Completed in 2018
The Tree Inside Me is a mural installed in the lobby of PS14X, an elementary school in the Bronx. Measuring over 28 feet tall, the design combines images of snowflakes, leaves, trees, birds, buildings, butterflies and flowers to celebrate growth and regeneration in the urban landscape. Commissioned by Public Art for Public Schools, a division of New York City School Construction Authority, this project incorporates the colors of the seasons as it represents an urban garden oasis– a sheltering haven for children to learn and grow. The large open wall is integrated into the design along with the existing blue and white tiles, signifying winter. As the image moves up the wall the colors of spring, summer and fall reinforce the architectural design motif of the new addition for PS14X.
The lower portion of the mural (which includes a touchable textures of tile and mosaic) was fabricated by Franz Mayer of Munich using a mix of hand cut glass smalti and purred venetian glass, as well as hand cut and painted porcelain tiles. The upper portion (which consists of hand cut and painted aluminum composite panels) was fabricated by the artist. The distinctive materials are integrated together in a collage-like fashion.
The title of the work is taken from a poem written by Rainer Maria Rilke: …Silently the birds Fly through us. O, I who long to grow, I look outside myself, and the tree inside me grows.