Community and business leaders gathered at Hudson-Poole Fine Jewelers on Greensboro Avenue Thursday morning to unveil Tuscaloosa's newest piece of public art, an iron sculpture called "Holt of Trees."

The piece was created by Steve Davis of Northport's Sunheart Metalworks in the Kentuck Art Center and it features three dark iron trees reaching upward with gems in their tallest branches.

The artist, Steve Davis, said he came across the term "a holt of trees" several years ago and knew he wanted to create something to illustrate the concept. He fashioned the three tress with their branches reaching skyward, and toward the end of the creative process, decided to add the glass "gems" to the branches.

The installation was made possible by The Tuscaloosa Public Art Initiative, a joint venture of the Arts Council and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama that seeks to place and promote public pieces of art across the Tuscaloosa area.

"This represents a real synergy with our community right now between business and the arts," said Sandra Wolfe, the executive director of the Arts Council, "And it would not be possible without our business community stepping up and working with the arts community."

Wolfe joined Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox in thanking Gene "Poodgie" Poole for opening his property up to display this new sculpture.

"I commend you because this is such a wonderful destination and for you to do this speaks volumes about your community service and dedication," Maddox said. "We're lucky to have you and the whole Hudson-Poole family here."

Jim Page, the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, said he and other community leaders have just returned from a bench-marking trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee to see what they're doing right there and bring those ideas back to Tuscaloosa.

"When we go to these other communities and see what they invest in, public art, et cetera, we come back home and we are inspired, but we also have to remember we've got a lot of great things going on here and this is another great example of that," Page said.