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Singing tree murals take root in Camp Fire and Bear Fire burn scars

A worldwide art project for community healing is spreading out through Northern California wildfire burn scars through murals facilitated by artist Bobbie Rae Jones.

Posted: Feb 13, 2021 7:01 PM
Updated: Feb 13, 2021 7:02 PM

CHICO, Calif. - A worldwide community art project is being expanded into Butte County, within the burn scar of the Camp Fire and the Bear Fire, which is part of the North Complex.

North State artist Bobbie Rae Jones is also a disaster case manager with the Tzu Chi Foundation. In that capacity, she has helped many people who lost their homes with their rebuilding and recoveries.

Jones has found a way to help heal not just individuals, but also the communities she serves, through her art. She is both an artist and an art educator, who values the power of art to heal. She has been trained by the Unity Through Creativity Foundation to make community "Singing Trees" with survivors in the burn scar.

On Saturday Jones brought a fabric painting of the Singing Tree designed by the Wellspring Art Collection. They put on a Valentine's themed art fair at the Chico Art Studio on 8th and Flume Streets.

Children and adults at the art fair contributed leaves and flowers to the art piece that represents a magnolia tree. One participant said the magnolia represents shattered lives being put back together.

Next week Jones will be working with the Paradise Community Guilds to figure out how they can find funding for another singing tree for their Chapel Drive/Pearson Road campus across from the old Gold Nugget Museum. The community will be coming together to help create the tree and its design.

Jones wants to do more of the singing tree murals, but needs to make sure she can fund the art supplies and other materials for the projects that can be spread across the burn scar, or elsewhere in the North State.

Jones said, "The Singing Tree project is about bringing communities together to talk about their heartbreaks, and through ideation and design we create this beautiful painting. We add our wishes and our dreams to it."

You can reach Bobbie Rae Jones about the Singing Tree project at this email: bobbieraejones@gmail.com.

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Thankfully, the wind is cooperating much better today in northern California. Our weather is still quite hot for this time of year and very dry. There is plenty of haze and smoke from the Fawn Fire overhead, and it isn't leaving yet.
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