Every year since 2013, Joanna Hedrick, a counselor at the Sacramento State University Student Service Center, celebrates the fall season in a special way. She rakes the golden leaves of the campus' gingko trees into elaborately artistic patterns, creating stunning pieces of environmental art.
Whether creating spiraling circles, a honeycomb, or a complex labyrinth, Hedrick carefully rakes the fallen leaves into intricate designs. She draws inspiration from environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy (whose visually striking nature art has also wowed us for years). With a background in landscape design and art, Hedrick sees her annual installations as a way to not only express her creativity, but to also transform the environment, drawing attention to its inherent beauty.
“[My art] is about taking something that’s already beautiful and making something unique—something you don’t just pass by,” she shared with Sactown Magazine. As she explained to the local publication, Hedrick estimates that it takes her two to three hours of meditative raking to complete each leafy installation.
So how did she get started on such a time-consuming project? The creative artist actually began in an unusual way. Looking for an interesting backdrop for family photographs, she originally raked together a golden masterpiece. After taking a photograph of her children, she was amazed to see how the design quickly gained positive feedback on campus and across social media.
Now, Hedrick creates about six designs annually as the trees shed their leaves, with the campus leaving each on display for about three weeks.
Each year Joanna Hedrick creates spectacular leaf art from the fallen gingko leaves on the Sacramento State University campus.
For those curious about the mystery ginkgo leaves crop circle artist, here she is. This is the third year Joanna Hedrick has created her “rake art.” She works in the Registrar's Office and is a part-time student on campus. “The ginkgo is my favorite tree,” says Hedrick. “I make the circles to replicate the rings of the trees in nature.” #exploresacstate #sacstate #sacramento #SacStateGinkgoArt