As we’ve met with families throughout the Tulsa metro area at in-home Parent Coffees we’ve received many wonderful questions about the school. Where is it going to be located? How many students will be enrolled in the first year? How will you support varied learning differences? These, like the questions we have listed on the FAQ, are wonderful and important questions and we always enjoy answering them. Last week, however, a parent asked an unexpected question: “What is the story on the tree featured prominently on the website?”
The truth is, it is just a tree that looked pretty and gave off the right vibe–peaceful, beautiful, and strong. Normally, that prominent place on a school website would be a photo of the students or the building. We, of course, as a school startup have neither of these at the moment. Thus, we went searching for something that could temporarily take their place.
As we started working on the branding for the school we looked at the logos of pretty much every BCSI-affiliated school in the country. Many of them include the iconography of trees. There’s just something about mighty trees–their size, their age, their beauty. They evoke steady, oftentimes, solitary wisdom. Like the Great Books, trees that have grown so large have stood the test of time and weathered many storms but have yet prevailed. In their old age, they have grown in beauty, wisdom, and grace. They are enduring symbols. Even though we decided to go in a different direction with our brand, there was something about the mighty tree that continued to resonate with us. In the temporary absence of a building or students, we decided to lean into it.
We didn’t just want to use any old stock photograph of a tree, however. We wanted something that at least looked like Oklahoma. That’s when we came across a lovely photograph by local Tulsa photographer Mike Cropper that he had entitled “Bixby Lone Tree.” We reached out and he generously gave us permission to use it. He told us that he took the photo on a bike ride one day. “I just liked the idea of a lone tree standing on its own in a field through the elements and seasons. It’s beautiful and inspiring. A lot of my photography has centered on this theme.” We asked him where the tree was located and he sent us the GPS coordinates on 161st Street and Garnett in Bixby.
“Bixby Lone Tree” started out as a place holder on our website, but we’ve grown quite fond of it. Of course, as we make an announcement about facilities in the fall and ultimately have students we can photograph, that prominent place on our website will rightfully change. That lovely tree standing alone in a field in Bixby will still be there though–strong, mighty, wise, and wonderful.
Thank you Mike for letting us use your lovely photo.