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Nine Works Chosen to be Displayed for Artisan Woods Exhibit at Arbor Day Farm's Tree Adventure Attraction

date 05/21/09

For more information, contact

Jeff Salem, Director of Communications & Public Relations,   email

Nebraska City, Neb. (May 21, 2009) – Nature-inspired work by nine local and regional artists will be exhibited during Artisan Woods, an outdoor showcase of structures and art at Arbor Day Farm's Tree Adventure attraction. Works created for Artisan Woods will be on display starting June 21.

Artisan Woods is the first in a series of annual outdoor exhibits planned at the Tree Adventure. The work featured during Artisan Woods will allow visitors to witness trees and nature from many unique perspectives. Guests will discover each of the nine exhibits in distinctive settings along the Tree House Trail and Exploratory Trail.

A panel of judges selected nine artists to showcase their work during Artisan Woods. Artists selected were: Matthew Burke, assistant professor of art, and John Hachmeister, associate professor of art, of the University of Kansas; Leslie T. Iwai, Karla Karr, Chuck Turner and Leslie Bruning of Omaha; Carl Weiss and Adam Weiss of Springfield; and Beth O'Hanlon of Lincoln.

"Artisan Woods will be a playful and inspiring exhibit engaging children and adults in unique ways, like climbing into a human-sized bird nest, walking through a tree limb and listening to the sounds of tree frogs," said Beverly Todd, director of the Tree Adventure at Arbor Day Farm. "Through the artists, visitors will experience nature-inspired artistry out in the beautiful, natural setting of the Tree Adventure."

Artisan Woods exhibits will be featured at the Tree Adventure through Oct. 31. Each artist received a stipend to construct their entries.

Here are details of each selected exhibit that will be featured during Artisan Woods:

"Limb Tunnel" by Matthew Burke allows visitors to experience a tree from a unique perspective as they walk through a limb made of lathes from four different species of hardwood trees.

"Song and Nature" by John Hachmeister is constructed from fallen trees and limbs and reaches 14-feet high. It highlights early human use of trees to create safe havens.

"Life Below: Exposing the Roots" by Leslie T. Iwai reveals elements of trees below the surface, meticulously wrapped in red wool felt saturated with aromatic beeswax. It showcases the hidden life of a tree.

"Human Size Bird Nest" by Karla Karr allows visitors to climb inside and explore a human-sized nest nestled beneath a tree. The sculpture is made of rings of bent iron woven through with natural woods found at Arbor Day Farm.

"No Bears, Please!" by Chuck Turner is a larger-than-life exhibit that gives visitors an opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the natural world. It features three chairs made from stained cedar wood.

"Not Far From the Tree" by Carl Weiss depicts an oak tree beginning to sprout from a giant acorn. The exhibit is made of concrete resin and hand-forged steel.

"Fly Away Home III" by Beth O'Hanlon uses birds to show the connection between trees and the rest of the world. The birds are made of copper and range in size and shape.

"Fifty Birds & One Squirrel" by Leslie Bruning challenges visitors to see how many birds they can identify with pieces which are displayed throughout the Tree Adventure. Each bird silhouette is cut out of a rectangular slab of oak wood.

"Praying in the Garden of the Gods" by Adam Weiss portrays giant-sized sculptures of praying mantis in this peaceful woodland setting. The copper sculptures are about four and a half feet long and include moveable interactive parts.

Visitors to the Tree Adventure will experience Artisan Woods from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information about Artisan Woods, go to

Arbor Day Farm is a 260-acre historic landmark located in Nebraska City owned and operated by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation. It is the only education complex of its kind in the nation dedicated to trees, conservation and environmental stewardship. The Tree Adventure attraction and the world-class Lied Lodge & Conference Center are located at Arbor Day Farm.


About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at

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