Biloxi's Chainsaw Art Taking Shape Along Beach Highway
From: City of
Biloxi Filed 3/9/07 GCN
Chainsaw artist Dayton Scoggins, commissioned by Mayor A.J. Holloway to sculpt marine-related figures from standing dead oaks in the median of U.S. 90, ended his four days of work Thursday afternoon. Dozens of the live oaks along the highway had died as a result of Katrina's damages. The sculpting is part of a beautification plan that includes replanting trees around Biloxi.
“We’ve had more than 300 trees of different varieties planted in Biloxi on public property alone since Hurricane Katrina,” Holloway said in an earlier news release on the project, “and in this particular project, we’re giving a second life to something Mother Nature attempted to destroy. We were dealt lemons and now we’re going to make lemonade.”
Holloway approached Southern District Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown and Harrison County Parkway Commission Director Bobby Weaver about the project on Dec. 7. Gulfport Public Works Director Kris Riemann, who had artist Scoggins sculpt a tree in Gulfport, originally suggested the idea to Biloxi.
The mayor envisioned a tree-sculpture garden where a collection of dead oak trees now stands a couple blocks west of the Biloxi Lighthouse, with several other sculptures created in the median further west toward Rodenburg Avenue.
Biloxi is spending $4,000 for the initial sculpting, while MDOT is funded the preliminary "topping" of the trees.
To see before-and-after photos, video and background on the project, click here.