|"Dancing into the Dark," by Kesler Woodward|
The OneTree Alaska program will host an open house and fundraiser Sept. 30 to support its work in Fairbanks area schools.
The event will run from 5 to 8 p.m. at the OneTree Alaska STEM to STEAM Studio in the Lola Tilly Commons Building. There will be birch-themed snacks and Fairbanks artist Kes Woodward, who is known for his colorful paintings of landscapes — especially birch trees — will sign prints of his limited edition “Dancing into the Dark” painting. In notes about the painting, he said he was inspired by seeing birch leaves in the UAF research plot on North Campus. He said, “It's not only a collection of observations about parts of that tree and its falling leaves, but as so often in my work, a personal rumination on life, growth, beauty, strength, vulnerability and change.”
The limited-edition print will sell for $150. Woodward is the OneTree artist in residence and has work space in the lab. Several of his paintings will be available for viewing during the open house. Participants will also be able to see the birch sap processing equipment and a short video with the New York-based fabricator who specializes in equipment for small-scale syrup operations and is working with the OneTree program.
OneTree provides outreach to K-12 students and teachers related to boreal forests. The students explore plant anatomy and physiology, the scientific process, and annual events in a birch tree’s life through experiments dealing with budburst, growth rate, and germination. On the art side, artists and K-12 students take the materials from the tree to create leaf rubbings, prints, sculptures, weavings, ledgers, books, containers, musical instruments and more.