The Gregg Tree Project began when it became evident that two beautiful, large oaks would need to be felled to make way for the new NCSU Gregg Museum of Art and Design. The Gregg Museum Director and The museum Board determined and committed to repurposing the oaks, which had provided color, shade, dappled lights and shadows across the lawn of the NC State's Chancellor's Home for over 65 years. Raleigh is the City of Oaks, yet we too often watch in disbelief as these oaks, relics of Raleigh's landscape history, fall victim to Raleigh's rapid growth.

Our project is to create a single bench, out of which a towering, vertical 8” x 8” column rises 12’ skyward; a minimal replication of the posture of the oak once rooted, cut from the center heart of the trunk after sawing the log lengthwise. This piece was designed to be temporary, as nothing in nature stays the same or lasts forever. This sculpture is meant to move as life moves: ashes-to-ashes, dust-to dust.

It is movement the public can watch, if attention is paid. Perhaps paying attention to this transition will remind us also to be mindful to the growth, decay, and/or destruction that happens around us constantly. Our intention is to document the slow deterioration, which may take 15 years or so. But, in time, when this piece deteriorates beyond use, replacement is an option, as the steel supports will remain. Another tree can become another bench; perhaps a new design.

Learn more about The Gregg Tree Project here.

The Gregg Tree Project is fiscally sponsored by VAE Raleigh, a 501(c)3 non-profit creativity incubator. All donations are tax-deductible.