Local artist turns destroyed Bienville Square oak tree into fully functioning guitar

Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 5:35 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - This guitar is unlike most of the ones you’ve seen before. In late 2020 it was an oak tree in Bienville Square that was destroyed by Hurricane Sally. That’s until the Mobile Arts Council gave artists the chance to turn the damaged trees into works of art. One of the artists was Chris Fayland who originally had a different idea.

“We originally going to make just a table with it because I wasn’t even making guitars,” said Fayland.

That’s until Fayland started his guitar business in 2021.

“Then had this piece of wood in the shop,” said Fayland. “Didn’t know what to do with it and kind of had this aha moment.”

Step by step Fayland transformed this heart-shaped piece of oak. And three months later turned it into this fully functioning Bienville oak guitar

“I just kind of wanted to do something outside of the box,” said Fayland. “You know it’s not every day you can hear a tragedy turn into music.”

The guitar is a piece of Mobile history, but it’s also a piece of Fayland’s family history.

“This was actually the place where her and my grandpa met for the second time and decided to start dating,” added Fayland. “It’s kind of cool to hear the family ties to this. I guess without Bienville square my family wouldn’t be like it is today.”

For now, the guitar will be on display at the Mobile Art Council with a collection of other pieces of art made from the fallen Bienville trees. But after March 31st It goes right back to Fayland’s home.

“It made it more sentimental, more of a family heirloom in a way,” said Fayland. “It’s something I’ll definitely never part with.”

The musician in this story is actually Fayland’s cousin Corky so the guitar definitely is part of the family. If you want to see the guitar and the rest of the Bienville art pieces for yourself you can do so at the Mobile Arts Council through the end of the month.