True to the cliché, images sometimes speak louder than words. Such is the case with The Urban Forest Project, a collaborative endeavor led by the NY chapter of AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) to hang 185 banners in Times Square as a way to get New Yorkers thinking about the role of nature in their urban experience.
Each banner has been designed by a different graphic artist, illustrator, or photographer, with their only guiding requirement being the use of trees or tree metaphors to make a visual statement.
Together they create a forest of thought-provoking images at one of the worlds busiest, most energetic, and emphatically urban intersections. Following their display, (September 1October 31, 2006) the banners will be recycled into tote bags and sold at auction, with proceeds going to scholarship and mentoring programs that benefit students of the visual arts.
It was close to impossible to select just a handful to feature here. It's truly worth a visit to their online gallery to scan through all of the art. The above images were done by (from left to right): Kathleen Schenck Row, Kenneth Martinez & Kiffer Keegan, GOODESIGN, and Mark Randall.
I really like the one with the bird on it. It's so good to see artists using their art for a cause, rather than just for being an art snob.
This project is really cool. I'm a big supporter of the arts, and I also feel nature gets taken for granted especially in the city where it's hard to see the natural beauty all around. I think this is a great idea.
We definitely need more trees in urban environments.
However, its too bad that this group has to resort to misleading negative statistics to inspire people.
I am not sure exactly what is meant by "27% of the wood harvested commercially" but why should this matter? The real point is... are we doing this sustainably?
Here is a countering statistic from
"Question: How many acres of trees are planted annually in the United States?
Answer: Tree planting on all ownerships total approximately 2.6 million acres annually. This annual planting roughly equals the size of the State of Connecticut. "
"Approximately 1.6 billion trees are produced and shipped by forest tree nurseries annually. Forest product nurseries produce 852 million trees, private nurseries produce 366 million trees, state nurseries produce 348 million trees, and federal nurseries produce 38 million trees."
Maybe the sign should read ....
"Americans plant 27 % all trees planted commercially each year."
the pensive bird is actually by the studio GOODESIGN
i was excited when i noticed the banner in the median in times square today because i (naively) thought the concrete would be supplanted with actual greenspace. that part of the city is considered (at least by me) to be a complete wasteland in every sense of the term. i have to say this is a huge disappointment.