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Timothy Schenck, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY
Timothy Schenck, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

Artist Plants Miniature Redwood Forest in Downtown Brooklyn

Timothy Schenck, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY
Timothy Schenck, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

New Yorkers are used to jungles of the concrete variety. The trees that do line the city’s streets and populate its parks pale in comparison to the immense redwoods that brush the skies above the opposite side of the country. Looking to recreate the wilderness of a redwood forest in an urban setting, artist Spencer Finch planted 4000 trees in a downtown Brooklyn park. The installation mirrors a real forest in California, albeit on a much smaller scale, FastCo.Design reports.

“Lost Man Creek,” named after the original plot of trees it’s modeled after, is a grove of dawn redwood saplings planted in the middle of MetroTech Plaza. Finch came up with the idea over a year ago after he was contacted by the Public Art Fund to design their annual installation for the site. He was inspired by the plaza’s 4500-square-foot wedge of grass and got to work transforming it into a miniature forest.

The project is a 1:100 scale replica of its 790-acre twin on the west coast. Instead of towering trees, the saplings in the park reach a maximum height of 4 feet. Even the topography of the original patch of forest has been recreated using foam blocks to stand in for hills and valleys. The highest hill reaches 8 feet to represent the 800-foot peak in California.

Hyperion, the tallest redwood tree on Earth, stands at nearly 380 feet tall, a height that rivals some of the tallest skyscrapers in Brooklyn. The trees at MetroTech have a long way to go before catching up with their relatives out west: Experts estimate Hyperion to be about 600 years old. Unfortunately the installation won’t be open long enough for the forest to reach its full potential in Brooklyn. After it closes in March, 2018, the trees will be relocated to a new habitat.

[h/t FastCo.Design]

All photos by Timothy Schenck, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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