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Tree Talks: Populus tremuloides By Ben Kinsley

Four Seasonal Talks
Fall 2021 — Friday, October 15, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Winter 2022 — (TBD)
Spring 2022 — (TBD)
Summer 2022 — (TBD)

Upcoming Event

— Tree Talks: Populus tremuloides By Ben Kinsley

Program Description
Tree Talks: Populus tremuloides is an art project that takes the form of a year-long series of events focused on understanding a single tree through a multitude of perspectives. The inaugural year will focus on Populus tremuloides (Quaking Aspen), the most widely distributed tree in North America and Colorado’s only widespread, native, deciduous tree. Once per season (summer, fall, winter, spring) over the course of a calendar year, the public will be invited to gather around a grove of Quaking Aspen at Kenosha Pass. The pass is located in the Rocky Mountains southwest of Denver and is a popular place for visitors to view the aspen leaves change. Each gathering will feature lectures by a group of experts from wide-ranging fields who will share their knowledge of the tree from their respective discipline, including both scientific and cultural perspectives. Each lecture will be recorded and released at the end of the year via a limited edition artist publication and online archive.

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Fall 2021 Seasonal Talk #1
Date: Friday, October 15  
Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. MT 
Guest Speakers: Dr. Sara Branco, Suzanne Marchetti, Mary Jane Sullivan

Register for this program here →

Free. Limited capacity. Registration required.* 
*There is an active waitlist. If you registered for this program and can no longer  attend, please let us know in advance by emailing 

Directions + Information
Location: Kenosha Pass, Colorado Trail Section #6 Trailhead (View on Google Maps)

· Parking: Parking is available on both sides of Hwy 285 at the Colorado Trail Section #6 Trailhead
· Where to Meet: We will meet near the bathrooms at Kenosha East Campground. It is approximately 65 miles from Denver, 76 miles from Boulder, and 86 miles from Colorado Springs. It is accessible year-round, has two parking lots, and restrooms at both trailheads.
· Suggested Attire: Walking/hiking shoes, layers, hat, sunscreen, rain jacket (just in case).
· Drive Time: Approximately 1hr 15 min from Denver, 1hr 30 min from Boulder, 2 hr from Colorado Springs.
· Food/Water: We will take a lunch break in between speakers, so please pack a lunch and make sure to bring a water bottle. The hike will not be strenuous, but it's important that all attendees stay hydrated. 

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Guest Speakers
Mary Jane Sullivan, PhD,  is a poet and documentarian and teaches Film Studies and Sound and Poetry studies at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She studied with Pauline Oliveros and has a certificate in Deep Listening from The Center For Deep Listening Institute at Rensselaer. She teaches Earth School with children at the Hands on History program  at the El Pueblo Museum, a community museum a part of History Colorado.

Dr. Sara Branco completed her Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago as a Fulbright scholar, was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Paris. She has been studying fungi since she was 16 years old and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Currently Dr. Branco is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Integrative Biology at University of Colorado Denver. Dr. Branco studies the ecology and evolution of fungi.

Suzanne Marchetti is the biological technician at the Forest Health Protection office of the Forest Service in Gunnison, Colorado.   Since 2008, she has worked in aspen forests. First by doing defining research on sudden aspen decline (SAD) and continuing to follow the decline with long term plots. She works in all forest types in southwest Colorado, tracking bark beetle outbreaks, training folks to identify forest insects and pathogens, studying the impacts of drought on tree species, and mapping future bioclimate suitability for forest species in southwest Colorado.

Artist Bio
Ben Kinsley’s projects have ranged from choreographing a neighborhood intervention into Google Street View, directing surprise theatrical performances inside the homes of strangers, organizing a paranormal concert series, staging a royal protest, investigating feline utopia, collecting put-down jokes from around the world, and planting a buried treasure in the streets of Mexico City (yet to be found).

He has exhibited internationally at venues such as: Queens Museum, NYC; Cleveland Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland; Bureau for Open Culture; Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, and many more. Ben has been an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts; Skaftfell Art Center, Iceland; Askeaton Contemporary Arts, Ireland; and Platform, Finland. His work has been featured on NPR, Associated Press, The Washington Post,,,, and Temporary Art Review, among others.

Kinsley is an Assistant Professor and Co-Director of Visual Art in the Department of Visual & Performing Arts at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He is Co-Founder of The Yard and President of the Pikes Peak Mycological Society.

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Image credit: Jessica Langley


Kenosha Pass, Colorado