Cactus Gallery LA
400 YEAR OLD OAK TREE, CALTECH by Janet Olenik
Acrylic on birch board, 11" x 14", framed to 12.25" x 15"
This piece was inspired by Caltech's famed 400-year-old Engelman oak tree. The tree was a well-known campus landmark treasured by generations of students, faculty and staff. It once stood 80 feet high and spread its branches as wide as 75 feet. It died a few years ago despite years of effort to keep it healthy and was removed. The wood was preserved for several uses including research rounds for GPS paleoclimatology research, construction of a communal table and donor gifts & recognition pieces.
In the Institute’s early years, the oak provided shade to students and spectators at graduation ceremonies. In more recent years it has served as a backdrop for countless wedding photos and also served as a subject of portraits drawn by students from the nearby ArtCenter College of Design - and Janet!