Like many Bronxites, artist Barry Dia enjoys his daily walks through Pelham Bay Park.
Each time he walked between the rotary to Orchard Beach and the Split Rock Golf Course on the beautiful stretch he dubbed the “Bronx sunrise run” he noticed one particular stump that always seemed to him to be a prime piece of art media for a painting.
On October 27, he finally decided to turn that stump into the painting he had always envisioned spending about five hours creating a sunrise on the stump out of yellow, green, and blue paints.
Feeling accomplished and like he had added some beauty to the trail, Dia left titling the piece “Bronx Sunrise” for all to enjoy.
Dia returned a week later on November 6 to check out his beautified stump-turned-painting – only to find that his creation had been removed.
The stump had been freshly cut and sawdust surrounded the area.
“At first I thought wow that’s really cool…someone stole my painting, they must have really liked it,” said Barry, “And it was large, at least 25 inches in diameter and several inches thick, so I gave whoever took it some credit.”
On the hunt for his piece, and curious as to what had happened, Dia contacted the administrator of Pelham Bay Park, Marianne Anderson.
It turned out the park had removed the painting after all, because they didn’t want to encourage others to paint on the tree stumps.
“The park loved it, but I didn’t get permission so I wouldn’t want others to create something for fear of it getting chainsawed,” said Dia.
However, the artist feels that if the park were to allow local artists to create murals on tree stumps along the trail it would encourage people to walk along the paths and enjoy the beautiful park.
“It’s definitely something to think about, but at least ‘Bronx Sunrise’ had a cool adventure,” said Dia.
Two of Dia’s pieces from his series the ‘Near Side of Far’ are being displayed at Clover’s Fine Art Gallery in Brooklyn.