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Sculpture unveiled at new culinary space

(L-R) Zach Bohlmeyer, Josh Waters, Cole Andersen, Lebari Abiikor, Curtis Hartshorn, Alex Salzman, Mark Hawkins.

In five short weeks, students in the Welding Technology program at Southeast Community College created a distinct sculpture with a Midwest essence that will become part of the new Great Plains Culinary Institute.

The bronze “wheat” creation consists of donated scrap materials. Students designed and created it in the Fabrication and Repair class. It will be part of the exterior wall of the new Great Plains Culinary Institute opening in January.

“It brings me great joy to see the students create something like this and to actually apply their skills here and to utilize them,” said Mark Hawkins, program co-chair.

Six welding students did the majority of the work on the bronze sculpture, which involved creating computer designs and then trying to emulate the wheat stalks and seeds. Some of the detail work was quite challenging, according to the students.

“It was kind of difficult at the beginning, a lot of repetition, trying to figure out what looked the best,” said Cole Andersen of Lincoln.

“I’m glad the wheat seeds turned out the way they did,” said Curtis Hartshorn of Wahoo. “We went through nine different prototypes. In the end, it turned out great.”

“We welded each seed, and our instructor helped us,” said Lebari Abiikor. “It feels amazing, I’m glad to be part of it.” 

SCC President Dr. Paul Illich came up with the idea for the College’s welding program to create something decorative for the front of the new culinary space as a way of bringing the programs together.

“They went well beyond what was asked,” Illich said, referring to the welding students. “That in itself is very inspiring. They wanted to make something special. Every faculty, staff and student that walks by will be inspired by it.”

“All in all it turned out pretty cool,” said Zach Bohlmeyer of Beatrice. “It will be cool to come back and look at it in front of the building.”

Josh Waters and Alex Salzman, both of Lincoln, also contributed to the sculpture.

The Great Plains Culinary Institute will feature state-of the art kitchen areas for students to train, as well as a new restaurant that will be open to the public.

SCC’s Welding Technology program, located on SCC’s Lincoln Campus, has approximately 135 students.


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Andrea Gallagher
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