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Tree Talks (Spring)

Ben Kinsley

Tree Talks: Populus tremuloides is an art project by Ben Kinsley that features a year-long series of gatherings focused on understanding a single tree through a multitude of perspectives. The project centers on Populus tremuloides (Quaking Aspen), the most broadly distributed tree in North America and Colorado’s only widespread, native, deciduous tree. Once per season, the public is invited to gather around a grove of Quaking Aspen at Kenosha Pass and hear lectures by experts from diverse fields—ranging from ecologists to poets—who each share their knowledge of the tree. As part of the project, Kinsley is recording each of the gatherings, which will be compiled and later released as a limited-edition vinyl album and publication that encapsulates a multivocal story about a Quaking Aspen grove at Kenosha Pass.

Guest Speakers
De Lane Bredvik is a Colorado installation artist who holds a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Bachelor of Art in Honor’s Art History from Southern Methodist University. After working in the field of Architecture, Bredvik became increasingly drawn to the ephemeral process of feeling, thinking, and understanding that provide the structure for creating experience. His work focuses on raising awareness of social and environmental issues, with current projects investigating quantum physics, consciousness, and cognition.

Jaime Kopke a certified Forest Therapy Guide, trained by the Association of Forest and Nature Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT).  She has worked designing public programs at museums and libraries for almost a decade, and is also a practicing artist, focusing on work that intertwines the boundaries between people and the natural world.  In her years spent producing public programs, she has seen a deep desire from people to re-connect—with one another, their passions, but also with something bigger than themselves. Forest therapy provides a doorway for people to tap into a greater sense of being—through nature connection emerges cultural repair. 

Walt Pourier is Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado where he is the Creative Director/CEO of Nakota Designs Advertising Design & Graphics and Executive Director/Founder of the Stronghold Society, a nonprofit dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through Live Life Call To Action Campaigns. Through his fine art, graphics, brand identity, and many creative movements he supports, Walt’s focus is to share messages of hope, inspiration, and healthy ways of life. Speaking to the importance of Indigenous Knowledge in all we do and this movement being led from a 7th generation Native American youth perspective. His outreach work, through youth movements, language revitalization, suicide prevention, ending domestic violence, defending childhood initiatives, sustainable housing, and healthy food distribution has reached many communities.

Listen to the Tree Talks (Spring) lecture series:

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 TV 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 former President of the Pikes Peak Mycological Society.

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This project is produced by Black Cube with support by a CRCW (Committee on Research and Creative Works) Seed Grant from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.