McGuane Park tree becomes work of art
July 4, 2014
Taylor Wallace (at right) and a helper turn a dead honey locust tree in McGuane Park into a work of art. (Photo by Gabriella Valentino)

Taylor Wallace, owner of Metal Magic Interiors Inc., has started a summer long project of transforming a 40-year-old honey locust tree into a work of art. The tree is located in McGuane Park in Bridgeport.

The art is a tribute to the trees that are dying all over the Chicagoland area. Wallace is carving a spiral shape design from the top to bottom of the tree, which had died. He and other local artists wanted to save the tree from being cut down and suggested to the Chicago Park District that he convert the tree into art that the people of the community can enjoy.

“Keeping the tree would also serve bugs and animals positively for food and shelter,” Wallace explained. Wallace noted he especially enjoys this project because he can talk to people in the community and “win people over in the name of art.”

He also said that this work could not be done without the help of Carolyn Bendel, special projects assistant for visual arts at the Chicago Park District. “Carolyn really went above and beyond so this could happen,” stated Wallace.

He predicts the tree will be finished in mid-July. Local artists also are decorating trees in other locations around the city including Armour Park in Bridgeport, along Lake Shore Drive, and scattered through the south side of Chicago.

Metal Magic Interiors is located at 1048 W. 37th St. Call (312) 879-9889 or log on to McGuane Park is at 2901 S. Poplar Ave. Call (312) 747-6497.

— Gabriella Valentino