Regional artist carves for Braham Sculpture Park

Dedication of the Pie Day woodcarvings will take place at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at the old water tower site in Braham during the Pie Day celebration.

Perry Carlson, Pine City chainsaw artist, has completed four carvings depicting various Pie Day characters. His sculptures arrived July 21.

Carlson has been a woodcarver for 27 years and has work displayed on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and with the Minnesota Historical Society.

He has apprenticed in Italy for a stone carving program. His sculpture, “Hanna,” in Hanover, Minnesota, showed the type of character desired for the Braham sculptures.

Grants obtained through Forecast Public Art and East Central Regional Arts Council, along with private funding, have transformed the old water tower site into the beginning of a sculpture park.

The sculptures were made possible by a $15,000 grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council. One of Carlson’s prides is the Pie Day ambassador sculpture, which stands tall with a fruit garland in her hair.

“There’s only three of us left who wear costumes volunteering on Pie Day,” said project manager Rosemary Brabec. “Pie Ambassadors, and I wear one.”

The child represents the children who enjoy the fruits of Pie Day. Brabec’s granddaughter served as inspiration for the sculpture. The other two sculptures pay tribute to the male pie runners and the elderly peach lady.

“It was a challenging project just carving the people,” Carlson said. “I normally do animals.”

Most of the work is done with a chain saw, but there are many fine details that are carved into the white oak and pine statues. Carlson’s mother Sandy Carlson painted each of the sculptures. Each one took at least one week.

This project motivated Carlson to carve more statues of people.

All are encouraged to view the sculptures throughout the day. Everyone is also invited to attend the sculpture dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. at the Braham Sculpture Park located at the old water tower site adjacent to the Braham Post Office.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from East Central Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

— Urmila Ramakrishnan contributed to this article

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