Punk's Peak Mountain Studio
I had decided to offset all the anger in the world by spreading love, consciously. Business has been good and I feel pretty lucky, so I decided to make direct investments back over in the valley towards a very awe-inspiring project that I have been dreaming about for a couple of years now.
There's a place in Linville, just north of Harrisonburg, called Camp Still Meadows here's the link that talks about what they do for highly disabled people . One of my long term friends named Pete DeSmit served on their board. A couple of years ago they had a huge tree come down right near the "tree house" (it's on their web site) Pete called and said “Lisa, I have a tree for you.” Well we are going to make a 17 ft totem pole out of it and I am going to sponsor the project. I will not do the carving myself, this has been a hurdle for me, trying to figure out how to carve such a huge piece of wood. Then one day I had light bulb go on, hire a chainsaw artist to do it. Of course!
The search began on the internet and then I reached out to my artist network at C’ville Arts. I found several chainsaw artists online but none of them were local. Then one name came back three times from different folks all saying what a talented chainsaw artist Glenn Richardson is. After only one conversation with Glenn I knew he was our guy. Glenn is a deep thinker. He reaches back through the centuries of art history tying ancient philosophies and layering symbolism in depths not found in your average wood sculptor. His results are enchanting, luring the audience to return again and again and each time finding something new to discover in the same sculpture. He has a genuine gift that he’s so willing to share. I am confident that his efforts will enrich the Camp Still Meadows experience for all who visit.
Next thing to do was to evaluate the fallen tree. Didn’t take much time to determine, that piece of wood was too far gone and decayed for the project. I found our log after checking in with some of my old logging buddies in the Town of Shenandoah named Hensley Logging, they didn’t have any catalpa (Glenn’s first choice) but they had a lot of walnut to pick from. That’s where I found Bertha, a healthy 16 ft walnut behemoth beauty. Glenn came to pick her up on June 27th, 2016. Today, Bertha is safely at Glenn’s studio in Woodstock VA awaiting final design decisions and official “lift off”…..stay tuned for further updates as the project moves forward.
A little bonus surprise for me is, Glenn is willing to teach me how to do some chainsaw carving! It just keeps getting better and better.