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New tree sculptures unveiled as part of public art program

Oct 30, 2019 | Communications | General

The most recent tree sculpture on a residential boulevard involves some neighbourly fun. On Zina Street, where the Staley family had previously sponsored a sculpture with two dogs, the neighbours got into the spirit with the latest project – a sculpture with three cats.

Lynn and Dan Lubitz wanted to do their bit to help keep Zina Street beautiful and charming and to show appreciation for their four-legged feline friends. They say they were inspired by their neighbours donation to the sculpture program so they contacted the Town and set the project in motion with their own sponsorship.

The white pine carving by Mono artist Jim Menken features three cats. The challenge with this piece, Mr. Menken says, was to show the cats in motion. The three cats strike different poses in the sculpture at 74 Zina Street: one cat is curled up and napping, one is climbing, and one looks ready to pounce.

Three smaller tree sculptures were added to the Town’s sculpture program this fall. Created by Jeff Taylor of Barrie, the eye-catching sculpture of a heron, an owl and a frog, is located inside the vestibule at the Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre. Mr. Taylor has been carving for seven years now, but only full-time for the last three years. Unlike most carvers, he prefers to forgo the softer pine and cedar and instead likes to carve hardwoods like maple, oak and walnut. The harder woods take more time but allow for cleaner carving and more detail.

Bears are always popular wood carvings. The new sculpture, featured in the lobby at the Alder Recreation Centre, depicts two bears with an eagle sitting overhead. The sculpture is the work of Jake Rhodes of Burk’s Falls. Mr. Rhodes is new to carving but within three years he has won carving competitions against veteran carvers. He has a realistic style and his specialty is bears.

The fourth sculpture is a bear carrying a lantern to guide his way. The sculpture sits on the upper floor of the Mill Street branch of the Orangeville Public Library. The sculpture is the work of Jake Rhodes of Burk’s Falls. He is increasing his repertoire with wolves, foxes, eagles and owls.

“Our growing collection of tree sculptures honours Orangeville’s heritage and culture and continues to beautify our streets,” said Orangeville Mayor Sandy Brown.  “Thank you very much to Lynn and Dan Lubitz for their generosity. Many thanks to Jim Menken, Jake Rhodes and Jeff Taylor for their skill and artistry in creating these sculptures.”