Artist brings Snellville walkers a smile and mystery
By Carole Townsend
Anyone who strolls the sidewalks along Dogwood Road parallel to Ronald Reagan Parkway in Snellville is familiar with a recent phenomenon that’s become the talk of the town. It seems that an artist with both talent and a sense of humor has begun adorning a certain pine tree with art - curious harbingers of upcoming holidays.
“The first time I saw it was back around Halloween,” said Snellville walker Rosemary Stewart. “We were walking along and looked up to our right. In this pine tree was a Cheshire cat-looking thing, a face, and it was smiling. We thought that it was strange and interesting, and of course we wondered who had put it there.”
Stewart doesn’t recall anything adorning that same tree around Thanksgiving, but in December, the artist had added a big, cheerful bow on a low branch of the tree. Just before New Year’s Eve, the numbers “2-0-1-7” were added and around Valentine’s Day, red lips and pink hearts appeared. For St. Patrick’s Day, a hat and shamrocks adorn the tree, and the face that has apparently now taken up residence in it.
“Now, we’re kind of looking to see what happens for Easter,” Stewart laughed, admittedly intrigued by the mystery artwork. “We were walking in that area one day, and we saw two women near the tree, taking pictures. We said, ‘So it’s you!’” Stewart laughed. “We wanted to thank them.” The women said that no, they couldn’t take credit for the artwork; they just wanted to get photos of it. “Nobody’s ‘fessed up so far,” Stewart said.
Charlie Elder is also from Snellville; he recently retired from his job of more than 40 years because of a mild heart attack last September. Daily walks have become a way of life for him, and he too has seen the intriguing face and its holiday finery change with the seasons. “I did a double-take when I saw that grinning face in the tree last October. I thought it might have been a prank, or even a school project some kids were doing. It might be, who knows? It sure gets people talking when they’re out here.”
To date, the tree has not slipped into its Easter finery, but there are plenty of people looking for it on their daily walks. Odds are, those same people are looking to “catch” the mysterious artist with a flair for humor, simply to say, “thank you.”
We at the Gwinnett Citizen would love to be the source for the answer to this fun mystery. If the secret artist feels so inclined, please come forward! We’ll tell readers all about the idea and the purpose behind this reason for so many smiles on so many faces, including the tree’s!