Ann Arbor Weather:
Thursday September 21, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

The Creatures of the Lawn



With dry humor, Grabarek is explaining why a rope connects two bushes in her front yard on Virnankay Circle--one sculpted in the likeness of a child, and the other of her dog, Kanga.

Almost two years ago, Grabarek asked a longtime artist friend, Georgia Donovan, to create a topiary that would pay homage to Kanga, her now eleven-year-old German Shepherd-German Pointer mix she adopted from the Humane Society of Huron Valley. She wanted the sculpture to have a ball in its mouth "just like Kanga does most of the time."

Donovan, who combines her art and gardening skills to create whimsical human-like topiaries she calls Cedar sapiens, knew that her first time creating an animal would be a challenge but said she'd give it a try. (She's since created a Loch Ness Monster and exhibited her Cedar sapiens in the Grand Rapids Art Prize competition, near her home in Rockford. She estimates she's done about seventy-five Cedar sapiens installations on Homo sapiens landscapes.)

Donovan began looking for trees at nurseries, waiting for "the ones that spoke to me, the ones with a presence." She eventually found two eastern white cedars, aka arbor vitae, that were perfect to make the Kanga doppelgaenger. She also decided to buy two child-sized ones, in case Grabarek's neighbors were inspired to buy and plant them. Using wire, string, and pruning shears, she set about shaping the trees into their respective identities, a process that took about a week. She charges $100-$300 for each creation (tree included) with an additional fee for delivery and installation.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Education And History in Saline
Photo: Art Museum window detail
Gallery & Museum Exhibits & Tours
City Administrator Howard Lazarus
Asking "Why can't we?"
Eve Silberman
Deet Deetle Deet, by Gene Gaunt
Molly Patterson
Necessary rebellions
Keith Taylor
Drought Opens on E. Washington
Juices and cleanses from a quartet of sisters
Sabine Bickford
Lectures, Readings, Discussions, & Forums
The State Theater
I Spy: July 2017
Sally Bjork
Food Trucks Come to Saline
Stony Lake Brewing adds rolling food service.
Billie Ochberg
Arbor Hospice Palliative Care
only cycling studio on the University of Michigan's Campus
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor