An Eric Mesko Event
in Celebration of Democracy

words by Marilyn Zimmerman
with Nick Sousanis

photos by Carol Beeman



On Saturday, October 23, 2004, artist Eric Mesko brought together a constellation of folks in a community effort and a bipartisan spirit to both celebrate the meaning and symbol of the flag, the roots of democracy, and the concrete pulling together of effort to make a change. Artists, architects, educators, and communitarians all joined artist/activist/patriot Mesko to gather together and build a scaffolding around the 120 plus year old tree in front of his shared residence with artist Marilyn Zimmerman.

The scaffolding itself served a dual purpose: both to help prune and remove a large dead branch from the huge maple which had needed trimming for years and as an art installation - a nod to the impending election. All in all 26 old glories were hung from the scaffolding in honor of the spirit of democracy. While the volunteers were ready to trim away, the actual heavy work of tree pruning ended up being done by a professional. Artist M80 (AKA Michael Dion) called his brother in law and professional tree trimmer SPYDERMAN (AKA Kevin Martin 248-250-1445) who said that tree was the "Biggest silver maple in a suburb I've ever seen". SPYDERMAN deadwooded the bottom of the tree so that the flags had a clear view to announce themselves, and trimmed the top as well.

The flags created a tent-like installation within the scaffolding, which Mesko described as a true "wonder." Shortly after it all went up, the rain started to fall and the event came to a wet finish. Mesko said that all the volunteers "thanked him," and all were heartened by their collective efforts, camaraderie, and visions of a renewed tomorrow for our country ruled the day.

Mesko was also responsible for Reviving the Tree of Liberty @ Zeitgeist Gallery October 30 and the follow up show "Restoring the Tree of Liberty" on November 20. Some comments about the show appear here.


© 2002