Who knew that amongst our sales staff was a guy who can turn tree trunks into ancient druids? When Baltimore Recreation and Parks decided to repurpose two redwood trunks, each 10 feet tall and 20 feet around, Mark applied for the opportunity to capture the soul of the trees with his chain saw. His sketches were approved by the Baltimore Office of Promotions and on Friday, December 21, 2012, Mark’s creations were dedicated as part of the city’s second annual Solstice Celebration.
While we know him as “the GQ sales guy”, Mark is also an amateur cartoonist who took his first stab at carving a tiki sculpture six years ago. His friends were impressed, neighborhood businesses asked him to carve pirate heads for their restaurants and homeowners requested animals for their yards. Today, he’s made over 350 creations, each standing at least 3 feet high. This druid project, however, was a bit more challenging than Mark expected. With termite damage in both trees, Mark was forced to hollow out the stumps and work with shallow cuts. He hung from scaffolding to carve the facial features and he free-handed the shaping of the leaves and twine in The Green Man’s hair. All the while, he found encouragement from the visitors in the park who watched and remarked as the faces came to life.
“If you have an old stump, it’s going to cost you as much to have it taken out as to do something like this,” Acton said. “Why not turn it into something beautiful?” Park-goers agree that his public art has been spreading cheer and once these sculptures are fumigated and covered with several coats of outdoor ethylene, these beautiful faces will remain guardians of Druid Hill Park for many years to come.