among the sentinels Wilmington artist PHOTOS BY ALLISON POTTER
PAM TOLL is quick to mention Pulitzer
Prize-winning author Richard Powers’
novel “The Overstory,” which chron-icles
nine characters whose deep
relationship with trees bring them
together and ignites them with an even deeper
desire to preserve the sacred creatures.
There is a Vietnam War veteran shot out of the
sky, only to be saved by falling into a banyan tree.
There is a scientist who discovers that trees can
communicate with one another and devotes her life
to studying the idea.
A college girl in the 1980s dies and comes back
to life with a deeply rooted love for trees.
Then, there is Toll, a Wilmington artist whose
own story and deep affection for trees has led her
all over the world striving to capture the essence of
She says she has spent months in landscapes
intrinsically linked to human narrative, history and
“I go hunting for the trees, I go hunting for the
ones I want to draw,” Toll says.
Artist Pam Toll in her studio working on a painting
of the ancient trees found in the Black River's
Three Sisters Swamp.
WBM july 2019