Our travels found us along the Beach Boulevard in Biloxi last week, enjoying art work that was carved into damaged trees from Hurricane Katrina. Dozens of beautiful live oaks had died from the saltwater storm surge and in early 2007, the Mississippi Dept. of Transportation began removing the trees from the damaged coastal highway. They also left as much as 20’ of trunk in place on selected ones for artists to carve.
The plan was coordinated by the mayor and the first artistic renderings were created by award-winning “chainsaw artist” Dayton Scoggins of Mississippi.
And then Marlin Miller stepped in. Miller, a nationally-known wood sculptor from Florida, was so inspired by Scoggin’s initial work that he approached the city about donating his time and talent to the cause. Miller went on to transform 16 of the 21 trees that line the center medians. To see a cool little step-by-step timeline, visit [this link].
I love this little seahorse.
Miller wanted to leave his mark on the city and also to return the favor to Biloxi residents who had helped his Florida community recover after Hurrricane Ivan just a couple years prior.
The sculptures have become a top tourist-attraction along the Mississippi coast and are a symbol of the state’s comeback.
That’s the tail of a whale there on the right. I just love the details.
There is also a little iron-gated park where several carvings like the one above stand amidst nicely landscaped grounds.
Some of the sculptures tower more than 3-stories high.
If you’re in the area, rather than staying on Route 10, take a trip further south along the scenic highway (Route 90) and stop for a spell in Biloxi. I think you’ll be glad you did.
Oh, and to make things even better, the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art is being constructed nearby.
Until tomorrow, my friends . . .