Meet the artist behind the intricate leaf art seen at Sac State every fall

Joanna Hedrick is a philosophy major and graduating senior

Sacramento State becomes vibrant in color during the fall season: grounds become covered with fallen leaves and becomes a canvas for gingko leaf artist Joanna Hedrick.

Hedrick, a philosophy major and a graduating senior, said she has been creating ginkgo art since 2013.

“The whole idea started when I wanted to create an intriguing background for my kids to take pictures of them during the fall,” Hedrick said.

The designs started simple and eventually became more intricate over the years, she said.

Hedrick creates labyrinths, symbols and eccentric circles with only ginkgo leaves, the golden fan-shaped leaves that fall from ginkgo trees.

“I think it is pretty amazing that someone can make such beautiful art that’s a part of nature that we usually see as trash,” said Marco Covarrubias, a fourth-year film major.

Her designs are usually located at Sac State, but she said occasionally does designs around the Sacramento area. She created a yin-yang symbol at William Land Golf Course.

Photo courtesy of Joanna Hedrick
A yin yang design at William Land Golf Course that Joanna Hedrick created.

Hedrick’s designs aren’t simple to create — she said that her simpler designs can take up to four hours.

“I typically take around four to eight hours to do the complicated designs such as the labyrinths, and about four hours to do the eccentric circles,” Hedrick said. “I sometimes get help from my kids and it is a great way to spend time outside with them and have them play with the leaves as they help me.”

Hedrick said that one of her favorite parts of creating leaf art is the therapeutic nature of being outside and raking the leaves, along with the response from viewers.

“It’s awesome to see that people really enjoy my work,” Hedrick said. “I tend to do these designs at the end of the fall semester as finals are approaching to put a smile on stressed students as they get ready to finish the semester.”

Eucario Calderon – The State Hornet
Joanna Hedrick’s ginkgo leaf art between Calaveras Hall and Alpine Hall on Nov. 26.

Kayla Levering, a third-year business administration major, said she didn’t know that Hedrick created the ginkgo art, but appreciates it.

“I think the leaf art is really cool and I was just wondering today as I was passing by Sequoia Hall who was the person who created such an intriguing design with leaves,” Levering said.

Hedrick said her work has recently gotten global attention and that she continues to get noticed by people around the world as she posts her work on her social media accounts.

“It’s crazy that people around the world are discovering my work,” Hedrick said.

Hedrick said that she eventually wants to travel to different places around the world and create designs with ginkgo leaves in different locations.

“I’m hoping sometime soon, maybe next year to travel around the world and visit Japan, China and other places to find old beautiful ginkgo trees and show my art to people around the world,” Hedrick said.

Eucario Calderon – The State Hornet
Joanna Hedrick in front of her ginkgo art designs she created by Sequoia Hall on Dec. 6.