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From Devastation to Art: Chainsaw artist sculpts palm trees killed during freeze

Palm trees turned into sea creature statues
Seahorse palm tree sculpture.PNG
Posted at 9:06 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 05:17:05-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Port Aransas chain saw artist is turning a series of dead palm trees into art.

Jimmy “Wildman” Schouman was asked to sculpt the palms that were killed in February’s winter freeze.

“It’s so beautiful,” D’dee Collard, a Sea Village Isle resident, said. “It’s a way to support a local artist.”

The property manager for Sea Village Isle, Tammy Berkley, said she didn’t want the 20-year-old trees to go to waste.

“It was very difficult thinking cutting them down and then disposing of them for something that’s been here for so long,” Berkley said.

Schouman had previously worked on a Marlin sculpture behind the property to memorialize a former manager, and Berkley said she knew he could do something great with the palms.

“It was just our way to kind of save these trees,” Berkley said. “Do something beautiful. Turn something negative from the freeze into something positive.”

So she gave him a call.

“I love the idea of giving life back to something that was presumed dead, and giving it a new lease on life has just been very beneficial for the trees and the area,” Schouman said .

Berkley and Shouman both agree that not only is it beautifying the community, but helping the environment too.

“Anything that he’s cutting off of these trees, he’s repurposing as well,” Berkley said. “He’s making planters out of them. He’s making busts out of them.”

He wanted to keep with the theme of Port Aransas, so many of the statues are of local wildlife like marlins and pelicans.

“Being able to drive around and see a piece of art somewhere I live,” Schouman said. “Everybody that gets enjoyment out of seeing the different pieces here and how they put smiles on people’s faces.”