Chainsaw sculptor at work on lakefront


If you like to see art in the making, stop by the Evanston lakefront at midday weekdays between now and next Wednesday.

Hawaiian artist Johnnie “Keoni” Durant is spending his summer vacation carving an elaborate tiki sculpture there.

Durant is known for traditional Hawaiian sculpture and jewelry, which can be found in private collections and galleries, and on hotel properties and movie sets.

These days he is drawing daily crowds as he carves the larger-than-life-size tiki, which he plans to giving to the City of Evanston.

Durant says the Evanston tiki represents the spirit of sportsmanship and recreation, and will watch over families and the community as they engage in such activities.

Durant named the sculpture “Ohana,” which means family (and community) in Hawaiian.

The major carving is being done at Centennial Park, between Church and University Place.

Once this work is completed, the tiki will be moved south, closer to the lagoon in Dawes Park for the finer carving and finishing touches. The best time to see Durant work is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

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