Carved from a 55-year-old cherry tree and standing about 4-feet tall, a wooden fist is bringing the community together.
Chainsaw artist Colin Vale carved the wooden sculpture located in the heart of Olney, Maryland. He said he was inspired by a little boy at a George Floyd Black Lives Matter protest.
“I was standing next to this little beautiful innocent child who is just so overcome with how awesome it felt to be so empowered that he raised his fist up and went 'Yeah!' just with no idea what the moment of silence was, and it was so beautiful,” Vale said.
Vale studied mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland and works as a software programmer. But it was in chainsaw art that he found his true calling.
Fist is intended as a gathering spot for the community to exchange thoughts about racial injustice. Vale carved a little nook in the back where a journal sits for people to write and remember.
Vale hopes his work will bring light and joy to the Olney community.
“As Amanda Gorman said, ‘There is always light. We just have to be brave enough to see it, and you have to be brave enough to be it,'” Vale said.
Vale has set up a community Black History Month conversation Saturday at 3 p.m. at his sculpture by the Olney Post Office near Route 108 and Georgia Avenue.