About Us

Mission Statement

Gathering Growth Foundation works to visually preserve the legacy of significant trees and forests in the United States.

Champion Trees

Champion Trees are the largest of their species. In the U.S. there are 795 Champion Trees recorded by the environmental non-profit, American Forests. Surviving the ravages of human and nature, their lives spanning hundreds and even thousands of years, these silent sentinels have watched history unfold around them.

More About Gathering Growth

‘When we tug at a single thing in nature we find it attached to the rest of the world’ - John Muir

With the rapid increase of urban sprawl, the rise of global temperature, invasive insects and much more, our forests are dwindling at alarming rates. In 2017, the photographer and archivist, Brian Kelley began to create this archive, to preserve these trees legacies and to call attention to the importance of protecting the delicate ecosystems they inhabit.

The large format photographs, captured entirely by Kelley, provide an insight into the tree’s life and the environment it occupies whether it be a major tourist destination, the streets of New York City, or The Lost Forest in the Oregon Desert. Each photograph is accompanied by audio recordings of the surrounding landscape, capturing the sounds that encompass each tree.

More About Brian Kelley

Brian Kelley (b. 1988) is a photographer and archivist, originally from Horseheads, NY. He moved to NYC in 2006 and received his a B.F.A. in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in 2010. Kelley’s mixed-media approach has allowed him to pursue artwork with disruptive capacities—exhaustive research, slow & meditative composition, and the repurposing of photographic mediums—all employed to reveal the artifacts left behind by the precession of simulacra. Kelley's artistic pursuit contributes to the cultural archive of American ephemera, building on series such as “Parks” a collection of over 300 United States national park maps, ephemera, and brochures spanning over a 100 years. Currently, Kelley is based between Brooklyn and Lumberland, NY.



Field Mag - Video: Discovering the World's Largest Pine Tree

Outside Magazine - Meet California's Best Big-Tree Hunter


International Center of Photography - ICP Projected: Gathering Growth

American Forests - Our Champion Tree Archivist Brian Kelley Gives an Update


Kodak - The Kodakery, Episode 115: Photographing Champion Trees with Brian Kelley

American Forests - Champion Tree Trek: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

American Forests - Introducing Brian Kelley, Champion Tree Archivist

Atlas Obscura - The Quiet Glory of Chronicling America’s Champion Trees

Maekan - Gathering Growth - Documenting the Champion Trees

Booooooom - #TheCreatorsClass: Gathering Growth with Brian Kelley

Furthermore / From Equinox - Master the summer: nurture your passion

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