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'A second life' | Houston-based artist unveils Aggie sculpture at Century Square

Reverend Butter masterfully sculpted an Aggie thumb out of an oak tree that died during the devastating Texas winter storm.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas β€” Houston-based artist Rolando De La Garza, better known as Reverend Butter, unveiled a new wooden sculpture Thursday at Century Square.

Reverend Butter said he has been an ice sculptor for more than 20 years and when he got the opportunity to make this wooden sculpture, he couldn't wait to get 'chopping.'

The artist said he worked with wood before, but this was his first-ever paid commission in this medium.

"I've always gotten hired to do ice sculptures and they recently called me; they said they had a tree that froze during the freeze this February and if I sculpted wood. I said of course I do," said Rev. Butter.

This 'Aggie Thumb' was sculpted from an oak tree that died during the historic Texas winter storm. It is over 500 pounds and took several weeks to complete. Over 60 hours of work, according to the Reverend. 

Landscapers Brandon Cook and Michael Coronado, who chopped down the once deeply rooted oak were eager to see the tree gain a second life.

"It's sad to see the big oak trees planted in places like this [Century Square] die off, but it's nice to be a part of something so special to this community," said Cook.

Although Reverend Butter is not an Aggie himself, this piece means so much to him and his family. 

"Most of what I do is frozen art, my art melts, and then it's gone. So people have that memory; this [wooden sculpture] is something that lasts," said Rev. Butter. "My wife is an Aggie, and now we have three boys who will get to come here and see what their daddy did. It's pretty cool. It is a great feeling," Rev. Butter said.  

If you want to see Rev. Butter's Aggie masterpiece, it is on display at the Green at Century Square.