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"Urban Tree Challenge" by Pat Johnson & AAW Art Students

Thanks to the success they enjoyed by participating in the 2022 Winter Open Studios Tree Challenge, the ArtWorks Studio 7 art students working with Pat Johnson are showing their appreciation by hosting a second “Urban Tree Challenge” for Spring Open Studios.

Acrylic Painting in progress, “Urban Tree, by Finn Nack, age 14 (Studying the Ash Can School)

How exciting! Tell us more about the "Urban Tree Challenge"!

The “Urban Tree Challenge” is based on appreciation for a beautiful URBAN tree, surviving in the back parking lot of a local bistro, surrounded by storage sheds and trash containers. Needless to say, the “challenge,” for this exhibit is to explore ways of depicting better surroundings for this lovely urban survivor or to depict with sympathy the actual setting of this beautiful tree.

How did this challenge start and affect the community?

The first Tree Challenge, initiated by Elise Burrows, Lucy Ghelfi and Gretchen Sand, offered resident artists, guest artists, and Studio 7 art students the opportunity to showcase paintings, hangings, and wearable art depicting a beautiful forest tree. The exhibit was a hit and sales of student works alone resulted in a $500 contribution to the ALAS charity, which provides assistance and services to the farm workers in Half Moon Bay.

How are the art students affiliated with this program? In addition to contributing their artwork, the student coordinators will be collecting and curating all the Tree Challenge artworks, preparing the gallery and hanging the exhibit, as well as representing the studios at the Welcome table for the Spring Open Studios at Alameda Artwork.

The Studio 7 art students are excited about learning the ins and outs of assisting with the gallery and being right in the midst of all the action. We hope the AAW resident artists and guests will also contribute artwork and that everyone will spread the word about the second Urban Tree Challenge charity exhibit and the other features of the Spring Open Studios. Where can I view the final works of the "Urban Tree Challenge"? You are all welcome to visit us at the Alameda Artworks Spring Open Studios "A Splash of Art" on May 13-14, where all the works will be displayed along with 34 artists opening up their studios for you to enjoy the fresh works!

The students were also invited to contribute their paintings and artworks from the 2022 Winter Open Studios Tree Challenge to the upcoming Arbor Day Tree Exhibit/Competition.

Here are some images from the 2022 Winter Tree Challenge and Works in Progress by Studio 7 Students in preparation for the Urban Tree Challenge!

Eoghan McCullough (age 12) and his grandmother Janet Ryder in front of his painting for the Winter Tree Challenge

Digital Painting in progress, “Urban Tree” by Laura Yeh, age 16

Pastel Drawing in progress, “Mood of the Urban Tree” by Lennon Hernandez, age 11

Wearable Art, “Preserve the Forests” by Finn Nack (2 images), age 14

Pencil Drawing In Progress, Ella Kraft, Post Graduate Studies

Tree Fire, Android Phone Painting, Julian Rodriquez, age 14

Junna Hashimoto, age 11, working on her woodcut plate for a limited edition of prints for the Urban Tree Challenge

The Urban Tree Photo we are using to inspire the Spring Tree Challenge


Thank you to the student volunteers at Tree Challenge and Welcome tables!


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