12th, 2013 | By | Category: Entertainment, Sights

Brittany Sondberg Locket
The people of Greensboro are enduringly ardent on the subject of tree & tree limb removal at the hands of Duke Energy. Ardently opposed, that is. Neighborhoods like Westerwood and Southside, who bear the brunt of Duke’s actions thus far, reached out to the community and have unified over their losses, creating the Greensboro Respects Our Trees campaign. Endearingly stubborn, months and seasons later, their voices show no sign of quieting but are, in fact, multiplying with new, artistic narratives.

One such narrative comes from Brittany Søndberg, a jewelry entrepreneur who manages the successful jewelry and metal arts company, Copper Chameleon. Søndberg is the artist behind “A Locket For Our Canopy,” a roaming sculpture built of mica-coated cast concrete, steel, and a little bit of copper.

According to Søndberg, who serves as an executive board member to The Center for Visual Arts, environmentalism doesn’t usually inspire her work, although she does her part to recycle and compost. The installation, which looks quite literally like a pearl necklace with a pendant, lacing the ground at the bottom of a tree like a throat, was originally intended for two big oak trees in her backyard.

Søndberg decided to expand her piece from her backyard to the city of Greensboro after noticing signs for “Respect Our Trees!” in her neighborhood. After looking into the issue, she became appalled that any corporation would be allowed to harm Greensboro’s trees, one of our defining natural assets, even near the Arboretum.

tree art installation“I immediately felt like the sculpture’s place was to memorialize the trees we have lost or to represent the importance of the ones we may lose. I figured this was a way in which I could help the cause by bringing more attention to the matter as well as paying my respects,” says Søndberg.

Although the artist doesn’t expect drastic change to be made, Søndberg is hopeful that her work will ignite conversation and bring awareness to the issue.

“I think public art, especially with a focus on community concerns, can amplify these concerns and speak for the whole. It can help to simply draw more attention to a subject. Art, however, is not a cure-all,” says Søndberg, “There is no sense in creating public art if the energy involved could possibly take away from otherwise positive action. Hopefully in this case, it serves to inspire involvement through contemplation.”

“A Locket For Our Canopy” is temporarily on exhibit in the Southside neighborhood, between residences on McAdoo St and Murrow Blvd near the Lee St. intersection. Søndberg is lining up new locations for the piece which is intended to adorn trees all over Greensboro. She is also seeking help with “potential guerrilla style installs” and would be thrilled to get the help of the community.

If you’d like to host “A Locket For Our Canopy” or help the project, get in contact with Søndberg directly via the contact information listed on her website.

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