Xenia converts dead ash trees into art

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Loren Lorenzo is working to turn dead or almost dead emerald ash borer infected trees in Shawnee Park into works of art that commemorate Xenia’s history.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The city is targeting about a dozen trees in Shawnee Park.

The city is turning dead or almost dead emerald ash borer infected trees in Shawnee Park into works of art that commemorate Xenia’s history, according to city officials.

The second of a dozen trees in the park that have been identified for the historic carvings should be finished Monday. The carving depicts Tom Adair — a well-known Xenia businessman and member of the 1942 Xenia Central High School state basketball championship team, said Lee Warren, a city spokesman.

The artist, Loren Lorenzo, estimates he will have spent 35 to 40 hours on the piece by the time the carving is finished. Lorenzo, a Xenia native, plans to add color to the piece.

“”I’m going to paint the rim orange and the basketball orange,” he said. “The rim will be white. The background will have a stain that will darken it slightly which will make this (the wooden athlete) pop. The face, legs and the arms will all stay natural wood.”

In addition to serving as a tribute to the former basketball player, the carving is also a source of inspiration for the children who play in Shawnee Park, Lorenzo said.

“They watch me carve it,” he said. “They come up. They ask questions. They stand and watch me. It actually inspires them to create. I think that’s an awesome thing.”

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