Local artist carves campus tree
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 00:11
A dying tree on the Southern Miss campus was brought to life Saturday, but not with the help of soil and water. Instead, the live oak was restructured by a local artist to take on the shape of a Golden Eagle.
Dayton Scoggins, a local carver whose work is well-known on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, worked for hours Saturday on the tree, located on the east side of the Walker Science Building across from the west entrance of the Student Union.
The sculpture of the eagle was completed right before the Southern Miss kickoff against UTEP Saturday evening.
Loren Erickson, superintendent of campus landscape for Southern Miss said keeping the tree around in a different capacity was a better option than removing it totally.
“This tree was dead and in need of removal regardless, but the chance for it to remain as an art piece makes its loss much easier to absorb,” Erickson said.
Preservation and maintenance of all trees on the Southern Miss campus is taken on by the Tree Management Task Force. When a tree has to be removed, another tree is planted to take its place. The task force commissioned Scoggins to transform what remains of the tree trunk into a banking eagle, according to a press release from the physical plant.
“I am excited about this unique opportunity to incorporate art with recycling,” said Chris Crenshaw, Physical Plant Director. “The Tree Management Task Force deserves much credit for this creative use of a tree, and I look forward to seeing the work of this Mississippi based sculptor.”