2018 Artist in Residence Anthony Heinz May repurposes a dying tree into a work of art!

By Jenny Zeller

The work in progress . . .
Anthony Heinz May in front of his next public installation.

CONNECT has come and gone, but there’s still a lot of excitement in the air at Bernheim with another Artist in Residence on site, creating work and inspiring people’s connection to nature through the lens of art!  Anthony Heinz May is a sculptor from Brooklyn, NY who alters the state of living things and natural compositions with trees. Once transformed, these installations look as if nature has been digitally compromised and pixelated, exposing relationships between nature, humans and technology. End results resemble 3D puzzles where nature has been altercated by the grid commonplace in human agendas.

Anthony has chosen a Honey Locust tree, previously slated for removal to be his next work of art.  Prominently located in front of Bernheim’s Education Center, this freestanding and rooted dead tree makes for a perfect natural base, connecting with the earth and then breaking into space through the artist’s process. In his first week, Anthony single-handedly topped this tree and set aside large branches that he is currently altering inside the wood shop, before heading back to the site later this week. This is a great time to visit Bernheim and see this work of art come to life in the next two weeks! A “studio outside” publicly allows for our visitors to experience a work in progress that most residencies don’t offer.

“Throughout my development as an artist I have found solace in nature and spent time depicting it in various forms including sculpting, drawing and painting. As I coalesce these forms of artistic interdisciplinary into new forms that are dependent on their source availability, I find there is less and less access to pure nature. Humans are being evermore weaned of their connection to nature, which I believe also mangles connection to one another. My creations while in residency at Bernheim will be in reflection of these ideas and thoughts, inspired by the natural environment found there.”


Anthony has completed numerous public installations in recent years, including locations at McKinley Park in Chicago, Governors Island, Manhattan, Quebec and Roanoke, VA. Notable awards and residencies include an Emerging Artist Fellowship Commission from Socrates Sculpture Park in New York, Process Space in Manhattan and a Djerassi Artist Residency in Woodside, CA, to name a few.  His work has been supported by Chicago Sculpture International where he participated in the Chicago Tree Project where artists turn sick trees into works of art.

The completed piece in near the Education Center parking lot.

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