Chainsaw artist turns damaged trees into unique sculptures

By ALAN SHOPE

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    PARKVILLE, Missouri (KMBC) -- A Kansas City artist is using a chainsaw to create a piece of art in Parkville.

"When I started, it was just a cylinder and everybody just looked at it funny and said, 'What are you doing?'" said T.J. Jenkins.

Jenkins is good with a chainsaw. Some of his work is pretty legendary, such as an eagle in English Landing Park in Parkville.

"He did not want to see this tree go to waste," Jenkins said.

It was a tree that was struck by lightning, so the city decided to turn it into a sculpture.

"I have a hard time calling myself an artist. I just started clawing away at chunks of wood," Jenkins said.

Who else you say lightning doesn't strike twice think again less than 100 feet away another tree was struck by lightning just over a month ago the city saying once again it was cheaper to make it into art than remove it.

"To take a cottonwood at that size down another $1,500 maybe $2,000," said Tom Barnard, Parkville's superintendent of parks.

Jenkins said that it is more than an opportunity to make money, it is a chance to make something that makes people smile.

"They give me a thumbs up and it's pretty cool," he said.

The city said it is about more than just saving trees, it is about making the park a more welcoming place for anyone that wants to come and enjoy it.

It's work that keeps Jenkins pretty busy.

"By creating carvings like this, it's unique and it gives you something to look at that none of the parks have," Jenkins said.

Jenkins has been doing chainsaw art for nine years. He said the project will be completely done in about a week.

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