Why Are Trees Painted a Vibrant Blue in Salem, Massachusetts?
Ever walk past a blue tree? I am talking about a real tree but painted a bright, vibrant blue.
If the answer is yes, it stuck out like a sore thumb when you saw it. If the answer is no, it certainly will stick out like a sore thumb when you see one.
But why paint a beautiful tree and ruin the natural look of the tree's bark?
Well, it is in fact the opposite. The purpose of the blue trees is to raise awareness of the deforestation that is occurring worldwide, according to a WBUR article.
The blue trees are on display at Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts; however, I think this will gain traction and support all over the Seacoast.
This effort was created by visual artist, Konstantin Dimopoulos, who says that he chose to paint the trees bright blue because blue trees are not found in nature. So it really catches attention, according to WBUR.
“Color is a powerful stimulant, a means of altering perception and defining space… In nature, color is used both as a defensive mechanism, a means of protection, and as a mechanism to attract," said Dimopoulos to WBUR. “By asking why are the trees blue, we can then explain their importance to the ecosystems and to our own survival.”
Last year marked the first time that the blue trees were held in the greater Boston area, as Konstantin Dimopoulos has done 27 international displays of the blue trees according to the Peabody Essex Museum website.
And they should remain blue for a year or two.
With a clear vision, Dimopoulos started the blue tree display in 2003 as a response "to what I saw as the madness, the absolute craziness of the mass destruction, the deforestation of trees globally and really that this action, this ecocide, was invisible for a large part of the urban population; this invisibility needed to be addressed and made visible,” according to WBUR.
Dimopoulos could not paint himself; however, lead painter Wes Bruce took on the project.
"Sometimes it takes a burst of color to break people out of their visual white noise,” said Bruce to WBUR. “When do you really go out of your way to look at every inch, nook and cranny of tree bark? It gives you the opportunity to revel in the texture.”
It's worth noting that the blue paint is a biologically safe watercolor.
This is the first I have heard of this phenomenal display. I hope to see blue trees popping up all over the Seacoast, especially in my area in Portsmouth.
These blue trees are an important conversation starter about deforestation. It is happening. It has been happening. It is time to talk about it and put an end to it.