Chainsaw Art Sculpture At Tulsa Shopping Center Vandalized

Thursday, August 12th 2010, 2:08 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A reward is being offered in a Tulsa vandalism case. Someone lopped off the arms of a piece of chainsaw art that stands tall outside Utica Square at 21st and Utica.

The vandalism has Tulsa art lovers and the artist who created the sculpture reacting.

For several years, a chainsaw sculpture of a girl and smiling boy has stood outside Utica Square.

The sculpture is one of thousands created by artist Clayton Coss. But now, it has been hit by vandals.

"It's just really disappointing," said Jessica Barr, Utica Square Manager.

"It's terrible. It's thoughtless. It's reckless," said nearby resident Chris King.

"We were all pretty upset when something like this happens," said Jessica Barr.

The boy waves, or should be waving, to oncoming drivers outside Utica Square.

"He's not waving anymore, so it's kind of a sad sight," said Jessica Barr.

Sad because vandals knocked off the arms, while punching art lovers in the gut.

"It takes hard work and skill to build something and anybody can tear something up," said Clayton Coss, chainsaw artist.

"Someone thought they were really funny, we don't think it's very funny," said Jessica Barr, Utica Square Manager.

In fact, Utica Square, which has five of Coss' pieces, takes it so serious; owner Walter Helmerich is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest of the vandal.

"We take such pride in our trees, that's why when we lose one, we don't just chop it down, we have it sculpted into a work of art," said Jessica Barr.

Like all vandalism, the de-arming is senseless, it's frustrating. And it just shouldn't have happened.

"Come in and fix them up and don't let the bad guys beat you down. You know," said Clayton Coss.

While Coss takes the vandalism in stride, Utica Square would like to get the boys' arms back. Since that likely won't happen unless someone is motivated by the reward, or their conscience, Coss is back to work crafting new arms and everyone is left wondering why someone would do it in the first place.

"Run by and see the arms off of it, it's heartbreaking," said Chris King.

The reward again is $2,500 and if you have any information about the vandalism, call 918-742-5531.