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Tree of (New) Life

By Liam Farrell

Chapel Oak Vessel

John T. Consoli

John T. Consoli

As it turns out, Maryland’s Chapel Oak is living beyond the 75 years it spent on campus providing shade and scenery.

Art Professor Foon Sham built the 5,000-pound, 10-foot-tall “Chapel Oak Vessel” out of the remains of “Duke’s Tree,” as it was called in honor of its groundskeeper. The tree was cut down in 2012 after being damaged by lightning, fungi and insects, but pieces were salvaged for the sculpture. It was first exhibited for six months at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, Va., and is now on display at the Robinson Nature Center in Columbia, Md.

Sham says his acorn-shaped sculpture represents the transformation of identity.

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Photo by John T. Consoli

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