Jennifer Steinkamp’s digital artworks are engineered to mesmerize and delight. Her animations and images have appeared on building exteriors and billboards and in museum galleries and parks, among other sites.
Steinkamp has made more than two dozen animated trees dedicated to a few teachers she especially admires. Trees represent strength, shelter, and fruitfulness; deciduous species, or trees that shed their leaves, manifest the changing seasons and, by extension, the cycle of life. Steinkamp chose the form of the tree for her dedications in memory of Miss Znerold, the first-grade teacher who singled out her “sponge trees”—made with a paint-dipped sponge—for special praise. This particular digital animation honors Judy Crook, who taught Steinkamp color theory in art school. All of the works in Steinkamp’s tree series are closely related, yet each has unique characteristics. For instance, the colors of the fruit and leaves vary and the branches’ pulsing movement is individualized.