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All Seasons Inn owner turns dead birch tree into blue artwork

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Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012 11:52 pm | Updated: 10:35 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Mary Richards saw an art installation full of blue trees in Seattle this spring and liked the look. On Thursday, she applied that look to a tree in the yard of her bed and breakfast on Seventh Avenue.

“We wanted the first blue tree in Fairbanks,” she said as she watched employees apply the paint.

The Seattle trees that served as inspiration were painted with a mixture of blue azurite and water by Australian artist Konstantine Dimopoulos for an exhibit titled “The Blue Trees.” Dimopoulos’ installation is meant to raise awareness of global deforestation.

“I was just taken with the blue trees,” Richards said.

Shortly after seeing Dimopoulos’ work, she learned that two large birch trees in the yard at the All Seasons Inn were rotten and dead. One needed to be removed completely, but the other still had a solid trunk and limbs. So she decided to mimic the artist’s idea and paint it blue.

“I’m not a very artsy person, but every now and then something grabs me,” Richards said.

The community is welcome to help decorate the tree for different occasions and holidays, she said. “I think it will be really fun.”

The tree is probably about 100 years old. Richards isn’t going to paint over a heart carving adorned with the initials E.C. and B.A, which she figures is at least 40 years old.

“It’s obviously been there a long time. It’s part of the history of the tree,” she said.

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