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Enchanting New Tree Sculpture Debuts In Jackson Park

Colby Smith Colby Smith

Enchanting New Tree Sculpture Debuts In Jackson Park

The natural sculpture is 15 feet tall and carved from an Ash tree.

Jackson Park at 59th and Stony Island is home to a new tree-carved sculpture called Green Lady/Mother Peace by chainsaw artist Gary Keenan.

Green Lady/Mother Peace — the artists hasn’t yet finalized the name — features a 15.5 ft high woman varnished in shades of green. Her arms, branching out like wings, are carved into leaves, leaving her position to appear as that of a phoenix rising from the ashes.

“Very often, when I wasn’t directly working on her, people were talking with me,” Keenan wrote in a Facebook post.

“She seems to stoke introspection with many. Much of the discussion centered around her symbolizing life, growth, emerging from/rooted in the earth…all positives in a time where there are so many negatives we are dealing with.”

Gary Keenan is a chainsaw artist from Iowa, who “carves at fairs, festivals, city events, and open houses. For this summer, Gary was scheduled to carve at fairs and festivals in four states, but all that has been cancelled because of the pandemic,” as per the Chicago Sculpture International Instagram post.

The sculpture was commissioned by the Parks District in conjunction with Chicago Sculpture International and is the first completed sculpture of the Chicago Tree Project. The Chicago Tree Project was started in 2014 in response to the thousands of trees that were dying in Chicago.

“The park District approached Chicago Sculpture International (CSI) and together they created a program that would give some of these sick and dying trees a second life as a work of vibrant public art,” its website reads.

The Green Lady/Mother Peace can be found in Jackson Park off of Stony Island Ave. and 57th St.

“I’ve done a lot of carvings/sculptures, but none have created conversations the way that ‘she’ has,” says Keenan.

See also: New ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Mural Unveiled In Humboldt Park

[Featured image @u/eliz773 via Reddit]