Tree fans and art lovers will be able to see some of the beautiful Arkansas Champion Trees, rendered in colored pencil by Hot Springs artist Linda Williams Palmer at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. From January 17 through February 9, four of the large tree panels and their accompanying photos, information plaques and drawing details will be on display daily at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. Our exhibit will include the sugar maple in Fayetteville’s Confederate Cemetery, a spreading cottonwood from Van Buren, an American holly in Rosebud, and the white oak in Dardanelle.
For the past 30 years the Arkansas Forestry Commission’s Champion Tree list has grown to include about 130 trees, each considered to be the largest of its kind in the state. Champion trees are determined by their circumference, height and spread. Fayetteville’s sugar maple has a 97-inch trunk, is 107 feet high, and has a spread of 55 feet.
The artist learned about the list 3 years ago and was inspired to travel the state on a tree treasure hunt, focusing on the individual trees, including their blemishes. Palmer’s drawings are 3 to 4 feet tall and wide to do justice to her subjects and are filled with layers of colored pencil lines. She has completed 20 of the panels for the state exhibit, “Champion Trees of Arkansas: An Artist’s Journey.” The exhibit opened in Little Rock in September and will travel the state for the next two years, visiting art centers, galleries, state parks and libraries.
Admission to the BGO exhibit will be free for members. For visitors, the exhibit will be incorporated into Garden admission, $5 for adults and $2.50 for children, ages 5 to 12, with a discount for adult groups and a $2 fee per person for school groups. To schedule a group visit, please contact the Botanical Garden at 479-750-2620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.