New sculpture takes root in Uptown Columbus

A eleven-foot tall tree weighing nearly 400 pounds seemingly sprung from nowhere Tuesday morning and now graces the corner of 12th Street and Broadway in Columbus.

The tree, constructed of quarter-inch plate steel, featuring stainless steel leaves, is the fruition of work done by students during the 12th Annual Thompson-Pound Art program in 2007, with help from students studying metals technology at Kendrick High School.

It's called the 2007 Unity Peace Tree and will be officially unveiled and dedicated this Saturday at 1pm, in a ceremony hosted by the TAP program and the Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry at the corner of Broadway and 12th Street. A reception, co-sponsored by Columbus Bank and Trust, follows in the CB&T courtyard.

Students in the TAP program pounded peace and religious symbols from around the world into the leaves, designed by Columbus artist Garry Pound.

The Kendrick students, under the supervision of metals teacher Chris McGrotha, spent two months designing the tree and branches, cutting their design from quarter-inch plate steel with torches, and then welding the leaves to the branches.

The tree was delivered and placed by McGrotha, Tim Vinson of the MCSD, and Kendrick students Reuben Fields, Arthur Thomas, David Denson and Artavious Reynolds. The students then welded the tree to the display platform.

The "TAP" program brings together children from many faiths, economic backgrounds, and ethnicities for a week-long camp where students rotate through a variety classes. The theme of the 2007 camp was "I am a peacemaker".

The 2008 camp, with themed "Let the earth live", is scheduled for June 23-27.