What in the world?? This public art display in a nearby town caught my eye and caused me to question: What is it? Who made it? Why is it there?
It is across the street from the public library. When I asked someone about it, I was told there were more inside the library.
Another day, traveling some back roads we came across this sight:
So art imitates life. Plenty of similarities, including more cause to question:
Were the trees dead when they were cut? Why do such tall stumps remain?
I may never know about the tree stumps – the natural ones – but I did find out more about the manmade, more shapely versions. They were created by a Nashville artist named Alan LeQuire.
Really? I was impressed.
Before you appraise his talent based solely on his tree work, you should know that he is well respected in the Nashville area, and he was chosen to create the statue of Athena that graces the inside of the life-sized replica of ancient Greece’s Parthenon that is located in Nashville’s Centennial Park.
Yes, that is the artist next to the goddess in the picture.
He also created the controversial “Musica” which is located in the Music Row roundabout in Nashville:
This sculpture is definitely representative of LeQuire’s talent, but it caused quite a stir at first because the figures are naked. It also caused several motorists to go ’round and ’round the roundabout.
But back to the trees. I finally did a little research and learned that this is part of a work called “Dream Forest.” According to the online newspaper Off the Duck, the inspiration for the sculptures came from LeQuire’s rural upbringing. Later in life he dreamed of the trees he saw as a child and he saw them as loving and supportive shapes. Three of the original plaster trees were displayed inside the library. The larger concrete structures are more sturdy and fit for public display.
Ah Hah! Questions answered. And art appreciated!
I love this picture of the artist and the city mayor. The looks on their faces make me smile:
Here’s a nice touch: Excerpts of poetry are carved on the shapes and were printed for display on the library windows. There were also inked woodblocked prints of leaves as part of the display, created by LeQuire alongside the master printer from the famous Hatch Show Print in Nashville.
It was quite a coordinated effort for the community to bring the display to their town. But don’t go looking for these – they are no longer there. It was always meant to be a temporary display.
I wonder how long the tall stumps will remain in the backroad yard? Will nature eventually assure that they, too are a temporary display?
No doubt, in time, life will imitate art this time around.