Concrete Tree Slideshow
About Concrete Tree
In 2016, artists Beth Clevenstine and Paul Santoleri continued their series of work along the Manayunk towpath. For several years, the 2 artists have created artwork along the Schuylkill Canal in Manayunk. Their latest work expands on their recent collaboration Water Under the Bridge.
Along the towpath, just north of Fountain street is Paul Santoleri’s Concrete Tree. In a space once consumed by heavy industry, Santoleri “planted” a concrete tree along a long retaining wall. The relief sculpture symbolizes the resilience of nature, while giving a nod to the industrial past. Adjacent painting and mosaic show some of the flora and fauna above and below the waters of the canal.
A path once used by oxen to pull barges to the mills and factories along the canal is now enjoyed by walkers, joggers and bikers. As the landscape has recovered, plants and wildlife have quickly filled the niches left open by a cleaner, quieter ecosystem. At its core, Concrete Tree speaks to the contradiction of nature as both fragile, and as an inexorable force.
Coinciding Currents Slideshow
About Coinciding Currents
Further south, near Leverington Avenue is Beth Clevenstine’s Coinciding Currents. The 5 x 50 foot glass mosaic, with concrete relief and painted details reflects on the ephemeral beauty of light as it relates to the water and life surrounding it. As with the other projects in this series, the mural invites people enjoying the trail to slow down, and reimagine the landscape.
Manayunk Development Corporation
City of Philadelphia
Schuylkill Heritage Area