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Massive bronze sculpture lands on college’s front door

By   /   January 24, 2014  /   Comments Off

The beloved bronze Chaparral statue in front of the Student Services Center has new competition for visual dominance.

At 29 feet tall, a new sculp- ture named “Apex” towers over the 8-foot bird.

Installed last month, “Apex” has taken center stage in the green space in front of the Berg Instructional Center, which has been dubbed as the college’s “front door.” The sculpture, designed by artist John Medwedeff, is made of hand- made bronze and will feature a fountain aspect in the spring.

According to Medwedeff, the students and the college’s setting as an educational institution were the primary inspirations for the design.

“I’d like to think of the students as on an upward momentum, an upward trajectory at whatever stage they are in life,” Medwedeff spoke over the phone.

The sculpture, which took two years to execute from conception to installment, required coordination between COD, the artist’s team and several contractors dealing with construction and infrastructure.

According to Donald In- man, senior project engineer from COD, the sculpture cost $309,000 with construction-related spending reaching $521,000. In 2012, the board of trustees approved the sculpture with an initial cost estimate of $175,000 to $250,000. The artwork was funded through the $168 million voter-approved referendum.

While “Apex” has been installed, Medwedeff said the project does not feel fully finished yet because the water and light fixtures have yet to be turned on. He expects to return later in the spring for the complete realization of his vision.

“It’s a pretty good feeling. It’s exhilarating but at the same time, it’s a little bittersweet,” Medwedeff explained (first on the left below, with staff) regarding the sculpture leaving the studio after months of labor.

The artist also reflected on his relationship with COD, saying: “Working with the college was great…I feel honored to be doing a major piece for the campus.”


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