A Brown County sculptor is hoping his latest creation doesn’t fall prey to the same zoning violations as his last creation in the city’s downtown. Jim Connor has created a 14-foot palm tree made of more than 250 Indiana license plates and four geode coconuts.
It now sits welded, molded, and joined by a steel cage trunk along Van Buren Street outside of Muddy Boots Café in Nashville.
“Why I chose license plates would actually be reflective of the thing that automobiles actually cause global warming in a way,” Connor said. “So the palm tree was in effect a creation of its own.”
But a previous piece of Connor’s work, a large stone head, had been placed outside the same restaurant, but the state told the café that it violated a zoning ordinance and it had to be taken down.
Shortly thereafte, the café’s owner, Betsy Cook, asked Connor to create a piece of art that would take the place of a diseased tree that was cut down this past summer.
“One of the funnier things,” she said, “is that three days after it was up here one of the tourists walked by and looked up and said, “I remember that from last year”. It’s kind of organic it looks like it’s been here, it looks kinda like it belongs here.”
The new piece was placed on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and been dedicated to all who have suffered since the tragedy. The new sculpture sits about 15 feet from where the previous one sat before it had to be removed.
State regulators have not contacted either Connor or the café about the future of the palm tree.