See the Forest for the Trees

The assignment was to design a screen printed wallpaper with a specific location in mind, thinking about how the wallpaper would impact the space, print 8 x 4ft of it, and install it in the classroom.

I’m not an art student, I’m a forestry student taking an art class. Try as I might a good deal of my artwork this semester ended up being about trees. When I got the assignment I immediately knew the place I wanted to make the wallpaper for. Most of the forestry classes are held in Green Hall. In the forst floor of Green Hall there is a cut section from a large tree, several carvings, and a very large mural.

I hate that mural.

Almost every day I go in there and the first thing I see is that mural, and it creeps me out. It’s filled with the faces of blocky, dead eyed giants. The colors make the long dark hallway where it resides seem even darker. Here’s just a section:


I wanted to make something lighter, both in color and in subject matter. The mural is supposed to illustrate the history of forestry in Minnesota, and I wanted to keep the same theme. I thought about wallpaper, and how you can look at the whole thing up on a wall, or focus on small details. I thought about forests, and how they can be viewed as large, interconnected landscapes, or a collection of individuals with names and traits unique to their species. This is what I came up with.


This is the digital pattern and consists of two panels, the final product was much too big to scan and I don’t have a good camera. I wish I could print something that looks this clean.The panels line up on all sides so it can be tiled and still look continous, like a forest.

After presenting it to the class I put it up in my dorm room. I never installed it in the intended location. As much as I hate the other mural I can’t vandalize someone else’s work, and I like having a forest in my room.


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