Once autumn hits, leaves start raining down from the trees. Before you know it, lawns, sidewalks, and even college campuses look golden brown with layers of dead leaves. Now, most people have two choices here, either leave them be and let Mother Nature carry them away in the wind, or grab a rake and clean them up yourself. Most people go for the latter and make mounds of leaves, which they then stuff inside a large black garbage bag. But Joanna Hedrick, a counselor at Sacramento State University, has decided to rake the leaves into stunning works of art. The results are geometrically beautiful!At Sacramento State University, groundskeepers would simply do what most of us do, and rake the leaves and dump them in a garbage bag. But in 2013, a university counselor came up a brilliant way to use the fallen leaves.
Hedrick likes to celebrate the fall season in a unique, and creative way. Instead of trashing them, she has decided to rake the golden leaves of the gingko trees around campus into unique patterns that are stunningly artistic.
The art pieces are her gift to students who are studying for exams. Since she does so many of these, the campus becomes one giant zen garden. This provides a soothing alternative when students are cramming for an exam and need to look up and see something pretty.
From honeycomb to spiraling circles, she does it all, and since she has a background in landscape design and art, this is easy peasy for her. It also allows her to play Mother Nature and transform the environment as it were.
Goldsworthy does artwork using rock arrangements, which have been displayed in museums all over the world. As for Hedrick, her art is “about taking something that’s already beautiful and making something unique – something you don’t just pass by.”
Hedrick may be a CSUS staff, but she’s also a photographer, and a mom. So, she was actually looking for a nice backdrop for family photos. She started by raking a masterpiece made from fallen leaves and the rest was history.
After posting the image on her Instagram, she ended up getting praises from so many people on campus, as well as total strangers from around the world. So now, it’s become sort of an annual tradition where she turns fallen gingko leaves on campus into leaf art.
Every fall, as the trees start shedding leaves, you’ll find Hedrick with her rake, creating intricate artwork on campus. She creates 6 of these designs a year, and each of them take about three hours to make. But she only leaves them on display for three weeks.
Creating these labyrinth designs of leaves has meditative qualities for her, and she hopes the students at Sacramento State University feel the same way when they look at her beautiful artwork around campus.
She has also used the fallen gingko tree leaves at the William Land Gold Course in Land Park and Seymour Park in the Pocket-Greenhaven neighborhood too. But with the fall semester at an end, students will have to wait until next year to see what she comes up with next, and we can’t wait!