Urban bear sightings are not the norm but don't worry about the three bears recently spotted on Pruneridge Avenue in Santa Clara. The three bears are carved into the trunk of what's left of a pine tree in front of an apartment building at 2354 Pruneridge Ave., across from Fire Station 4 near Saratoga Avenue.
“They're absolutely adorable,” says Barbara Osborn, who slows down to look as she drives by the bears almost daily, traveling to and from her nearby home.
“I had to take the tree out. The roots were above the ground, cracking the pavement,” says Ken Martz, building owner and manager. The handsome, more than 20-year-old pine had simply outgrown its location, overhanging the driveway, public sidewalk and apartment building.
“It was a nice looking tree, and I wanted to replace it with something unique for the property and tenants and neighborhood. I wanted it to be something that could be used as a landmark and for the tenants to be proud of,” says Martz.
The chainsaw sculpture of the heads and front paws of three bears was completed in late March in just one day, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., by Danville-based chainsaw artist Glen Sievert (www.chainsawart.net). Sievert's tree-trunk sculptures also include animals such as raccoons, eagles and dragons, as well as painted totems.
“I think the bear carving is a beautiful attraction for the community. I see a lot of people stopping by, looking at it,” says building tenant Shonia Porter.