THE SCULPTURE DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE
Dave Champion, a self-taught amateur chainsaw sculptor and Slippery Rock University professor of criminology and security studies, has completed work on a former oak tree trunk outside the Advanced Technology and Science Hall for what has become a new piece of campus sculpture. The piece stands approximately 20-feet tall and was carved using chainsaws, rotary grinders, sanders and a torch. It was finished with an oil-based penetrating stain to protect it from sun, rain and mildew.
The finished product features the mountain laurel, Pennsylvania's state flower; a great horned owl, that is native to Pennsylvania and symbolizes power, keen vision and wisdom; the Lamp of Knowledge which is a traditional symbol of learning and inquiry; the ruffed grouse, Pennsylvania's state bird; the face of SRU's original "Rocky" mascot (1978-2000); the head of the University's current "Rocky" mascot (2007-present); with stacked boulders carved at the base.