CorrespondentThere’s an unconventional new outdoor sculpture on the Covenant Day School campus. Some say one piece is a deer, another a monster. Chris Baker said neither is true. “The pieces weren’t meant to be anything in particular,” said the creator of the three-piece “earth art” on the corner across from the entrance to the Covenant Day tennis courts. “They all just look like what they are.” Baker, who’s employed by the adjacent Christ Covenant Church, takes care of all the grounds for the school and church. He said he got a call in early May from Rick Ely, the church’s director of operations. “He’d just built a house in the Mint Hill area, happened to be out in the woods and called me up and said ‘Hey, there’s some pretty cool stuff out here. Why don’t you come out and get it and bring it over to the campus?’ ” Baker, 51, loaded the fallen branches and stumps into his truck, hauled them to the campus, and arranged them into a display that features a vertical centerpiece. “These are just natural stumps that came right out of the woods this way,” he said. “They were on the ground and I just brought them out of the woods.” He said he didn’t do anything to alter any of the items “except taking a chainsaw to the end of the piece that looks like a snake.” The deer-like item at left of the display is simply two pieces from the woods, covered by grass where the pieces meet. The centerpiece, a mix of old tree remnants, is his own creative expression; the stones at far left were left over from a project he completed at the church. The natural beauty will be enhanced during the coming weeks with purple ivy, planted at the base of the sculptures. “We’ve just had a really great time with Chris taking little spaces and being creative with them,” Ely said. “He’s done flower beds and things around campus on a number of different occasions.” Baker, a Hemby Bridge resident, also hires out to do outdoor feature treatments for residences.Baker said the display hasn’t been up for that long and isn’t in a prominent location, so he hasn’t heard a lot of comments. But he said Karen Ernsberger, an art teacher at the school, “told me she just loves it.” On a recent day, the back of his pickup truck was full of random items – including a discarded miniature canoe that he was going to use as a planter. He held his hands against his head in mock exasperation. “I hate it when people throw out perfectly good stuff,” he said.
Friday, Jul. 05, 2013
‘Earth art’ graces the campus of Covenant Day School
Reid Creager is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Reid? Email him at email@example.com.
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