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Art or eyesore? Oklahoma man’s log carvings causing controversy in neighborhood

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THE VILLAGE, Okla. - A local municipality is cracking down on what residents can display on their front lawns.

It all stems from one resident's tribute to the "Thunder."

Is it art or an eye sore? That's the debate going on in The Village.

The resident says he's just trying to express himself and his love for our local NBA team by carving a bench out of a log.

However, Village city officials say they do not approve and they are looking to change a city ordinance to get rid of the bench.

Mark Bishop, who carved the bench, said, "I've worked outside all my life. It's my release. It's my therapy."

It's what drove Mark Bishop to create his bench, which was carved out of a pecan tree.

The Village City Manager Bruce Stone said, "It really kind of stands out as an eye sore."

The city council is set to consider changing the ordinance to prohibit residents from having any art carved from a log in their front or side yards.

Stone said, "Doesn't outlaw them all together, just can't be in public view."

But the bench is not his only carving.

Bishop said, "They passed the sea serpent to put the notice on the door about the log."

He has also carved a sea serpent.

Even if the ordinance change passes the sea serpent could stay.

The difference is the sea serpent is on his front porch.

The city says they have had complaints about Mark's bench, though the one neighbor we found says he doesn't mind the bench.

Gordy Bendick, Bishop's neighbor, said, "I think the city has bigger things to worry about than a Thunder sign in the yard."

Bishop says he will move the bench if the ordinance changes.

However, he won't stop carving and looking for art within the branches he cuts.

Bishop said, "To find something in nature that resembles something to me that's spiritual is really incredible."

The city council will discuss the issue and the ordinance change at their next meeting on March 25th.