“Orlando’s First Lady” by Ronda Richley
This beautiful tree is located in Constitution Green, a park in Downtown Orlando, very near to the artist’s home. The tree spans the block from Summerlin to Eola, South to Jackson streets. It is probably the oldest tree in Central Florida, now that the Senator is gone.
“A brief story about this special tree… in early 2015 word had it that a developer was going to buy the land where she sits, and cut her down to build condominiums. How can they do this, you ask? Well, the city only leased the land from a private family. So the family decided to sell the land, but, many of us had a rally there under the tree, signed petitions, and raised money to save her. Well, it worked, as she is still standing, and will be for generations to come, thanks to all the support she received.
Why do I call this tree a She, and Orlando’s First Lady? Ahh, that is because her shoulders are so heavy that the boughs come back down to the ground…heavy with caring for others, heavy with the responsibility that she has gracefully accepted of protecting all of us, hearing our problems, and watching us play. She is Orlando’s First Lady, as she is the oldest in Orlando, and most definitely has earned the “Lady” status, as she is graceful yet strong, and never complains about her responsibility….all she has ever asked for is to live peacefully amid us.
The painting is one I created as a reminder that trees are living, feeling forms, with great spirits, and give us so much–like that great air we breathe. This tree is/was very special as it had endured a lifetime only one can guess. What did it see? What and who went there to be protected from the elements? How many families have picnicked under her boughs?
If you study the tree, you will find my signature element of a female figure within her. It is located in the middle of the vee of her two main trunks. You will also see her ‘helping hands’ reaching out to befriend and assist you.” –Ronda
The original painting is available for purchase. Please email the artist for pricing.