Gulfport Commission's Pelican Art for U.S. 90 Oak Stump
by Keith Burton - GCN       12/30/06

Motorists driving along the Katrina-devastated area in West Gulfport along Highway 90 this past week were surprised to see an artist at work. What they saw was Dayton and Michelle Scoggins, turning an oak stump on the median between the four lane road into dolphins with a pelican perched on an outstretched limb. Dayton and Michelle Scoggins, owners of Artistry in Wood, were commissioned by the city for the work. The couple are from Sandersville near Laurel.

Wielding nothing more than a chain saws, the couple turned the Katrina-destroyed tree into a colorful beachfront icon. The couple started their work this past Wednesday and finished by Friday. These photographs were taken on Thursday.

The project is the result of an effort by Kris Riemann, director of Public Works, and Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr, to try to come up with a series of projects to help beautify the city. Taking what was bad and making it better. The stump would have had to be removed from the beach and was in a area particularly scarred by the hurricane.

There are several more stumps the city wants Scoggins to carve. The artwork carvings are being paid out of the city's beautification budget at a cost of $2,700.