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updated: 5/17/2014 10:17 AM

Artists transforming dead, dying trees in Chicago

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Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Artists in Chicago are turning dead or dying trees into public works of art at parks throughout the city.

The Chicago Tree Project is transforming trees afflicted with emerald ash borer beetles and other insects and diseases.

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Some of the work is already underway.

Artist J. Taylor Wallace is carving a Honey Locust in McGuane Park in the Bridgeport neighborhood. An announcement from the mayor's office describes it as a "whimsical, ascending spiral concept" that complements the tree's natural form.

Artist Margot McMahon has hung sculptures and casts of an owl and song birds from the limbs of a 125-year-old elm tree in Jackson Park on the South Side.

Ten local artists are being commissioned. The city-sponsored program is part of an effort to bring more public art to Chicago.

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