Maplewood resident Larry Dell says he spends a lot of time in the South Mountain Reservation — especially after October’s nor’easter.
It was during his time in the Reservation, Dell studied the storm’s damage to nature and the foliage that he got the idea to do something positive with the twigs and branches.
“I come up here often and after the snowstorm, there were so many trees and twigs down,” said Dell. “I decided I’d utilize these twigs and trees into this structure.”
Dell collected the trees and branches and tightly wove them together in a pyramid shape. He then painted the sculpture a metallic aluminum color.
The 9½-foot-tall, 5-foot-wide sculpture he created is made exclusively of storm-damaged twigs and branches and was dedicated Monday, Nov. 26 after being mounted in front of the South Mountain Dog Park on Crest Drive in the Reservation.
According to the South Mountain Conservancy, a group dedicated to preserving the South Mountain Reservation with volunteers who focus on trash pick-up and erosion control, the idea behind the Wildflower Sculpture Project is to introduce public art into the Reservation to raise awareness about the reservation’s natural beauty as well as unite the disciplines of nature and art. The curator behind the project is Conservancy member Tricia Zimic.
“I just think this piece in particular fits so beautifully with this environment,” Zimic said.
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., who helped spearhead the project, also attended the dedication.
DiVincenzo said he hopes to see more artwork installed in the Reservation.
“I’d like to see this all over,” DiVincenzo said, pointing to the sculpture. “I’d like to bring other artists here and bring their artwork here. Whatever it costs, I’ll raise the money to be able to mount it and to do what we need to do here.”