A giant metal apple is the latest fixture at Southeast
Community College’s Lincoln Campus. The apple is titled “Potential,” and is the
creation of two Welding Technology students selected by faculty to come up with
a unique sculpture for the College.
“We are proud of it. It was an idea we came up with and
created. It’s like our baby,” said Porsche Johnson, who along with Courtney
Cuddeford started the project last fall.
The two female students were selected by Mark Hawkins, program
co-chair. They were chosen because of their skills in his Fabrication and
Repair class. With their talent, he knew they could complete the task.
“The size is spectacular,” said Hawkins about the 13-foot
tall, 1,200-pound sculpture. “The public has never seen a sculpture built like
The two students and Hawkins collaborated about the idea of
the apple, representing education, and the flowers surrounding it, representing
growth. The sculpture was created in their Fabrication and Repair class. After
Cuddeford graduated in March, Johnson and other Fabrication students put the finishing
touches on it, including paint and other details.
Cuddeford and Johnson bonded right away at SCC as they were
the only females in the Welding Technology program at the time. They said women
shouldn’t be afraid to try a career like welding, because there are so many
“I want people to see this sculpture and know it was created
by a woman,” Cuddeford said. “You can be more than just a stereotype. Dreams
can actually happen.”
Johnson, 35, decided to attend SCC and take welding classes
because it was something she always wanted to do. She will graduate in 2017. Cuddeford,
20, attended SCC after high school and worked full time as a welder and is now
selling her sculptures. She sold one to a restaurant in Lincoln’s Haymarket
“Just go in there and own it,” Cuddeford said about her
experiences in a traditionally male-dominated profession. “I’m here to do
something, and I wasn’t intimidated by boys.”
Johnson hopes her son will be proud of what she’s
“I want my kid to say, ‘my mom made that’ and then other
kids can go to SCC and do it, too,” Johnson added.
Hawkins hopes to have students build more abstract art
pieces for the campus in future welding courses. He said the value of the apple
sculpture is probably around $20,000. Less than $3,500 was actually spent on
the materials to make it.
“They did a great job on the project, and a lot of others
helped on it,” Hawkins added.
More than 100 students are currently in the welding program
at SCC, and Hawkins said they just added their 12th full-time
“I don’t believe there is another school in the country with
12 full-time faculty members,” Hawkins said.
The apple is located between the two parking lots on the
east side of the campus.