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NatureMaker’s “Giant Tree of Life” Sets the Stage for The Costume Institute’s Annual Gala

Photo: Business Wire

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Standing 30 feet tall and weighing in at approximately 7,000 pounds was the spectacular focal point of The Costume Institute’s annual fundraiser and gala held at the venerable Metropolitan Museum of Art. The “Giant Tree of Life” held center stage at this year’s exhibit which honored the extraordinary body of work by late fashion designer and couturier, Alexander McQueen.

Gary Hanick , co-founder and president of NatureMaker Steel Art Trees in Carlsbad, CA was on-hand to ensure everything went smoothly. “Typically, it takes at least half a year to craft a NatureMaker tree and several days to install. With the help of one engineer, four NatureMaker designers, and 12 crew members provided by the clients, this giant oak was installed in 15 hours. That’s a record.”

Serendipity was on Hanick’s side when the call came from internationally renowned event planner, Raul Avila, expressing interest in having a giant, life-like tree for the event. “We rarely have our work readily available since most are privately commissioned; however, we happened to have this sculpture on-hand at our facility. Mr. Avila flew out to inspect the tree and once it met his and the board’s approval, everything from that point forward became logistics.”

NatureMaker saw its beginnings in the 1980s under the artful hands of eco-artist Bennett Abrams and partner, Gary Hanick. The business boomed, gaining worldwide recognition for their hardwood sculptures and earning loyal clients like San Francisco’s Macy’s and Chicago’s Marshall Field. It didn’t take long for interior designers, architects and developers to join the growing list of admirers and collectors.

Today, NatureMaker Steel Art Trees can be found around the globe in libraries, hospitals, casinos, restaurants, airports, public atriums, government buildings and more. Hanick would like to see the life-like tree sculptures at more events like the one at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Over the past three decades, we have worked with some of the most creative minds in the Industry. More and more, they and their clients want ever more extraordinary expressions of Nature in their most expansive interior spaces. Most recently, we installed a two-story olive tree in the massive Santiago Calatrava designed atrium at Brookfield Place in Toronto. Nature will never go out of fashion.”

Nature Maker Steel Art Trees is based in Carlsbad, California.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin (rubin.judith@gmail.com) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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