Rooted in Art 2020


Rooted in Art

Rooted in Art was lauched in 2020 as a way to celebrate the importance and beauty of Charlotteown's urban forest while helping the community to interact with trees in new ways - by seeing them through the eyes of PEI's talented artistic community. See below to learn more about Rooted in Art's inaugural year - meet the trees and artists that were involved and see the inspiring temporary art installations that were created!

Rooted in Art Map

Meet the trees:

1) Rochford Square 

Latin name: Quercus rubra
Common name: Red oak
City tree: 3620*
My trunk is approximately 82 cm in diameter. I’m well known for representing PEI as their provincial tree and can be found on the PEI flag. I produce nutrient-rich acorns, which are a popular food for birds and mammals. Acorns once served as a food source for humans as well. 

Since acorns are too heavy to be blown in the wind, oak trees rely on animals to move them away from the parent tree to other locations where more trees can grow

2) Victoria Park

Latin name: Tilia cordata
Common name: Littleleaf linden
City tree: 5662*
Since I have a diameter of over 100 cm, I am considered a Heritage Tree in Charlottetown. This means I have special protection from possible harm through the City’s Tree Protection Bylaw. A Heritage Tree is a tree on private or public property and is over 100 cm in diameter at breast height and is one of five species (Linden sp, American elm, red oak, red maple and sugar maple). 

Flowers of Linden trees are used for herbal teas and tinctures. Being light weight and having a light grain, Linden wood was often used for carving sculptures. Lindens are also a food source for butterfly and moth larvae.

3) Corner of Grafton and Rochford streets

Latin Name: Ulmus americana
Common name: American elm
City tree: 3444*
I am one of Charlottetown’s most iconic trees. I hope you are impressed by my sheer size and beauty (when you’re this awesome, there’s no need to be modest). Can you believe I grew from a tiny seed smaller than a dime? Aside from my beauty, I provide Charlottetown and its residents with many benefits. Every year, I absorb over 1,100 pounds of carbon, save 330 kWh in energy use and divert over 30,000 litres of storm water from rushing into our storm water infrastructure and overwhelming it. 

4) Connaught Square

Latin Name: Acer platanoides
Common name: Norway maple
City tree: 3540*
Some people find me attractive, especially when I come with deep red-coloured leaves. However, others find me undesirable since I am considered an invasive species in Canada. As my name indicates, I was brought here from Europe to be a shade tree for parks, streets and yards. Unfortunately, my aggressive nature and dense canopy made it difficult for other plants to survive near me, throwing the local biodiversity out of balance.  

Latin name: Fraxinus americana
Common name: White ash
City tree: 3494*
If you look at my leaves they may look different that other tree leaves you’ve seen. Each leaf attached to the branch is made up of multiple leaflets, called a compound leaf. I get my name from the whitish underside of my leaves. 
I was a very popular tree in cities for a long time. Now, less are being planted since there is an insect seeking to attack me. Many provinces already have the Emerald Ash Borer and have lost many of their ash trees. This borer has not been found in PEI yet and thankfully, I am still able to survive. If you travel outside of PEI, make sure not to bring firewood back with you and keep me safe. Many invasive insects travel in wood from one spot to another. 

Latin name: Ulmus americana
Common name: American elm
City tree: 3495*
I am a tree that is native to PEI, so I’ve been growing in these parts for a very long time. You might have noticed that some of my fellow elms have been lost in recent years. The Dutch Elm Disease (DED) has taken down some of my friends but many elms, like me, still remain in Charlottetown. New elm trees being planted in Charlottetown are resistant to DED so hopefully we’ll be here for a long time to come.

 Prince Street

Latin name: Betula pendula
Common name: Weeping birch
City tree: 482*
Looking at my bark, you might think I am a native PEI birch tree but I am a unique, ornamental variety. I get my name from my beautiful weeping branches. Birch trees like myself have proven to have many uses, including woven shoes, canoes, containers, kitchen utensils and skis.  You can even make syrup from my sap, similar to maple syrup.

*For an interactive map of City-owned trees, visit

Meet the artists & their creations:

Ashley Anne Clark:

Ashley Anne Clark is a  multi-disciplinary artist working with themes of wilderness, animal life and the raw elements of nature. Clark was born on Prince Edward Island and has since lived in multiple countries around the world including Thailand, Norway, South Korea and The United States. She studied Art Education at Concordia University in Montreal.  She has exhibited in multiple galleries across North America, and has taken part in a number of Artist Residencies and Arts Festivals. Her strong connection to nature and the animal kingdom portray a sense of awareness and empathy. She sources many materials from local forests and shorelines, incorporating these unique textures and elements into her work. By capturing a sense of emotion and personality in each animal she draws, they become more relatable to the viewer. In addition to drawing Clark has created a number of video installation pieces that are also inspired by nature. Her work evokes storytelling and appreciation for the untamed world.  “I am passionate about promoting the lives of animals around the world and conserving wildlife and protected areas. I aim to portray each animal as a living individual with their own thoughts, emotions and personalities. I enjoy incorporating materials from nature within my work to be able to directly link them to the wilderness and encourage a greater appreciation for these places.” - Ashley Anne Clark

Instagram: @_ashleyanneclark_
Etsy: Ashley Anne Clark

Nancy Cole:

Nancy Cole is a Schurmans Point based textile artist.  Her work thrives on interaction. It is a unique interdisciplinary process that bridges visual arts, textile arts, installation, performance, and new media. Her textile based pieces are as theoretically diverse as the people portrayed in them, a response to us as individuals in constantly changing times. She often selects unconventional materials and the exposure to a limited range of materials only enhances her thematic process.

Instagram: @perrywinkle.cole

Monica Lacey:

Monica Lacey is a multidisciplinary artist in pursuit of beauty, with a passion for nature, connection, communication and exploration. She holds a Diploma in Textiles and Photography from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, and has received several awards and grants for excellence in her work and service to her community. Monica has attended residencies in Canada and the US and her artwork is in public and private collections across North America.  She currently serves as Executive Director for this town is small inc., PEI’s artist-run centre.

Instagram: @dancethechanges

Jane Whitten:

Jane Whitten is a basket-maker and knitter presently living in Summerside, PEI. Born in Australia, she has spent much of her adult life in Atlantic Canada establishing her craft practice while also pursuing her career as a special education consultant until her recent retirement.

Whitten’s basketry and knitting has been exhibited in group and solo shows in Canada, USA, New Zealand, and Australia. She was nominated for the Canada Council’s 2001 Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Fine Craft and has won numerous awards for her work, which is in public and private collections nationally and internationally.

Instagram: @janewhittenbasketry
Facebook: Jane Meredith Whitten: Basketry & Knitting

Melissa Peter-Paul

Melissa is a Mi’kmaw woman from Abegweit First Nation, located on Epekwitk (PEI.) Growing up, Melissa was immersed in cultural teachings and was surrounded by a family of basket makers. She began her artistic expression at a young age, making regalia and beadwork, and is skilled in both traditional and contemporary styles. Melissa’s exposure to other Mi’kmaq artforms led her to quillwork, a traditional skill in which the ancestors of her maternal grandfather excelled. 

Melissa was accepted into an apprenticeship with Mi’kmaq Quill Art in 2015. Her training was grounded in the traditional insertion technique and utilized the study of both cultural teachings and formal material culture resources available through historic publications and museums. Quillwork is created by inserting porcupine quills, either dyed or kept natural, into birchbark. The pieces are then edged with quills, sweetgrass or spruce root. 

Over the course of her apprenticeship, Melissa learned techniques and protocols related to harvesting raw materials, as well as the complex geometry of traditional design work. Upon completion of her apprenticeship, Melissa has been integral in establishing a community of skilled quill workers. This community of quillers seeks to expand awareness of the artform and recently began working on collaborative projects. 

Melissa launched her professional career as a Mi’kmaq quill artist with her rst solo exhibit at Receiver Coffee presented by This Town is Small in Charlottetown in 2019. She is heavily influenced by 20th century Mi’kmaw quillwork and she is supported in her harvesting efforts by her family.  

Facebook: Melissa Peter-Paul Art