Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought—Nomadic Grove

An Exhibition and The Dorothy Saxe Invitational

Through September 9, 2012


Outdoor installation from exhibition Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought. Rebar, Nomadic Grove, 2012. Wooden planters and olive and oak trees. Dimensions variable. Yoko Ono, Wish Tree, 2012. Olive tree, paper tags, pencils, and the public. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artists. Photo: Josh Geiser.


Nomadic Grove, 2012

Recycled lumber and trees

“We believe that the human environment—public space in particular—should be infused with ecological knowledge, resilient to changing social conditions, responsive to creative impulses, and filled with opportunities for benevolence, conviviality, and delight. We design to make that happen.”


Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, recognized for creating reconfigurable, reprogrammable spaces for changing urban conditions, was invited by the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) to create a project on Jessie Square in front of the Museum. The CJM asked Rebar to consider the themes of the tree holiday of Tu B’Shevat in designing an installation that includes casual seating for lounging and audience seating for outdoor museum programming related to the exhibition. In response, Rebar used recycled lumber to create a group of gem-shaped planters with brightly colored edges that can be moved into various configurations, both practical and playful. Rebar describes Nomadic Grove as “a meditation on rootedness in the relentlessly changing city. To sit, relaxed, looking up at a tree framing the sky is a simple and profound human experience, but one in surprisingly short supply in modern cities. Perhaps it is because trees resist the city's constant motion, the city's ruthlessness—they are specific in a world of impatient cosmopolitanism.” To fill the planters, Rebar selected oak and olive trees that are adapted to the climates of both Israel and the Bay Area, representing the Mediterranean biome that is shared between the two regions and that resonate symbolically with the holiday of Tu B’Shevat.

Please sit, relax, meditate, and enjoy.


Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art and Jewish Thought an Exhibition and The Dorothy Saxe Invitational was organized by the Contemporary Jewish Museum and made possible by leadership gifts from the Jim Joseph Foundation, Dorothy Saxe Invitational Fund, and Dorothy R. Saxe. Presenting partners for this exhibition include the Columbia Foundation and an anonymous donor. Major support was provided by Yerba Buena Community Benefit District, Ruth and Alan Stein and Barbara and Howard Wollner. Additional support was generously provided by Marilyn Yolles Waldman and Murry Waldman, Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, and San Francisco Recreation & Parks.

Jim Joseph Foundationcolumbia_wybcbd israel_logosf_rec_park

Essential support for the publication has been provided by Fred Levin & Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation, in memory of Ben and A. Jess Shenson.School and teacher programs for Do Not Destroy are supported by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and an anonymous donor.Koret and Taube Foundations are the lead supporters of the 2011/12 exhibition season.



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