Friday, March 30, 2012

Dig It

We just attended this picnic!

Image and text by Susan Krueger Barber
The foundation of the original Provo tabernacle (see image above) was recently unearthed by archeologists and ongoing tours have been held revealing fascinating stories about this beautiful building and the Mormon pioneers who built it. Susan started an online petition to show public support of the dig and interest in the excavation having a permanent presence. Please sign the petition here. Jim Dalrymple of (Pro(vo)cation) has written about his take on the foundation here. And the Daily Herald wrote this story including some quotes from me.

 Here's the foundation, right smack dab in the middle of downtown.
me and a neighbor discussing the stones that supported the columns
 For years on sunny days I had been sitting a few feet above the foundation under my favorite sycamore tree reading books and doing my homework having no idea that there had been a church meeting house right there! (Provo, you and your secrets!)  I knew that tree well! That tree and I were tight. In high school one day (in the early 1990s!) while at the park looking for a place to sit and do my homework I spotted the tree and said "that looks like a promising tree. " And that is how it was known to me; the Promising Tree. While attending BYU I did an eight painting series about the Promising Tree. I would walk to the tree while picking up litter (gum wrappers, coins, scraps of paper) take photos of the amazing roots, the canopy, the scars where a huge branch had been pruned, the peeling bark. Back at the studio I painted the tree and incorporated the litter in the background of  the collage. The whole artwork was a record of my pilgrimages to this wonderful tree. I used auto bond to texture the frames to resemble the sycamore bark and poured resin over the paintings. I built drawers into the frames to hold relics from the tree. So...all these years later when the archeologist told us the story of the tree and the miracle of how its roots had left the foundation stones completely undisturbed!!!! I was even more proud of my fabulous and gentle Promising tree!!!

Photos from the beginning of the picnic last night.

We were at the park for over four hours talking with people as they came and went. Visitors were still coming to view the foundation well after dark, including a couple from British Columbia, Canada who said they love to stop by Provo  on their long touring drives from Arizona to Canada.  They don't know anyone in town, or have any pioneer ancestry, or mormon connections, they just like to stop by and take a look. I asked them if they thought the foundation was significant. They answered, "Absolutely!"

If you haven't had a chance to take a look make sure you go today!

Don't forget to sign the petition! Here!