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L.A. Beat

Galt Museum celebrates the many aspects of urban forests in new exhibit

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Don’t take your trees for granted.

 That’s the gist of  “Rooted: How Trees Give Us Life,” the new exhibit opening at the Galt Museum, May 28 and running until Sept. 4.


Tyler Stewart talks about The Galt Museum’s new Rooted How Trees Give Us Life exhibit. Photo by Richard Amery

 “ There are a lot of different  aspects to trees. There’s more to them than just shade and cleaning the air,” said Tyler Stewart, the Galt Museum’s new curator.


“So we’re giving people a great opportunity to learn about  the scientific, economic and indigenous perspectives of trees,” Stewart said, emphasizing the playfulness of trees.

“There is something for everyone from a five year old kid to a 95 year old scientist,” Stewart said.


 There are informational panels, an original piece of  a wooden water pipe used in the early days of Lethbridge, multi-media interactive displays, an oral component of First Nations Elders discussing traditional Piikani perspectives about their relationships to trees and nature and a video of Lethbridge people talking about trees. There is even a wooden playhouse and  mini-climbing wall.


“We hope the tree house will give people a sense of nostalgia about their childhood and memories of their own tree houses,” he continued.


 All of the pieces of the exhibit are connected by images created by local artist April Matisz, who has been inspired  by nature since she began creating art. 

“I wanted to reflect the playfulness of trees.  I worked with Tyler Stewart  on the exhibit We wanted more than  just the text panels and images of trees,” she said.


“ I also have a degree in biology, but I wanted  it to be more than just the scientific perspective. I wanted to look at the role of fun and diversity ” she continued.


It took her 42 hours to paint silkscreen style image of trees, leaves and branches which literally connect the different components of the exhibition.

“A lot of my art is inspired by nature’s relationship to science, but I like to reflect it’s beauty as well,” she said.

 The Galt Museum’s Rooted How Trees Give Us Life exhibit runs May 28 to Sept. 4. Photo by Richard Amery


“I looked at it  more like an installation.”


Stewart learned a lot about trees in Lethbridge.


“Trees aren’t natural the the plains. People who moved here planted these trees.There’s the process of growing them and watering them and taking care of them,” he said.


“The only place the grew naturally is in the river bottom. I really wanted to learn the difference between elm trees look really similar unit; you look at the leaves, he continued.


“The exhibit looks at the spiritual, economic, cultural and social connection of trees. I want people to appreciate urban forests,” Stewart said.

 “Rooted: How Trees Give us Life” runs May 28 to Sept. 4 at the Galt Museum.


There will also be special events happening in conjunction with the exhibit including, May 28 at 1 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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