Thanks to funding from Creative Sonoma and Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, a unique sculpture resides outside of Operation Bicycle in Vailetti Plaza in The Springs – a sculpture with a story.
Dubbed The Tree of Possibilities, this 13-foot kinetic sculpture is made of recycled bicycle parts and culinary items representing our two social enterprises: Operation Bicycle and the Lovin’ Oven. It was created by metal sculptor Marty Munson, assisted by two teens - Alondra Perez and Leila Whitney. Together, the three determined the general design of the tree and the teens learned about weight, balance, form and space, as well as a variety of welding techniques. Hanging from the tree are flattened spoons and metal leaves imprinted with words about teen hopes and dreams for the future.
In March 2020, Sonoma Valley teens were ready to create their leaves and share their sentiments. Stamping was to take place at Teen Services, Sonoma Valley and Creekside High Schools, Mentoring Alliance locations, Art Escape, and Boys & Girls Club (The Club) organized by fine artist, Pat Meier-Johnson. COVID-19 interrupted those plans and the scheduled installation and ribbon-cutting. It was decided to install the tree and teens would add leaves to the sculpture during the following months.
Despite the interruption, Meier-Johnson was excited to see the Tree come to fruition. “Never did I dream that my whimsical idea would turn into such a beautiful structure, providing young people a way to leave their mark on the world as part of a huge, beautiful, kinetic sculpture for all to see.”
TSS Executive Director, Becky Jo Peterson agrees: “Marty was an amazing mentor to the teens and we hope the community will enjoy the sculpture and the words of teens in the Valley.”
From start to finish, this project was captured on film by video producer and journalist Russell Johnson, to document the entire project. "It was great to tell the story of the sculpture coming together under Marty Munson who shared with the young team the creative process including stamping, welding. fabricating, and balancing used recycled culinary equipment and bicycle parts," said Johnson.
Alondra Perez will begin her studies in engineering this fall and enjoyed working on the project. “Not only did I learn some new skills, but the Tree is an artistic way for teens to have their voices heard.
The Funders: Creative Sonoma and Sonoma Plein Air Foundation
The Players: Marty Munson, sculptor; teen assistants Alondra Perez and Leila Whitney; Pat Meier-Johnson, artist and Project Coordinator; and Russell Johnson
Project Assistants: Casey Richter, TSS Program Director; Ann Iverson, artist and TSS volunteer; Judy Scotchmoor, TSS Board member; and Sandra Santiago, TSS Teen Center Coordinator
Our would-be stamping partners: Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, and Art Escape.