Requiem for a Giant Sequoia

Written by Panorama employee, Jacklynn Roberts. November 2015

In July we said farewell to a well known and beloved member of our arboretum. A 47 year old sequoia tree had become diseased and in danger of falling. The news that it had to come down safely before it fell on its own was hard for our community to hear but we knew it had to be done. So we gathered around and watched the two day process of tree felling so we wouldn’t forget the beauty of what stood there before. Read one resident’s farewell thoughts here.

After the tree came down, pieces of its trunk were taken for repurposing throughout the campus. Many took small pieces as a token of memorial in their own home, while others had plans for larger pieces. One such case resulted in a beautiful piece of native style art by resident artist, Chuck Magnusson. Northwest Native Style Sequoia Art

In this carving, the top face represents the life of the tree. The bottom face, a traditional native death mask, represents the death and felling of the tree. While the middle, an owl face, represents the life and sanctuary the tree provided for birds.

Magnusson3

Magnusson4

 About the Artist

Eighteen years ago, Chuck Magnusson took a class at the Seattle Art Museum that taught him to carve in a traditional style with traditional tools, adze, and knives.  Since then, he has been carving masks, bowls, and ceremonial rattles. He still considers himself a student of this stunning art form and the amazing culture of the First Nation people who brought it to us.

 

2 thoughts on “Requiem for a Giant Sequoia

  1. Chuck,
    So glad your superb artistic talent and sensitivity is being recognized to commemorate our majestic sequoia. The heart of the tree will now live forever. Thank you.
    Sue Prince

  2. Thanks to Chuck Magnusson for his respectful handling of this marvelous tribute to Panorama’s magnificent sequoia.

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