Steelroot scuplture at the Scott Arboretum. photo credit: C. SawyersA piece of the nationally recognized Steve Tobin’s Steelroot series was permanently installed at the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College this November. A donation from an anonymous member of the Scott Associates, this fine art sculpture was inspired by tree roots. “When you walk away from the (Steel)roots and go on with your life, hopefully the next time you look at a tree, your mind will travel underground and see things not readily apparent,” Steve Tobin described his inspiration for the series. “We all have roots. We all have histories. We all have mysteries below the surface.”


Contractor delivers the sculpture to the Gold Medal Garden. photo credit: C. Sawyers

Working in his studio in Bucks County, PA, Steve Tobin has turned many aspects of nature into sculpture including: 41-foot-high Waterfall of scrap glass tubing, 8-foot-high casting of Forest Floors, and 15-foot-tall glass “cocoons.” His work has been showcased at the Page Museum at the LaBrea Tar Pits; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the American Museum of Natural History in New York; in the caves at Rettreti Art Museum in Finland; and in numerous sculpture parks, fine art museums, and public sites around the world.


Placing the Steelroot in the garden. photo credit: C. Sawyers

He received international acclaim in 2004 for his installation of the Trinity Root near Ground Zero. Currently fourteen sculptures of the Steelroot series are featured in the Conifer Garden at Morton Arboretum, IL.


Overview of the sculpture in the Gold Medal Garden. photo credit: C. Sawyers

Explore this representation of tree roots and experience what few people ever consider, the root systems of trees. This permanent installation of Steelroot can be found in the Gold Medal Garden between the Alice Paul and David Kemp Resident Halls at the Scott Arboretum. Visitor are welcome 365 days a year from dawn to dusk, free of charge.

Becky Robert
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