Midlothian students helped welcome the newest addition to the Midlothian’s art scene that stands between Midlothian Conference Center and the Marriott Hotel.
The sculpture “Combination” was commissioned by the Midlothian Community Development Corporation (4B) and Economic Development (4A) last August and sculpture and plaza replaced the fountain that had been in the middle of the circular drive leading between the two buildings. City council members approved the organizations spending up to $275,100 project.
Midlothian High School students were involved with the process of making and installing the sculpture and dedicating the plaza at a private ceremony on Jan. 28 including a performance by the MHS Jazz Band. The public ribbon cutting with the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce was held Tuesday morning.
Engineering students visited with Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin, owners of Brad Oldham Studios, who designed the sculpture, to learn more about the process behind making “Combination,” said Sarah Hardin, Midlothian High School engineering teacher. The original plan for bending the steel had to be altered after the initial method caused the metal to ripple instead of making a smooth bend. Students were able to observe the steel workers and engineers experimenting with a new method, she said.
At the dedication ceremony, three MHS students submitted pieces interpreting what the sculpture represented to them.
“The working men and women of Midlothian have helped shaped what Midlothian is today. Noticing just how much we appreciate these men and women, Brad and Christy have created ‘Joe’ solely in their honor. ‘Joe’ is a bronze man that can be seen directing work on top of the nails. Due to the material that this engaging piece is made of, he will shine a different color when his head is rubbed. The piece, being human interactive, has large hands and feet to represent Midlothian’s workers. Without these women and men, Midlothian would be but another city passed by on the highway never thought twice about,” wrote student Brianna D.
“It is said that Combination ... has two main purposes, it’ll create a visual landmark – one where tourists will snap photos like their lives depend on it – and most importantly, it will capture the collaborative strength of Midlothian’s community,” wrote student Hannah G.
“For many years Midlothian has been a community of great success, because of the businesses and residents in Midlothian,” wrote Agea H. “Midlothian has been known for a community that gets things done and I think when looking at this piece that is exactly what it shows.”
A circular plaza with square seats was installed around the sculpture and the 18th and 88th blocks triangularly shaped to represent when the city was founded. The sculpture represents the interconnected nature of Midlothian businesses, schools and community, Oldham said.
Contact Bethany Kurtz at 469-517-1450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @bethmidlomirror.