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Dunnville, Ontario artist Paul Chartrand has developed a new project for Conestoga Mall entitled C02 Sequestration via Trees. The project will be on view in the mall's Centre Court opening September 21 at 7 PM and running through October 28, 2019. 

Many people in the Waterloo Region will recognize Paul Chartrand for his work Percolator, a hydroponic garden built into a commercial dumpster and installed in Carl Zehr Square for CAFKA.16. Percolator was a living metaphor for the hyper-caffeinated cycle of global energy production and waste.

For Conestoga Mall, the artist has proposed a new work: an octagonal domed greenhouse, built to mirror the dramatic skylight above. Paul Chartrand's greenhouse is home to 2,600 silver maple seedlings, representing offsetting amount of one individual's carbon footprint in trees.

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In the greenhouse the artist will nurture 2,600 silver maple seedlings sourced primarily from the Dunnville area. He arrived at the number of seedlings by estimating his personal, lifetime carbon footprint (15,116 metric tonnes -- the amount of carbon he will generate in his lifetime), and dividing that by the average lifetime carbon consumption of the the silver maple.

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By planting 2,600 seedlings that grow into mature trees he will effectively neutralize his carbon footprint. 

Following the exhibition, the seedlings will be distributed to Conestoga Mall customers for planting. We had included some basic instructions on tree planting. If you were interested in planting a tree and need help, Reep Green Solutions has a Backyard Tree Planting Program, which includes an in-person consultation with an arborist in your yard, as well as delivery and full planting service. For a subsidized fee, they identify the best planting locations and help you to select trees best suited to your yard and personal preferences, and even do all the work to get your tree(s) in the ground. To find out more about this service visit:

CAFKA is working with Climate Action WR to help initiate discussions and spur action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If you would like to find out more what Climate Action WR does and what we all can do to help, please visit their web page at

Paul Chartrand's C02 Sequestration via Trees is the second CAFKA project made possible by Conestoga Mall. For CAFKA.18 Conestoga Mall sponsored Negotiating +/- by Marcia Huyer. Thank you to Rhonda Richmond, Marketing Manager and Karl Ditoro, General Manager at Conestoga Mall for their support and encouragement. 

Photo: Paul Chartrand

To celebrate the final weekend of C02 Sequestration via Trees at Conestoga Mall, there will be a silver maple seedling giveaway on Saturday October 26 and Sunday, October 27 from 11 am to 3 pm while quantities last.

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Paul Chartrand Website+Portrait.jpgAbout the artist

Paul Chartrand works with constructed habitats built from found objects and integrated living components. His projects include various mediums and practical methodologies but focus particularly on sculpture and drawing. Paul finds inspiration in the blurry definitions of culture and nature; intending for his work to foster dialogue regarding this problematic dichotomy. His influences include many artists, writers and philosophers dealing with environmental discourses such as Helen and Newton Harrison, Hans Haacke, Mary Mattingly, Martin Roth, Jane Bennett, Timothy Morton, Vanessa Watts and more. Paul completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph in 2013 and his Master of Fine Arts degree at Western University for which he earned Ontario Graduate Scholarships and SSHRC funding. He has exhibited at galleries including the Niagara Artists Centre (St. Catharines), Roadside Attractions (Toronto), Xpace Cultural Centre (Toronto), Younger Than Beyonce Gallery (Toronto), Boarding House Gallery (Guelph), Artlab and Satellite Gallery (London), Idea Exchange (Cambridge), CAFKA (2016), Y+ Contemporary (Scarborough) and Main Squared Festival (Toronto).

This CAFKA project has been made possible with the generous support of Rex Lingwood, Conestoga Mall and Whitefish Architecture.

Photo top: Gordon Hatt; All other photos and renderings courtesy of the artist. 

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