Rooted in Art 2023

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This year, four local artists are installing art in four locations around Charlottetown as noted on the map below. Follow this self-guided tour to experience all four installations and to learn more about the trees and artists involved! The art installations were on display between September 23 and October 8, 2023. 

Rooted in Art 2023 Map

Meet the trees & the artists:

1) Victoria Park (near the Kiwanis Dairy Bar)

Latin name: Pinus resinosa
Common name: Red pine
City tree: 13752*

I am a native species in PEI characterized by my red, scaly bark and my long needles that come in bundles of two. You can tell the difference between me and the non-native Austrian pine because my needles snap when you bend them in half while the needles of the Austrian pine can bend without breaking. I grow quickly and am resistant to wind, drought, and insect pests. I also create cover and habitat for a variety of bird species. Historically, my resin was collected by Indigenous communities and boiled down to create a substance used to waterproof canoes. 

Artist: Nancy Cole

Nancy Cole is a thread artist working to establish a visual body of work in her search for a narrative based on both faces and form. Legacy, abandonment, and nostalgia are the main themes in her practice.

Metamorphosis depicts Monarch hibernation. Each fall these butterflies migrate from Canada to Mexico, where they hibernate for winter by clustering around the branches of Oyamel fir trees. In spring, they journey back to Canada, heralding summer’s return and acting as important pollinators.  Monarchs are threatened by deforestation, disruptions to their migration due to climate change, and the loss of native plants along their migratory corridors. In Canada, the Monarch is listed as a Special Concern under the Species at Risk Act. Trees offer strength and protection for all species, including the Monarchs during their winter hibernation.

Instagram: @perrywinkle.cole                   

2) Rochford Square

Latin Name: Quercus rubra
Common name: Red Oak 
City tree: 3648*

I am well known for being PEI’s official tree and can be found on the provincial flag. I am a native species that is well adapted to the Island’s climate as I put down strong roots that help me to withstand high winds during storms. I grow quickly and, when the conditions are right, can live up to 500 years. My ability to survive storms is one example of why it is important to plant native species that are resilient to the increasingly intense storms the Island will experience as a result of climate change. 

Artist: Lucus MacDonald

After 15 years as a musician Lucus Macdonald shifted his focus to a more tangible art form. Drawn to the geometry of earthly landscapes and the orbits of astral bodies he began to translate these images into wood carvings. Self-taught and using only hand tools, he conveys with repetitive patterns the radiance of energy that reflects and illuminates life, each line representing the event of its own creation.

The tree’s rings are its life story. By examining them we can learn how old it is, the years it grew best, whether it survived fires or insect outbreaks, if it grew in a windy location or on an incline. Often we  humans keep our stories, especially stories of struggle and loss, to ourselves. But sharing stories can help protect others, heal oneself, and create a sense of community. The cross sections that make up this installation are fallen trees from post-tropical storm Fiona, the stories of these fallen trees acting as armor for the one still standing.

Instagram: @lucuscraft                     
Facebook: LUCUS craft                 

3) Great George Street & Sydney Street

Latin Name: Acer platanoides
Common name: Norway maple
City tree: 3914 & 3915*

Although Norway maples are commonly found in Charlottetown’s urban forest, we are considered an invasive species in Canada. My aggressive nature and dense canopy can throw local biodiversity out of balance. Additionally, I am not well adapted to PEI’s climate and am susceptible to damage during high winds. As you can see, I sustained damage to one of my limbs during post-tropical storm Fiona. The City has stopped planting Norway maples as part of tree planting initiatives and is making an effort to plant native species and trees resilient to the effects of climate change.

Artist: Marina Pogrebnaia

Marina Pogrebnaia is a graphic designer with a passion for music and nature. She plays the piano and creates her own compositions. Nature Waltz is intended to remind viewers that nature’s melody is all around us:

In the depths of antiquity, music intertwined with existence's very essence. It murmured through the breeze, pirouetted in raindrops' dance, and thundered with the storm's primal beat. Humankind started crafting instruments to echo nature's celestial whispers, composing an opus that wove dreams and narratives, while the eternal muse of nature's melody remained an unwavering source of inspiration in every note and chord.

Facebook: Print Design Maritime

4) Confederation Landing 

Latin name: Acer saccharum
Common name: Sugar maple
City tree:12629*

I am around 50 years old. As I grow, I will continue to bring more and more benefits to my surroundings. I am known for my beautiful fall colours and sweet sap that is used to produce maple syrup (it takes about 40 litres of my sap to make 1 litre of syrup). Like all trees, I also have the ability to sequester carbon dioxide, mitigating the effects of climate change, as well as improve air quality, provide habitat for animals and insects, and help manage storm water. The larger I get, the better I will be at doing all of these things. In the right conditions I can live to be 300-400 years old.

Artist: Monica Lacey

Monica Lacey is a Canadian/Italian multidisciplinary visual artist, writer, curator, and educator. She is driven by curiosity, service, and the pursuit of beauty in all its forms. She is inspired by flowers, water, ideas of home and belonging, and moments of change and liminality.

This textile-based installation of weaving and webbing symbolizes the radiance and the energy field of a tree. It is inspired by the ripple effect that the presence of trees has on its surroundings and living beings around it; the energy field of a tree extends far beyond its bounds and offers beauty, life, and healing to anyone who approaches. Take a moment to appreciate this tree and how you feel in its presence. How does the tree project its life and energy? How does our presence impact one another?

Instagram: @dancethechanges

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