‘Handle With Care’ Completed

April 23, 2011

Handle With Care is my latest project with the California Academy of Sciences. Completed last Thursday in the museum’s Piazza, it takes the form of a 16-foot high cardboard tree populated by cardboard animals representing a variety of species threatened by deforest-ation.

The objective of the Earth Day-themed project is to promote the protection of forested ecosystems worldwide and to inspire museum visitors to re-use and recycle paper in creative ways.

The sculpture was constructed over a three week period with the help of many generous volunteers and assistants, and by museum staff who donated much of the cardboard.

Visitors were also invited to bring paper with which they created leaves for the tree at tables set up alongside my work area. Participation was overwhelming with over 3,000 leaves made, mostly by children.

Handle With Care was unveiled at the CalAcademy’s April 21 NightLife event to great response and remains on view in the museum’s Piazza through April 29.

The tree will be recycled afterwards and the animals will be available for purchase. The leaves, creatively embellished with Earth Day drawings and messages, will be retained by the CalAcademy.

This collection of Instagram and ShakeIt photos by Lili Ong documents some highlights of the project’s process.

My thanks to the CalAcademy and everyone who made this project possible.

The California Academy of Sciences is at 55 Music Concourse Drive in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. Visitor info here.