Perfecting a Prodigious Peacock

Treefort Puppet-Tree

In an aging warehouse about a mile west of where Treefort Music Fest will be held in Boise, ID, a giant peacock takes shape.

Members of the Colossal Collective, a group of Boise artists, designers, fabricators, and dreamers, spend their weekends building an 18-foot-wide, 10-foot-tall peacock prototype – the finished bird is planned to be 36-feet wide and 19-feet tall.

“It’ll be huge,” says lead designer Sam Johnson.

The one-of-a-kind peacock will roam festival venues, delighting and surprising visitors from around the globe during the 5-day, 400-act music and cultural blowout that has grown from a regional festival to a premiere event on the festival circuit in the U.S.

The finished product will be made from nylon, PVC pipe, molded plastic, wood, metal, and lights. Software will control the lighting, a sound system will belt out peacock calls, and a 6-person crew will operate the entire contraption.

Unlike most artwork, the viewer experience of this piece is one of being encountered.

“At its best this art form can put people back into that childlike wonder state,” Sam said.

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Like most Treeforters, both of Colossal Collective’s peacocks – the full-size, white Penelopeacock and smaller, blue Henrietta – had quite a busy social calendar throughout the festival.


From Kidfort and Band Dialogue, to mural painting and dancing alongside Project FLUX on the Main Stage, Henrietta and Penelopeacock made multiple appearances at multiple venues, surprising and delighting festival-goers along the way.

“Those were the best reactions we had – the unexpected encounter,” Sam said. “Just standing in line, waiting for a show, and having the peacock come around the corner, and boom, the tail goes up. It was a pretty fun experience.”

Did you miss the peacocks at Treefort? Don’t worry. Henrietta will be making an appearance at the Idaho Gives Blockparty in Boise’s Lusk District during First Thursday on May 3rd from 5PM-10PM.

And more appearances are currently in the works.

“They’re just getting started,” Sam said.


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