John Birch’s sculpture “Florida’s Nature,” located outside of the Museum of Florida History, unites each of these state symbols to create a monument to Florida’s wildlife. The piece includes the manatee, Florida panther, zebra longwing butterfly, largemouth bass, dolphin, American alligator and, of course, oranges and orange blossoms.
Preferring to work with existing materials, this piece (completed in 2017) was sculpted from a live oak tree stump. Using his chainsaw and other tools, Birch looks at his work as sustainable, subtractive, and a process of trial and error. “At least 70 percent of my time at the beginning of a project is spent making a few cuts and then walking around the tree,” says Birch.