Tornado-Damaged Trees In Norman Could Get Artistic Makeover

Wednesday, May 16th 2012, 6:32 pm
By: News 9

The Norman Arts Council has come up with a creative way to turn the debris leftover in Andrews Park from the April tornado into a thing of beauty.

The E-F1 tornado tore through the area damaging several trees. Now, the huge tree stumps left behind after the April 13 tornado in Norman are the biggest reminder at the park. The Norman Arts Council decided to try and make some use out of the ugly old stumps, making them into a canvas for artistic expression.

"It's a great thing to do with the wood left over," said Oklahoma Chainsaw Carvings, Creative "Artistree" Tom Zimmer. "I love doing it because it's expression."

Read more about Oklahoma Chainsaw Carvings.

Zimmer makes it look easy. He was a logger for years, but fell in love with Oklahoma and the opportunity to express his art with a chainsaw.

"Chainsaw is a really growing art form," Zimmer said.

When severe weather hits Oklahoma, the Zimmer's see the tree debris in a different light.

"It's unfortunate the elements are so hard on the trees here, but we do see that as an opportunity to create something positive out of something negative," Tom's wife, Wendy Zimmer said.

Norman Arts councilman and board member Larry Walker says some of that chainsaw magic could be coming to Andrews Park.

"Thanks to the tornado, we have a new opportunity we didn't have before," said Walker.

This Norman twister packed quite the punch at the park, but art and park lovers are buzzing about the possibility to turn the tree stumps into positive art for generations to come.

The woodcarving art work idea will be brought up at the next art council meeting.

If you want to see some great artwork in Norman, two giant fiberglass ducks will be featured at Lion's Park this Sunday, with more around town this summer.

For more on the Norman Public Arts Council, go to