This work was done by Marijo Carney:

“LISTEN TO THE EARTH” ( 91/2″ x 12 3/4″ )

Nature has always been very sacred to me. It speaks to me and has helped me to guide and form my life. To denote the respect that I hold for the majesty of the Earth, in this piece I choose to use media appropriate for royalty; the deep burgundy red of brazilwood dye on calfskin vellum, and the richness of 23 karat gold leaf.

Regal Roman letters overlap to represent how Nature intertwines and permeates my existence. The words… to the…were designed to repeat the organic quality of the tree/land/ water image which is symbolic of life itself.

This piece is my way of honoring Earth and reminding mankind to listen to what she can teach.

Master Tree


About forty years ago and in a galaxy far far away, two young artists, Katy DeMent and Judie Jacobs, met in a ceramics workshop deep in the North Georgia woods in a magical place for artists to study called The Hambidge Center. Tucked deep into the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills, The Hambidge Center was one of the first artist communities in the United States to support individual artists in residence programs and the Center continues to serve as a steward to a 600-acre tract of land that was once a sheep farm. 

The Center was created in 1934 by Mary Hambidge, and In the early days of Hambidge, she employed local women to create exceptional weavings that would one day be featured in many exhibits including the Smithsonian and MOMA. Later she broadened the scope of the Center by inviting artists for extended stays. After her death in 1973, the Center evolved into a formal and competitive residency program open to creative individuals from all walks of life.  The Hambidge Center is a member of the Alliance of Artist’s Communities and was recognized with the 1996 Cultural Olympiad Regional Designation Award in the Arts.

After that ceramics class, Katy and Judie forged different paths in the arts over the next few decades.  Fast forward to 2019, their paths crossed again in Atlanta, GA when Judie, who teaches sculpture and painting in the Upper School at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, contacted Katy DeMent, who now works in her paper art studio in Pittsburg, PA.  The two planned an event in the art of papermaking for several students at Holy Innocents’ by having Katy spend a week in Judie’s classes working with students to make paper.   Many of the pieces of paper that were created that week were sent to TreeWhispers to incorporate into their paper sculpture installations.   

The TreeWhispers project was a perfect fit for Judie’s students. Low OR no cost materials, sustainability, flexibility, and sculpture!  Spanish classes also joined in the fun and created several of the paper pieces as well.   Handmade round paper sheets were made by the students, then embellished with various text and a variety of materials to be assembled in vertical columns much like that of tree trunks for display at Holy Innocents’ then shipped to TreeWhispers for their installations

 The importance of trees in our lives was not lost on anyone. Students also appreciated the power of recycling paper collected from their school. Many of the students added stories about their memories and thoughts about trees.

Judie’s late husband, Warren Jacobs, also completed a residency program at The Hambidge Center several years ago.   In 2002, he co-edited a book of stories about trees that he was extremely proud of.   

Tree Stories: A Collection of Extraordinary Encounters Paperback – April 1, 2002

by Warren David Jacobs (Editor), Karen Shragg (Editor)

The book stemmed from a very special tree in Cades Cove, TN.  When Warren came South after being drafted in the Army in the ’70s, he took a detour to Cade’s Cove and discovered a beautiful maple tree about halfway around the cove circle.  It offered a lot of comfort to a young Jewish man venturing into the deep south for the first time  (right after the movie “Deliverance” which was popular at the time.).   He spent the day there, meditating, playing his guitar, and just acclimating himself to the new mysterious life that lay ahead.   For years after the army, moving to Atlanta, setting up practice as a psychiatrist, starting a new family, etc. etc. etc., he still enjoyed so much comfort and peace sitting under that tree.  One fall we rented a camper, took the family, and journeyed again to his spiritual friend to find it had been struck by lightning and nothing left but a stump.   Warren was devastated, and contacted the Parks Department to ask about planting a new tree in his sacred tree’s space, but was told no.  After much thought, he felt that if he had a story about a special tree, others must as well.  For months after that, Warren sought and received tree stories from all over the world and chose his favorite 50 and had them published in 2002.  He went on a book tour all over the country and for years loved promoting his love of trees and this special collection of tree stories.

In the Jewish religion, it is often the custom to plant a tree(s) in memory or to honor someone.  So hopefully, this will inspire others to reflect on special memories or relationships they have of trees in their lives and be more protective of the important role trees play in our lives and environment.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity and inspiration to create and honor trees.



  —Story and photos by Judie Jacobs and  Katy DeMent 

New Life

Trees help us