Congratulations to Colin McMullan, 2018 Summer Stipend recipient

“Tree juice,” says Colin McMullan, is “a medium for regaining our spiritual unity with the natural world, and our sense of belonging here, by reclaiming our ancestral indigenous knowledge of this specific land.”

And that’s just a teaser for his project, “Tree Spa for Urban Forest Healing.” The rest of the project — tapping neighborhood maple trees, refining the sap, drinking the juice, cooking food in the steam generated as a byproduct of the maple syrup evaporation process, and discussing community issues while relaxing in a communal steamroom — captured the imagination of our panelists and won Colin the Macktez Summer Stipend.

Here are a few of the comments we received:

“A very interesting concept that tackles multiple topics via a unique, single installation.”

“I like that it’s a social activity and space (the spa) that engenders people to come together and to learn about one another. It’s a project made from a personal place but for other people.

“Combining a commitment to literal and social mobility, and emphasizing the enmeshed nature of social, physical, and ecological infrastructure, the Tree Spa for Urban Forest Healing outlines an ambitious but achievable prospect for new relationships between, trees, people, and objects. Bravo!”

“I really appreciate how totally therapeutic the process feels — to the participants and to the earth.”

For more about “Tree Spa” read Colin’s full proposal and check out Hartford Maple on Facebook.