Artists have many tools. Pianists the piano. The poet the pen. The painter the brush. Alike other artists, sculptures could wield any number of instruments: a hammer, a chisel, a chainsaw. For firefighter, Mark Chavez, it’s the latter.
In 2003, a forest fire destroyed a region of 250 acres along the Rio Grande River. Devastating and horrid, the scorched area would have been even greater had it not been for the the valiant efforts of a team of fire fighters. One of these fire fighters was Mark Chavez.
As a chainsaw artist in his spare time, Chavez saw an opportunity to bring light to this otherwise tragic event. In a part of wreckage off of the Paseo del Bosque trail, Chavez applied his craft. Using chainsaws, sanders, propane burners, and die grinders, Chavez turned the charred husks of Cottonwood trees into works of art.
Inspired by the area’s natural beauty, Chavez would create a slain dragon – “dragon” slang for a raging fire – an eagle emerging from flames, a roadrunner, the ditch witch of Mexican folklore AKA La Llorona, coyotes, and beavers.
Visitors can see Chavez’s stunning sculptures in the Pueblo Montaño Picnic Area at the trailhead of Paseo del Bosque. Leashed dogs are welcome in the area.
The sculpture garden is located off of Montaño Road.