Growing our Local Economy: Susan Story, Arts Grant Recipient

Susan Story Sketch for "Around the Apple Tree" projectIn late May 2020, landscape painter and pastel master, Susan Story posted to her blog, “I am very happy to announce that I have been awarded an Individual Artist Commission grant from by the Arts Center Of The Capital Region, (“The Arts Center”), on behalf of the New York State Council On The Arts! The purpose of the grant is to support my project, ‘Around The Apple Tree.'”

Story hopes to honor her favorite apple tree: a half-century old, striking specimen sunk into the grounds at the history Samuel Jenkins property in Rensselaerville. Her goal is to highlight apples trees as important natural resources, as well as simulators of the local economy. “My purpose would be to visually draw attention to the relevance of the apple tree to the well-being of the community. Not only do we enjoy food and beverage from this tree, but it also makes an important contribution to the economy of the region.”

In what she calls the “Around the Apple Tree” project, Story’s creating a life-size version of her favorite apple tree using interlocking wood panels and oil/pigment sticks. She will depict the tree in all four seasons to pay homage to all of it’s changing, seasonal beauty. Altogether, the piece will be more than 12 feet by 12 feet, and she hopes it will draw attention to the many benefits apple trees provide to communities. She’s also constructing a smaller, 8 foot tall version for the local community to paint. Story explains that this replica “apple tree and all the supplies needed” will be available to the public at the fall event, so that everybody has the opportunity to paint it. “My hope is to offer a community building experience as well as an opportunity to celebrate the gifts of the apple tree and it’s economic impact.”

To support her work, GNH Lumber was proud to donate paints in a range of colors for this “big tree” project. Both trees will be displayed at Conkling Hall in Rensselaerville sometime in the fall of 2020.