May 6, 2022 - Things to Do

Meet "the next 'Spoonbridge and Cherry,'" a giant No. 2 pencil

A large house with a tree in front.

"Loti Pencil" is already under construction. Photo: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

A unique attraction is coming to a front yard near Lake of the Isles: a 16-foot-tall No. 2 pencil.

What's happening: Local sculptor Curtis Ingvoldstad is carving a 180-year-old, wind-damaged bur oak tree at 2217 E Lake of the Isles Parkway into "Loti Pencil."

  • The sculpture, to be unveiled June 4, will be painted traditional yellow with a pink eraser and slightly tilted to stand out from the straight lines of the house.

Why?!: "A No. 2 pencil is something everyone can identify with," Ingvoldstad told Axios Friday at the site of his creation. "We believe it could be more popular than 'Spoonbridge and Cherry' — there is room for a next generation iconic art piece."

The intrigue: John Higgins, the homeowner who owns the land where the tree is located, came up with the sculpture idea, and brought Ingvoldstad in last year after a previous sculptor dropped out, Ingvoldstad said.

  • No neighbors have complained, he added, though the house it shares a yard with is for sale.
  • Higgins didn't immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

What's next: The pencil will be sharpened every year for 10 years. David Rees, a "professional pencil sharpener," will conduct the inaugural sharpening.


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