Darien students help bring artist's vision to life

ByJesse Kirsch WLS logo
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Darien students help bring artist?s vision to life
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Students in suburban Darien helped bring an artist's vision to life on Tuesday.

DARIEN, Ill. (WLS) -- With our feet on the ground, it can be hard to think big. But shifting perspective brings a whole new picture into focus.

"When we were on the ground, it didn't make any sense.... But when you go up high enough everything changes," says artist Daniel Dancer, who designed this "Tree of Life."

Dancer works with kids across the country and the globe to create giant outlines on the ground.

"We have mulch spread out and it tells us where to go," 4th grader Andrew Rafacz said.

He and the other students stood in place as Dancer rode a fireman's ladder toward the clouds.

He calls it art for the sky. It may not make sense on the ground but when you get close to 100 feet up in the air, the picture is crystal clear: a giant tree made up of 400 kids' bright shirts.

"I'm going to be the leaves," explains Caitlin Fisher, another 4th grader.

There were also plenty of tree trunk helpers and a bunch of multi-colored apples that fell off the tree with the leaves.

"There's another way to see the world other than the 5 or 6 feet we grow up to be," explains Dancer.

Dancer also hopes to inspire the kids to care for the environment.

"We don't do anything for the sky except pollute it... It's a gift for the sky and also an apology for how we've treated it," he adds.

Concord Elementary School Art Teacher Julie Brncich loves how this project has brought the school together.

"It's cross-curricular. It's not just about making a beautiful piece of art. This lesson includes science and math and history and music."

And a memory for years to come.