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The real story behind those stunning blue trees in Houston: Artist corrects the record

3, Blue trees, March 2013
Konstantin Dimopoulos, The Blue Trees, 2013, installation at Memorial Drive and Waugh. Photo by Joel Luks
Blue trees, students, March 2013
Scores of volunteers assisted in bringing the project to life. Photo by Joel Luks
2, Blue trees, March 2013
Depending on the amount of Houston-area rain, the trees will remain blue for up to six months. Photo by Joel Luks
1, Blue trees, March 2013
Photo by Joel Luks

For his new installation along Memorial Drive at Waugh, artist Konstantin Dimopoulos stressed that he hasn't painted the trees blue . . . but rather colored them with a natural blue pigment.

"The difference is very important," he explained to CultureMap in a recent onsite interview. "This color is intended to highlight how essential trees are to our environment. But the blue is only temporary and will disappear in a manner of months. We make sure the color will in no way harm the trees."

 While the blue trees are captivating for anyone traveling along Memorial, nothing beats walking through the grove itself.  

Scores of young volunteers from River Oaks Elementary and the Blaffer Art Museum wandered among the large grove of crepe myrtles, using paintbrushes to cover trunks and branches in blue as the Australian artist mixed the natural pigment in a plastic bucket.

While the blue trees are captivating for anyone traveling along Memorial or across the Waugh Bat Bridge, nothing beats walking through the grove itself — which is surprisingly peaceful, even as traffic zips by along the adjacent exit ramp.

Organized by the Houston Arts Alliance, The Blue Trees officially opens Wednesday with an evening reception from 6 to 7:30 at the HAA Gallery (3201 Allen Parkway). The artist speaks at 6:40 p.m. Click here for details and other locations.

Be sure to watch the video above for a closer look at the project with Dimopoulos himself.

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