The Beauty and Wonder of Trees Project
Exhibitions, Presentations, Workshops and Tree Portraits
“We are called to assist the Earth…in all of its diversity, beauty and wonder.”
– Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai
The Beauty & Wonder of Trees Project was established in 2013 after an encounter with a paper birch tree and the discovery of the image, Reveal the True Self. Jeri Love was then moved to use the photographic arts to help viewers see and experience our shared relationship with nature’s largest and most beneficent plant.
Inspired by the work of the late Nobel Laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai and the women of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, her first solo exhibition included images of neighborhood Champion Trees and promoted a give-away of heritage tree seedlings.
Since that time, images from the ever-expanding project have been exhibited nationwide in galleries, as well as community centers. Then, a community-engagement component emerged. Utilizing photography and additional creative arts, Jeri has worked with tree-planting organizations, community groups, public works, nature centers, and schools to help them share the expansive and expressive gifts of trees, empower communities, and foster tree stewardship.
Dr. Wangari Mathaai
Community Engagement: Plant A Tree: Grow Our Future℠
Trees are storehouses of ancient wisdom; collectors of history; bridges between cultural traditions, and the common denominator spanning most religious and spiritual traditions. They also are a source of environmental integrity, public health support, economic vitality, and community beautification. That makes trees the natural portal for building and strengthening ties between schools, neighborhoods, communities and the businesses that are the source of the community’s economic livelihood and stability.
The Plant A Tree: Grow Community℠ Program uses the principles of Place-based Environmental Education, creative engagement activities and the visual arts to facilitate and promote community revitalization, citizen empowerment, and tree stewardship.
The program promotes and facilitates interactions with a broad cross-section of the community. Presentations, dialogue, and hands-on activities give participants of all ages the opportunity to identify local issues; collectively brainstorm solutions; make recommendations, and then take action to improve the quality of life for everyone. Through this process, their awareness of the trees in their immediate environment—backyards, neighborhoods, local playgrounds, school grounds, community parks, and local forest preserves—leads to a renewed sense of community, commitment, and responsibility to plant, protect and preserve trees for the sake of future generations.
When we work together to plant trees, we grow and activate engaged citizens. For more information about presentations and workshops, click here.
Commission a Tree Project for Your School, Community or Your Family
Or have you planted trees to celebrate family milestones—the birth of a child or the passing of a loved one? Document your family history with a photograph.
Jeri Love is available for commissions for the creation of documentary photographic studies of community trees; the creation of photographic books, or photographic exhibitions of your community trees.
Images from The Beauty and Wonder of Trees Projectalso are available for purchase and display. For additional information, click here.
For more information, contact:
Thank You to Our Benefactors:
Special Thanks to Our Sponsors and Supporters:
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum ▪ Kalamazoo Institute of Art ▪ Kalamazoo Nature Center ▪ Kalamazoo Neighborhood Services and Matt Lager ▪ Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy ▪ Citizen Foresters and John Kost ▪ The Pentatura Artists ▪ Chicago Alliance of Visual Artists ▪ Ed Kaiser ▪ Sergio Rebelo ▪ Tom Jacobs ▪ Jennifer Joseph ▪ Kathleen Valenzi Knaus ▪ Mary Busch ▪ Nancy Brothers ▪ Patricia Wallace ▪ Laurie Pruitt ▪ Lois Jackson ▪ Jim Jackson ▪ James C. Palmore ▪ Arthur E. Falk ▪ Steve Keto ▪ John Short ▪ Rebecca Brand ▪ Claudia Welsh ▪ Melissa Toyashima ▪ Maya Joseph-Brooks ▪ Fuquan Brooks
Dedicated to all of my teachers who helped me to see the light:
Daisaku Ikeda ▪ Otherie Winfield Love ▪ Samuel M. Love ▪ Sheryl Love-Bennewitz ▪ Christer Bennewitz ▪ Gurdrun Gudmundsdottir ▪ Emma Owens ▪ Ethel Felton ▪ Gladys Gates ▪ Oliver Gates ▪ Minnie Gilmer Adams ▪ Louise Eason ▪ Arnold Winfield ▪ Florence Frye Winfield ▪ Prentice Winfield, Jr. ▪ Gregory Hicks ▪ Michael Graves ▪ Carolyn Somerville ▪ Akemi Bailey-Haynie ▪ Linda C. Johnson ▪ Margrette Francisco ▪ Celia Francisco ▪ Robin J. Carlson ▪ Michael Frye ▪ Claudia Welsh ▪ Laurie Pruitt ▪ Fran Jemmott ▪ Bill Lynch, Sr. ▪ Kathleen Clemmons ▪ Mike Moats ▪ Jack Carlson ▪ Dianne Kittle ▪ Gina Grillo ▪ Diana Beresford-Kroeger ▪ Pat Tobin ▪ Dennis Murray ▪ Myra J ▪ David Perry, Sr. ▪ Cassandra Medley ▪ Will Scheffer ▪ Kenny Fries ▪ Marina Budhos ▪ Pami Osaki ▪ Junse Kim ▪ Madge Bares ▪ Judy MacLeod ▪ Desmond Joseph-Brooks ▪ Layla Joseph-Brooks
“He who plants a tree, plants a hope.”
– Lucy Larcom