Toomer’s Corner stood empty for two months, a lonely reminder of a tradition that is forever been changed. However, the Auburn family will once again be able to celebrate with the iconic tree.
On June 25, 2013, Auburn Art began installing a replica Toomer’s Oak sculpture to pay homage to the iconic oaks. By the next day, the Oak was completely settled into its new home to remain indefinitely.
Owner Cliff Hare contracted with California-based company NatureMaker, an organization that specializes in the art design and engineering of handcrafted architectural trees. NatureMaker has installations across the United States and worldwide, including Dubai, China and Russia. “We wanted to do something so future Auburn generations could enjoy one of Auburn’s greatest traditions. NatureMaker has done a fantastic job of recreating the iconic Toomer’s Oak,” Hare said.
After five months and a cross-country trip, artist Bob Jones unloaded the sculpture and began his two-day installation process in Auburn Art. Jones spent two days standing the tree, installing branches and adding foliage, and completed the installation by sculpting and painting the seams of the tree. “After the first stage of the project was completed and I was assigned to lead the installation of the tree, it hit me that the tree was going to Auburn, Ala.,” Jones said. “I told my friends, and they said, ‘That’s THE tree!’ I was honored and excited to not only visit Auburn, but to be able to work on a project that means so much to so many people.”
The history and tradition of Auburn will live on through this Toomer’s Oak sculpture, and the Auburn family will once again be able to celebrate with the iconic tree through this sculpture in Auburn Art.
“It provides another opportunity for the Auburn family to stand beneath the iconic oaks,” Hare said.