Socially conscious chainsaw artist Colin Vale stood outside along a Maryland road Thursday evening, tools buzzing and woodchips flying as he carved a 4-foot tall wooden fist out of a 55-year-old cherry tree.
It’s the second time he’s carved the same artistic tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement. Vale says he was back to work after his first sculpture was swiped from its public display.
He hopes the thief will return the sculpture, which was placed along a road in Olney, Maryland, displaying a sign that reads Black Lives Matter.
“Love is stronger than hate,” he said.
Vale says someone stole the sculpture between Wednesday night and Thursday morning — hours after News4 aired a segment about it.
Undeterred, Vale was back to carving another version of the sculpture within hours.
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“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Vale said as he began carving.
Vale says it takes work to fight racism and it will take him about a month to finish this replica. He says that he is willing to come out every day until it is finished.
“It is the best way I can think to use my time and my talents to share with the community,” he said.
Vale said he was surprised when he showed up and found the sculpture gone, then called police. Montgomery County officers are now investigating and ask anyone with information to contact them.
Vale says he was inspired to let people know Black Lives Matter after seeing a little boy at a protest over the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer.
“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 told News4’s Pat Collins.
The Fist is intended as a gathering spot for the community to exchange thoughts about racial injustice.