The Painted Forest

orange and blue trees the painted forest

Photo Credit John Picken/ CC BY 2.0

I’ve heard of painting the roses red via Alice in Wonderland, but painting the trees? Apparently, only in Chicago.

A group of seven large trees and about one hundred smaller trees along Lake Shore Drive are sporting the latest colors of the season: yellow, orange and blue. The Chicago Park District and Moore Landscapes, Inc. have come together to create this cartoon-like scenery which is being dubbed The Painted Forest. The Park District explained this oddity, stating that the seven large trees were marked for removal due to invasive species, but in the meantime Chicagoans can enjoy them as part of an art installation. The close to one hundred smaller trees are defoliated dead trees that have been taken from various nurseries, painted, and bolted to the ground to accent the display. The whole exhibition began as an attempt to bring some color to what can be a dreary Chicago winter, but also to highlight the city’s natural landscapes. Over the past 10 years, the Park District has produced numerous art projects using the already beautiful Chicago landscape.

The exhibit is definitely bringing about a lot of attention as well as mixed reactions from motorists and pedestrians alike. Personally, I appreciate that the Park District is recycling dead trees to raise awareness and found the exhibit quite mystical. Chicago could not be the artistically inspirational city it is without controversial installations such as The Painted Forest. So, catch a glimpse on your way home from the Zoo, go for a stroll or take a cruise down LSD to view this work of art; I promise The Painted Forest will entrance you. The people of Chicago only have until the end of 2010 to either gripe or appreciate the installation — but don’t worry, after they are taken out, new trees will be planted in their place.

Located in Lincoln Park
West of Lake Shore Dr, east of the Rowing Lagoon, south of Fullerton Ave and north of North Ave.

About Natalie Scheid

When Mattel manufactures your idol and your nickname is Barbie life can get pretty unreal. My favorite activities include cheering on the White Sox (I’ve been converting Cubs fans since 1986), meeting new people and writing on the rooftop with the skyline as my backdrop. You might be able to find me at the opening of a new hot spot, soaking up some culture at a local museum or art show, or enjoying one of the cities fabulous festivals. So…. catch me if you can!

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