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Honey Locust Tree Relocation at Franklin Street Works

Shed_partiallyup1-300x224 The newest contemporary art exhibition at Franklin Street Works is structured via a string of invitations. Three participants were invited by the art space with the understanding that they, in turn, would ask a collaborator to join them – a framework that encourages improvisation, experimentation and exchange. Titled Strange Invitation (also the title to a Beck song), this show brings together three, collaborative teams that will design engaging installations, programming, and interactive hubs encouraging direct audience involvement.

The structure of Strange Invitation brings multiple and variously informed viewpoints to the exhibition — all steeped in an understanding of how contemporary art can interface with grass roots, community-oriented projects. In addition to their knowledge of contemporary art, Franklin Street Works’ collaborators inform the show via their knowledge of urban planning, library science, and environmental activism, making this exhibition one that connects contemporary art with themes surrounding the natural, urban, and organizational environments in our daily lives. Strange Invitation is on view at Franklin Street Works through June 16.

There are 55 Honey Locust trees growing in New York City’s Zuccoti Park, the central locale of the 2011 Occupy Walls Street protests. Artist David Horvitz collected the seeds from those trees in 2012 and is now germinating them in New York’s Clocktower Gallery. At the end of Horvitz’s Clocktower residency the seedlings will be carried to Connecticut, Saturday May 4th, one tree per person, walking first to Zuccotti Park and then to Grand Central’s Metro North train to Stamford (a 40 – 60 minute ride). Trees will continue to germinate at Franklin Street Works during the Strange Invitation exhibition. In June, Horvitz and Franklin Street Works will find permanent homes for the trees, ideally at public institutions such as museums, libraries, and college campuses.

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Ryan Odinak