By Stephanie Blake, Blake Communications
On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Konstantin Dimopoulos’ The Blue Trees, an environmental art installation about global deforestation and the importance of trees to people and their environment, will launch in The Denver Theatre District, coloring the trees lining the streets of downtown Denver, Colorado, using a biologically-safe, water-based, non-permanent colorant.
Dimopoulos’ performance work uses trees as the canvas, calling attention to the fleeting quality of nature and raising social consciousness about our interactions with the natural world. The installation is the first in a series of installations, collectively called Terra Firma, to be hosted by The Denver Theatre District (DTD) in 2017. Each installation, curated by NINE dot ARTS, relies on community collaboration and public interaction.
For several weeks in April and the beginning of May, as weather allows, Dimopoulos will work his way through the District, coloring 150 trees blue. The public will be invited to help color the trees; specific dates, volunteer information and registration will be announced in April. The colorant will naturally degrade from the trees over a period of months, depending on the type of tree and the local weather.
“I chose to use blue because blue trees do not exist in nature. I want people to notice the trees, to see them as more than just wallpaper in their lives. Change can be threatening. Changing a local environment through color is both disconcerting and even uncomfortable,” said the artist, Konstantin Dimopoulos. “The trees I color blue will revert back to their natural state. Yet the oldgrowth forests and rainforests that are being removed from the planet – trees that we cannot see, trees that are hundreds of years old – are irreplaceable, at least in our lifetime. When you remove these trees, these forests, you remove whole ecosystems of plants and wildlife.”
Family-friendly and free programming, scheduled throughout the month of May and hosted by The Denver Theatre District, will include musical performances, performances by local arts & culture organizations, educational lectures and wellness events. On May 20, DTD will hold an LED art showcase with partner Denver Digerati and a special writing event with Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Family Fun Day will take place on Sunday, May 21 at Skyline Park on the 16th Street Mall, giving families an opportunity to color 200 saplings, participate in environmentally friendly educational activities and enjoy kid-friendly entertainment.
“The Denver Theatre District, with the support of numerous city partners, is thrilled to welcome the performance art of Konstantin Dimopoulos, The Blue Trees, to Denver,” said David Ehrlich, executive director, The Denver Theatre District. “We’ve worked closely with the Denver Department of Public Works , Forestry, and The Park People to identify the trees that will receive the colorant and to partner with us in infusing our urban environment with a message of environmental impact.”
For more information about programming, visit the Denver Theatre District’s website and follow DTD on Facebook and Instagram (@DenverTheatreDistrict). Engage in the conversation about The Blue Trees by using the hashtag #KonBlueTrees.
Konstantin Dimopoulos creates both permanent and temporary public art installations, from sculptures to land art. Born to Greek parents in Egypt, he and his family migrated to New Zealand when he was a young boy in the 1960s at a time when there was no support for new immigrants. This experience as a merely tolerated stranger in a new land has resonated throughout his life when he studied first as a sociologist then as an artist. A deep connection with humanity, social justice and environmental consciousness pervades his artwork. The Blue Trees highlights the issue of global deforestation; while The Purple Rain removes the anonymity from the generic term “homeless.” His kinetic linear sculptures are in public art collections around the United States. For more information about Dimopoulos and his work, visit www.kondimopoulos.com.
The Denver Theatre District (DTD) enlivens a 16-block area of downtown Denver through interactive, immersive and experimental art and culture events and experiences. It provides creatives with a downtown platform and financial support for sharing their work. The DTD is a private non-profit funded through a revenue share collected from advertising on static and LED screens located throughout the District. The Denver Theatre District invests its outdoor media revenues in cultural and art-based experiences, most of which are free to the public. This model is the first of its kind, setting an example for cities nationwide in how to leverage private revenue streams to fund public art and activity.