Monday, May 28, 2007

Grenouille des Bois

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The creation of Slidell's newest piece of public art started about three years ago when Slidell artist and master carver Phil Galatas went for a stroll on the north side of Heritage Park in Slidell and noticed a huge stump. As soon as he he saw the stump, he started thinking of a frog and imagining using his artistic skills -- and his chainsaw -- to carve a huge frog that looked like it was ready to jump right across the sidewalk and into the canal.

In carving what Galatas calls "one hard piece of live oak wood" he has dedicated some 40-plus hours working on the amphibian, which requires several more hours of work before being completed. The stump frog has a rotten spot in its head which he hopes to salvage by mixing cement colored to match the wood and then oiling the piece down to keep moisture in and water off the wood.

Heritage Park's newest resident, "Grenouille des Bois (Wood Frog)," is Galatas' gift to the city. He hopes it will bring joy and a friendly greeting to passers-by who enter the park, he said.

Thanks, Phil!

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