To launch the Calliotree project, Ryan initiated the site in becoming a place hosting a series of festive events. He made sure that these events were integrated into our monthly art walk on the first Saturday’s of every month. In this way, Ryan understood that more people would become aware of the movement to repair the tree over the up and coming months. This is what spurned the roll out of events that have since occurred like Treeversation, Treeprov and the Fiesta on 5th Street. These events continue to give our community a chance to share their voice, passion and participate in the process as the Calliotree project evolves. This memoir will share details about the first event called Treeversation.
Treeversation acted as a project mixing art, dialog and nature. The event compelled us to recognize in our artists open individuals who are regularly ahead of their time. With a progressive social attitude and the sense of increased openness to the other, whether that other is human or nonhuman artists have helped to lead in celebrating our Historic Sycamore. On the first Saturday of March a beautiful display of dialogic activity occured when local artist Leah Shapi hosted an art event related to the Sycamore tree during the Boca de Oro: OC Art and Literature Festival in Downtown Santa Ana. The event was cleverly called Treeversations.
At the event locals and visitors where told the history of the tree and were given beautiful handmade scarves in which each came to write their inspirations, ideas and hopes for the tree. The colorful scarves were strung up at the site. Since beginning we have collected hundreds of these messages for the tree.
Once the messages had been written on the scarves they were hung on the fence surrounding the tree. Below is an example of one of the messages people wrote.
To further the treeversation dialog a featured didgeridoo performance by Joseph Newberry who makes his own didgeridoos stood by to further the message. Joseph would play the messages to the tree on the didgeridoo after it was spoken by the person who had written the message.
Overall it was a beautiful first event and I am reminded of a woman named Karle Wilson Baker who is quoted as saying “Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.” In the city of Santa Ana the quote would go like this: “Today I have grown taller from talking to our Sycamore Tree.”
Making the space for nature to be admired and respected brings us together with the earth, tree, and sky and these three things are something that we as residents of the city can truly say we all have in common.
Story by Madeleine Spencer
Santa Ana Birthplace Location
We believe the Calliotree is an amazing revival of local history using organic life, digital technology, and simple creativity.