DPW wants your ideas for Southborough ‘eco-art’

Usually the Southborough Department of Public Works deals with tree stumps by sending them through the chipper, but for one tree stump, they have something different in mind, something a bit more artistic.

DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan is leading the effort to convert a tree stump into a chainsaw sculpture that would be placed near the gazebo on the lawn of the Southborough Public Safety complex on Main Street. The sculpture would be something representative of the town, and Galligan wants your help coming up with ideas.

“We need ideas that make you think of Southborough,” Galligan wrote in an email. “Whether Southborough conjures up images of a historic figure like General Henry Knox, a whimsical figure like a dancing belted Galloway or a piece of nature like a blue heron, we want your ideas.”

The chainsaw sculpture would be carved by local artist Jesse Green, who has created similar sculptures for the town of Medway, a church in Millville, and more. Green calls his sculptures ‘eco-art’. You can see samples of his work on his website (www.themachinejessegreen.com).

Ideas for the sculpture can be emailed to chainsaw@southboroughma.com, or you can leave a comment on this post. The concept has to be a singular figure or item, and it needs to fit on a tree stump, so think more vertical than horizontal. Unlike some of Green’s other work, Southborough’s sculpture will not be painted. The deadline for submissions is July 9.

You’ll get to vote on your favorite submission later in July. More detail on voting when it’s available.

Image credit: A pelican carved by chainsaw artist Jesse Green (www.themachinejessegreen.com)

26 Comments
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Frank Puma
12 years ago

Howsa ’bout we get Jesse to carve it into a Pizzeria Uno logo?

Resident
12 years ago

For God’s sake, can we let it go?!

Pat Quill
12 years ago

well said, Resident

Townie
12 years ago

An oversized police badge in memory of Chief Webber

Seymour Goode
12 years ago

The Belties is a good idea – but small scale of course. Also the Heron – we have so much water surrounding our town and they are everywhere. Always nice to spot them!

Mom
12 years ago

A cow.

Lisa Matthew
12 years ago

How about a Boston Terrier ;-)

southsider
12 years ago

i like the heron idea…

Doreen
12 years ago

Southborough has an old trolley that used to go into Boston. Could do a trolley.

John Kendall
12 years ago
Reply to  Doreen

I too like the trolley idea. A true part of Southborough’s history.

Good Idea?
12 years ago

Hopefully ours will be more tasteful than the erupting toilet in Ashland! If that was across the road from my house I would be petitioning the zoning board to have it removed.

BTW how much is this going to cost and how is it being paid for? In this tight economy I would think this might be on the bottom of our list of town necessities. We’re raising fees like transfer station stickers, but a wooden sculpture of questionable tastefulness (have you taken a look at this guy’s portfolio?) is deserving of town resources and a prominent location on Main Street?

Is this going to wind up being as attractive as the ugly planters at the end of Route 85 that no one maintains? How many of our tax dollars went to pay for them?

I think this is one bright idea that requires more thought. Who authorized this?

DLD
12 years ago
Reply to  Good Idea?

The sentiment behind this project is laudable, but I agree with “Good idea?” 90% of this guy’s work is really tacky. I wouldn’t want something like that in the center of town if it were free – and I’m sure it’s not.

Bad Idea!!!
12 years ago

Just do your job, send the tree stump through the chipper.

Pat Quill
12 years ago

Maybe if the sculpture were to be left unpainted ….natural wood, it would be more
appealing.
Bottom line, though, if it costs anything I say we shouldn’t do it. Seems a bit silly
with all our budget woes.

Linda
12 years ago

I think the $1,000 that is estimated for this could be better spent somewhere else or better yet save it!

Resident
12 years ago

Yes, the town says $1000.00 for this sculpture. I wouldn’t agree with this if it were free! Credit some deserving residents for their annual transfer station sticker if the DPW has a grand to spare!

Also, beware of everyone touting the label “eco” or “environmental.” I don’t see an electrical cord on his chainsaw in any of the photos. I wonder how much gasoline it takes (shooting pollution into the air) to create one of these things. More “eco” would be to recycle the wood in a useful (and carbon-free) way or to simply let it become compost. I would buy it if they were carved by hand.

Deb Moore
12 years ago
Reply to  Resident

I wouldn’t say an electric appliance is necessarily “eco-friendly”; it just displaces what pollution it causes.

Resident
12 years ago
Reply to  Deb Moore

I agree Deb. If your electricity is not coming from a clean source, thus is produced by the buring of fossil fuels, it is also not “green.” The only difference is that an electrical appliance doesn’t send carbon emissions into the local environment. Better yet, if you get your electricity from a “clean” source, such as wind power or solar power or from the grid through a program such as Mass Electric’s 100% GreenStart you are operating it more sustainably.

Deb Moore
12 years ago
Reply to  Resident

We do greenstart, but I have no illusions that my personal, “clean” electricity comes from any particular source, mixed up in the wires with all that other, “dirty” electricity. :) I just view it as supporting greener renewable energy projects and as a tax deduction.

Just Silly
12 years ago

Seriously, cain saw art?!? Save the money, chip the wood. This is an absolutely frivolous expense in this economy. Shameful, not to mention down right ugly.

Former Townie
12 years ago

You can like or not like chainsaw art but I think it is in very poor taste to trash the artist in this forum.

John Kendall
12 years ago

I won’t bash the artist because I have seen some very nice sculptures done with nothing more than a chainsaw and a bit of imagination. I will agree with some that considering the economical environment we are in right now, this money could really be used elswhere. Heck, that’s a paycheck for some!

Andrew Zaterka
12 years ago

I like the idea, but it should be free. If the piece is nice enough, after one year or so, the artist could sell it to the highest bidder. He gets publicity, and a potential sale, and the town gets a piece to yammer on about for a year….win-win.

Resident
12 years ago

No one is bashing the artist. If you don’t like the work or the medium, you don’t like it. That is the risk an artist takes when they put their work out for public consumption. No one has attacked the man personally. My comment questions just how “eco” the art is and that is a fair question if the artist is making such claims.

Former Townie
12 years ago
Reply to  Resident

“The sentiment behind this project is laudable, but I agree with “Good idea?” 90% of this guy’s work is really tacky. I wouldn’t want something like that in the center of town if it were free – and I’m sure it’s not.”

“Shameful, not to mention down right ugly.”
These are quotes from some of the commenters !

Resident
12 years ago
Reply to  Former Townie

This person has put their work out there. Several people have commented that they don’t like the work. Criticizing an artist’s work is part of the “game” and has been for centuries. It is not a “personal attack.” It is a personal opinion. Especially considering that the (current) residents are footing the bill for this, these are opinions which they have a right to express. Now if someone started calling this guy names, insulting his intelligence, appearance, race, creed etc. that would be a personal attack. There is a big difference.

And the word “shameful” was not referring to the art but to the spending of money on something like this, as it was preceded by the sentence “This is an absolutely frivolous expense in this economy.”

I, myself, think the work has a place, but not in a prominent location in our town center. I think some of his pieces, like the unpainted pelican pictured in the original story, are not bad. However, I think some of the painted, caricature-ish pieces are more like “signage” than art. The exploding toilet, is undoubtedly in bad taste. The owner of the property should not have been allowed to blight the neighborhood like that. It drags down property values anywhere near it. Finally, he should not make the claim that his work is “eco” art if it is not. And, in my opinion, merely salvaging unclaimed tree trunks is not enough to consider the work environmental.

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