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      Exhibition

      Konstantin Dimopoulos: The Blue Trees

      Public Art Installation and Community Collaboration

      Today's hours:

      10 am–5 pm

      Monday

      10 am–5 pm

      Tuesday

      Closed

      Wednesday

      Closed

      Thursday

      10 am–5 pm

      Friday

      10 am–5 pm

      Saturday

      10 am–5 pm

      Sunday

      10 am–5 pm

      Monday

      10 am–5 pm

      Tuesday

      Closed

      Wednesday

      Closed

      Thursday

      10 am–5 pm

      Friday

      10 am–5 pm

      Saturday

      10 am–5 pm

      Sunday

      10 am–5 pm

      Konstantin Dimopoulos’ The Blue Trees installation is an environmental call to action.

      Using a biologically safe watercolor and a team of community volunteers, the artist temporarily transforms a selection of trees on PEM's campus to focus our attention on the growing issue of deforestation and other threats to trees around the globe. The harmless blue colorant will wash away over time, and the trees will gradually return to their natural state.

      Why blue? Dimopoulos chose this color because blue trees do not exist in nature. By doing so, he compels us to take notice of these otherworldly trees and prompts a larger conversation about the role of trees in our local environment and elsewhere on the planet — where rampant deforestation is a significant contributor to climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

      The installation on PEM's campus is the 27th international Blue Trees installation by Dimopoulos and the first one in the Greater Boston area. The Blue Trees take their place in a long line of public works by this award-winning artist, all with a strong social conscience that span a wide array of media and concerns.

      Konstantin Dimopoulos: The Blue Trees is presented as part of PEM’s Climate + Environment Initiative and is made possible by the generosity of Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation. Additional support was provided by The Creighton Family, Appy and Susan Chandler and Peter and Sandra Lawrence. Thank you to those individuals who support the Exhibition Incubation Fund: Jennifer and Andrew Borggaard, James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes, Kate and Ford O'Neil, and Henry and Callie Brauer. We also recognize the generosity of the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.

      The Blue Trees along Axelrod Walkway Park. Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM
      The Blue Trees along Axelrod Walkway Park. Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM
      The Blue Trees along Axelrod Walkway Park. Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM

      Share your impressions with us on social media using @kondimopoulos #BlueTreesatPEM and #PEMClimate

      The Blue Trees along Axelrod Walkway Park. Photos by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      The installation on PEM's campus is the 27th international Blue Trees installation by Dimopoulos and the first one in the Greater Boston area.

      Artist Conversation

      Hear from Konstantin Dimopoulos and Wes Bruce as they reflect on the experience of their long-distance partnership to create The Blue Trees.

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      FAQs

      The Blue Trees is an environmental community art installation by Konstantin Dimopoulos in which trees have been temporarily transformed with an environmentally safe blue colorant to foster awareness and discussion of global deforestation while engaging the community in an art activity and dialog.

      The artist uses a non-toxic, water-based colorant. It is harmless to all flora, fauna, insects, waterways, and humans. The Blue Trees will gradually fade back to their natural color as the color washes away in the rain.

      The biologically safe colorant has been developed by the artist and is a proprietary formulation. Unlike paint, the chalk-based colorant has no binding agents and has been used for more than 20 years on Blue Trees projects around the globe. The colorant and its application are approved by 
Urban Foresters and host city governments, including Salem's Tree Warden and Tree Commission.

      The artist created this unique shade of blue because “there are no naturally blue trees.” Dimopoulos hopes the trees will affect change in our social consciousness by sparking conversation and catalyzing community action.

      Rain and storm events will gradually wash away the color over time. The trees in Salem will likely remain blue for more than a year or two. No new colorant will be applied after the initial install.

      The trees were chosen by the artist based on their proximity to the museum, their overall health, the type of bark, and the artist’s vision to create a visual impact.

      The trees on the Axelrod Walkway are all on PEM's campus and are property of the museum. The three young ginkgo trees on Essex Street were purchased by PEM, but they are on City property. The Museum brought the project before Salem's Tree Commission, which originally reviewed and approved the project in 2020 and again in 2022.

      Yes, Salem's tree warden issued a permit for the project and Salem's Tree Commission fully endorsed the project.

      The museum is showcasing an outdoor environmental art installation as part of the museum’s new Climate + Environment Initiative and to honor the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day. The project is intended to catch people’s attention, raise awareness about global deforestation and climate change, and mobilize them to take action.