Think about a birch tree. If you look up, maybe you can see one outside your window right now. An iconic tree in Alaska’s boreal forest, birches have been the focus of The Folk School’s One Tree projects in 2009 and 2017. February 2023 marks the beginning of our next OneTree project!
“OneTree” is a unique program that celebrates the life and offerings of one single tree, both as a member of the forest community and then as objects made from every part of the harvested tree. This concept has been a meaningful and exciting way to demonstrate the wonders of trees in Europe and the U.S.
Our tree of choice in Fairbanks has been birch. Past works have included paintings, woodcut prints, photographs, syrup, a chair, sculptures, a cask, a kick sled made from the naturally occurring bends in the wood, birch bark baskets, artist books, and more. The project in 2017-18 involved a group of elementary school kids who visited the tree and made drawings. These drawings were then taken to the women’s jail in Fairbanks, where those currently incarcerated wrote prose and poetry in response to the kids drawings, as they were unable to visit the tree in person. This powerful partnership was one of the highlights of the program.
Teal and Nathan at Sunlight Farms have graciously donated a birch tree for our OneTree3 project, and it is available for viewing!
Artists, writers, makers, teachers, and scientists now have the opportunity to visit the tree and propose projects. After harvest, we will distribute branches, bark, leaves, and other parts to participants for use in their projects, which will be exhibited in the fall of 2024. If you are interested in participating in OneTree3 in any way, please fill out our interest form to join the OneTree3 email list. Click here to fill out the form.
You are welcome, whether you are planning a OneTree3 project or not, to visit and take photos, draw, write, or just get to know the birch tree. Nathan built a rough-sawn bench and placed it in a prime spot for communing with the tree.
Please contact Kerri Hamos at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in visiting the tree, or with any other questions.
Pictures from One2Tree: