Gingko trees are renowned for their majestic beauty, but come autumn and a certain artist at Sacramento State University is busy raking those beautiful golden leaves into intricate designs. Joanna Hedrick, a counselor at the university and self-proclaimed “falling ginkgo artist,” spends hours creating her nature-based artwork, turning her design work into an annual campus tradition.
Joanna, who has a background in art and landscape design, began her artistic work years ago in an attempt to create a nice backdrop for family photos. What began as a simple clean up process, however, has turned into an annual tradition, beloved by all on campus. Her leaf art has become quite famous around town, but especially for those students who need a bit of distraction during finals.
Hendrick uses a rake to comb the leaves into a variety of detailed shapes, from spiraling circles and honeycombs, to a complex golden labyrinth. She estimates that each design takes her about two to three hours, and is usually able to makes about six unique displays during the fall season.
Having become something of a local legend, Hendrick is proud of her nature-based artwork. She told Sactown Mag, “[My art] is about taking something that’s already beautiful and making something unique—something you don’t just pass by.”
Photography by Joanna Hendrick Instagram