The Witness Tree Project
In timing with Prospect Park's 150th Anniversary, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Prospect Park Alliance are presenting The Witness Tree Project, an exhibition of designed objects by RISD students created from a 150-year-old fallen elm tree in the Prospect Park Parade Ground. The public exhibition is on view at Lefferts Historic House through September 30, 2017.
Pictured is Rubic Cube, by Talia Connelly. Click through to see more of work from The Witness Tree Project.
Witness Trees, as designated by the National Park Service (NPS), are long-standing trees that have "witnessed" key events in history. This European elm was planted circa 1870 in a quiet southwestern corner of the then newly-opened Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
It was late 2015 when the tree, standing in a corner of the Prospect Park Parade Ground, died and became part of RISD’s Witness Tree Project.
Pictured is Hip Hop Record Player, by Isabel Andrews.
In the spring of 2017, after RE-CO BKLYN, a Brooklyn-based lumber company, cut and dried the elm, RISD student designers began their process by researching Brooklyn's rich cultural history. The group visited Prospect Park and then designed objects reflecting on what they learned, using the wood of a Prospect Park witness tree to create objects inspired by Brooklyn.
Pictured is Table, by Brian Skalaski.
The harvested wood transformed into objects ranging from a series of wooden kaleidoscopes through which viewers can observe the text of President Trump’s proposed travel ban, to a wooden replica of the turntable used by seminal immigrant musician Grand Master Flash in the 1970s. The range of projects represents the wide range of immigrant experiences.
Pictured is Kaleidoscope, by Daniel Icaza Milson.
The exhibit is now on view at Lefferts Historic House until September 30, 2017, Thursdays through Sundays from 12-5 pm, with a closing reception on September 30 from 3-5 pm. Visit the Lefferts Historic House webpage for more information.
Pictured is Water Yoke and Buckets, by Katie Flood.