Parisian art installation will make U.S. debut in Memphis vacant lot
An art installation designed by Parisian architectural firm Atelier YokYok will make its U.S. debut in June in a vacant lot in Memphis.
The Memphis Medical District Collaboration (MMDC), in collaboration with ALSAC, the fundraising organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and other neighborhood partners are bringing "Treedom" to life.
"Treedom Memphis" will be installed on A.W. Willis Avenue between Second and Third Streets. It will be open for public viewing from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, with an opening celebration June 2, 4-6 p.m.
“We are delighted to partner with the MMDC and our neighbors to raise more awareness for the revitalization of the Medical District and surrounding neighborhoods,” Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC and an MMDC board member, said in a statement. “The area will be a great place for our local community to build on the growing vibrancy and connectivity of the Memphis Medical District.”
"Treedom Memphis" mimics forests and the city's tree canopy and combines art with a functional community space. It may be used for hosting live performances, yoga classes, or for a meal or community meeting. The installation will also include an original work by local artist Cat Peña, landscaping enhancements, artistic enhancements by Memphis-based The Artist Commons and a schedule of regular events.
"Ultimately, we want people to come together, share the space and enjoy an area of the district that they may have never explored before," said MMDC president Abby Miller. "This structure is an international symbol of connectedness, and we wanted to bring that concept into this space with some additions that are uniquely Memphis."
The project committee, comprised of Uptown Partnership, residents, businesses, BRIDGES, ALSAC, Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) and Peña, worked to make sure the installation represents the neighborhood and Memphis. Other partners include the Urban Art Commission, the Downtown Memphis Commission, Jones Urban Development and Neighborhood Preservation Inc.
Memphis' Allworld Project Management will manage the construction; the selected contractor is Fifer & Associates.
The first "Treedom" installation was created in a music festival in Budapest, Hungary.