Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate Enlists Artist To Bring New Life To Dead Wood

Jan 22, 2019

The grounds of the Henry Clay estate at Ashland Park are home to over 400 trees representing 44 species. When a black maple on the corner of Sycamore and Richmond Road died in the Spring of 2013, leaving just a stump on the busy intersection, local artist Kiptoo Tarus had an idea. WUKY’s Samantha Lederman has the rest of the story.

Tarus calls Lexington home, but moved here from Kenya six winters ago. Tarus sculpts art from wood and told Jim Clark, Executive Director of the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation what he had in mind for the dead tree. A horse head drinking from a pool of water. Clark was delighted with the idea, and Bill Farmer of the Corridors Commission also got on board.

Clark loves that the buckskin thoroughbred, Maji Mazuri, which means Good Waters in Tarus’ native Swahili, ties in so much of what really mattered to Henry Clay - he was the first to syndicate a thoroughbred in North America, the water is a connection to Clays Springs behinds Shriners and of course the importance of trees. The Estate at Ashland has recently been designated a Level 1 Arboretum.

Fast forward to this past weekend and about a hundred people braved the artic cold for the official dedication, and the presentation of the adoption certificate of the tree to Tarus.

Maji Mazuri is on the corner of Richmond and Sycamore Roads at Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate.