Words and Photos: Alejandrina Hernandez

Veronica Rivera a.k.a Tree is an aspiring artist who has been made it her mission to spread environmental awareness through her art.

“My interest in environmental arts started when I was growing up as a child artist ;collecting materials like disposables, found objects and trash to use it in creating textures for my artwork," says Rivera.

Rivera is currently working on the Clean Up Urban Pollution (CUUP) Project where she creates a variety of small to large sized paint boxes made out of acrylic plastics and disposable materials. Her goal is to bring attention to the amount of resources that society uses on a daily basis. Rivera states, “I’m looking to basically create public landfills where people could visually see the amounts of trash we generate but see it in a way where it’s a huge body of art.”

Part of the early process of the CUUP Project involved children from the Precita Valley Center in San Francisco to paint disposable cups that would later be incorporated into Rivera’s art installations.  “I feel very close to nature, really drawn to children because I feel like they aren't really getting the awareness they deserve,” Rivera says. Rivera wants to give the children an opportunity to send environmental messages through their work.

Rivera boxes represent society’s consumption problem as it is “breeding” future generations to consume more than what the planet produces.