Beauty from the Ash

by Deborah Allen

Design Statement

We have watched sadly as the ash trees have been silently evaded by the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle. We have tried to save a few ourselves, hoping to reverse the damage. Some have survived. Others have been able to hang in there for a few more years. And some have fallen. Whatever their end, their testimony is inspiring as they don’t seem to give up easily. The words on my spire are about the Ash Tree and the damage the Ash Bore has done to them, but it has many other meanings as well…the grace my mother-in-law shared as cancer gradually took her life; the inspirational effort of loved ones who fight the hidden pain of mental illness; the beauty in my elderly friend as she deals with the effects of aging. The nails used reflect the common treatment used to save the trees, injecting insecticide into small holes drilled into the bark. And the string is a metaphor of how everything is connected and effected. The few green leaves growing off the trunk are the last bits of beauty shared as the ash tree continues to share its beauty until the very end.

Materials:  Acrylic paint, wood stain, nails, string
Dimensions: 5″ x 5″ x 50″

Map/Spire Number: 22

Location: Kunkel Park

Address: King George Road, Pennington

About the Artist

About the Artist

Although I have a background in graphic design and continue to use my skills as a freelancer, I am usually stumped when asked what kind of art I do. Since I love to work with all kinds of mediums, I usually land on the answer that I am a creator. I love to create things. Over the years, realizing how much I enjoy sharing the joy of creating with others has landed me in many exciting situations: Helping create and develop the SewingSpace program at HomeFront (; working with teenage girls in my home studio to encourage them to see how their creativity is such a part of their beauty; and recently joining forces with to provide directional art and inspiration to adults with developmental disabilities.



HV Arts Council Allen Featured Photo
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Artistic Accolades:

“A beautiful and innovative tribute to the interwoven cycles of life.”