Apr 10, 2014 9:23 PM by Matt Prichard
Chainsaw artist Bill Fee is voicing his frustrations after a, "county hazard tree removal project" chopped down two of his sculptures due to safety concerns.
"To treat my artwork like it was just a simple tree is a little insulting," said owner of The Nature of Things Chainsaw Art, Bill Fee.
The carvings originally sat on Elementary Road in Black Forest and were made for students at Edith Wolford Elementary. But El Paso County and FEMA officials say the art had to come down.
"If the crown was over fifty percent burned, that would be flagged for removal. Or if the trunk was over fifty percent burned that would be flagged for removal as well," said El Paso County Construction Services Supervisor, Michael Cartnell.
Fee argues though that the two trees he carved into were fine, and that he wouldn't have worked on one that wasn't structurally safe.
"If I get into something and it's rotten, it makes no sense for me to carve it because I'm into the longevity of my artwork....otherwise I'd be carving ice," said Fee.
But there's a silver lining to this story. County and school staff worked together to bring the sculptures down gently and preserve them for future display.
"The crew that did the cutting was very supportive in helping our building manager load them onto a trailer and bring them into an area that's fenced in, so they'd be safe until we can do something with them," said Edith Wolford Elementary Principal, Bob Wedel.
Despite that Fee says he still feels left out of a process that took his art from its canvas.
"I still would've liked to have been informed so I could have been assisting to prevent the piece from being damaged," said Fee.
Officials at Edith Wolford Elementary plan to display the pieces in the future but have yet to decide on how and when that will be done.