Meet Mary Redstone, artist and pioneer behind the Wishing Tree project debuting at FIGMENT North Adams 2017. Prior to graduating from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Mary held numerous positions on the school’s newspaper The Beacon, where she wrote and edited the Arts & Entertainment section. “For me, I’m a Creative Writing major, an artist, and an arts person,” she says. “North Adams gives me a chance to dig into the Arts scene”.
Mary first stumbled upon FIGMENT North Adams last year when she showed up to the event site as a Community Day of Service volunteer, participating in FIGMENT’s “Leave No Trace” ideology by cleaning up Windsor Lake. She found everyone “self-contained and so nice”, and decided to stay and volunteer during the event. As Mary recalls, “everything ran like a dream. I was thinking about this year before I even left last year!” Soon after, Mary incepted the idea of her project, the Wishing Tree, in the effort to symbolize the natural co-dependence between plants and organisms and apply it to modern social climates.
When you first arrive at FIGMENT North Adams 2017, you will happen upon many projects – this one in particular will start as a bare tree sculpture and an eager artist beside it. However, as the community engages with the tree, they will affix colorful tags to it that depict their wishes. Over the hours, the bare tree will evolve into a beautifully chromatic Weeping Willow. Redstone takes the engagement further, incorporating colored yarn to establish a “forum of support, community, and positive fulfillment”. As the participants enhance the wishes that resonate with them, the cascading yarn will give further life and body to the tree and the project in a beautiful act of reaffirmation.
While Mary is the visionary behind the Wishing Tree, she has enlisted the help of her mother, a guitar repairer, to help bring the project to life. Mary says her mother is “technically and mechanically oriented”, and will help her create the structure with various materials including chicken wire and paper mache. Mary’s mother, who also attended last year’s event at Windsor Lake, proclaimed, “this is why I love North Adams!” Mary shares her mother’s enthusiasm for last year’s event. “FIGMENT is free and does so well,” she says. “It captures that spirit of North Adams – free opportunities to engage.” She adds, “the multitude of demographics that come to FIGMENT is insane. The people you see come to FIGMENT is everybody”.
Please come join Mary and the rest of our artists at FIGMENT North Adams 2017, held at Windsor Lake in North Adams, MA, on Saturday, April 29th from 3:00 – 9:30 pm.