Old Edwards Hospitality partners with visual artists for eco-awareness project, “How Many Trees?”

Press release:

Old Edwards Hospitality Group will host an eco-art installation on the front lawn of its 200 Main hotel in downtown Highlands. This collaborative, temporary installation by artists Anna Norton and John Melvin called “How Many Trees?” will be constructed of used office paper collected from Old Edwards properties and other local businesses. The installation will begin the first week of July and end with a natural and symbolic demise beginning with the first significant rainfall following its completion at the end of the month.

The monumental sculpture will celebrate Old Edwards’ initiative to create a smaller environmental footprint through its own recycling/sustainability program, and also create awareness to inspire broader community-based action. Town businesses are invited to participate in the project through donation of used office paper.

Designed by artist John Melvin, the sculpture’s shape is inspired by organic forms, macroscopic and microscopic. Time-lapse videos, which characterize the work of artist Anna Norton, will capture the evolution and interaction of the sculpture within its environment.

An open framework armature of freshly cut pliable branches will support the structure’s skin—several layers of paper mâché— both of which will be temporarily supported, during the final stages of construction, by 20 to 30 three-foot-diameter balloons. It will be sized to human-scale, and visitors will be able to enter the space, crouching through a low opening due to the non-traditional architecture. Once completed, this delicate structure of thin paper mâché layers will be translucent. The installation will be situated on the front lawn of 200 Main underneath the partial canopy, allowing dappled light to play upon the surface. This light will be captured through time-lapse images from sunrise to sunset during the structure’s lifespan, capturing the variety of light and weather conditions that occur. The resulting images will then be made into video vignettes revealing the changes constantly occurring around us all.

Artist Anna Norton says, “These continual changes, when made visible for human perception through the compression of time, give life and breath to the spaces in which we live. The work will not only offer viewers the opportunity to observe this ephemeral state, but through the re-use of paper from Highlands’ commercial endeavors, will also emphasize and contextualize the fleeting and delicate nature of our world.”

Visitors are invited to come experience the construction process as well as the fleeting existence of the completed sculpture, which will last until the weather takes its toll. An updated timeline of the sculpture’s projected completion date and Artist Reception date as well as final videos will be available online at www.AnnaGNorton.com/HowManyTrees and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AnnaGNortonPhotography/ and www.facebook.com/JohnKennethMelvin

Free and open to the public.

For more information, call Anna Norton at 828-787.2601 or visit www.200Main.com/HowManyTrees.

For more on John Melvin visit www.johnkmelvin.com
For more on Anna Norton visit www.annagnorton.com
For more on Old Edwards events visit www.oldedwardsinn.com/calendar

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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