NMJC Student Presents Welding Art to College
8/23/2010 11:25:46 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. Many students dream about leaving something behind so they will be remembered when they graduate, but for his legacy, one New Mexico Junior College student reached far back into the past to create something for future generations of students.
Approached last spring about creating metal art for a wall in the soaring lobby of the Ben Alexander Student Learning Center, 21-year-old welding student Ryan Richards contemplated and researched a number of designs online for inspiration. But he couldn’t decide for sure on an appropriate design until he was driving off campus one day and saw the original Thunderbird design in the college logo at the end of the campus’ circle drive. When he saw the complex design of the mythological bird, which had been created shortly after the campus opened in 1966, Richards knew he had found his inspiration.
Once he determined the dimensional design of the piece, he spent approximately 50 hours over the course of several months perfecting the four-foot by four-foot piece of artwork, down to the complex hanging apparatus that would support it high above the lobby floor.
With the help of Dr. Charley Carroll, the college’s Physical Plant Director, Richards spent much of the morning of Thursday, August 19, painstakingly hanging the colorful piece on a massive blank wall across from the NMJC bookstore.
When it was completed, Richards, who aspires to be an engineer, was awarded an honorarium by an appreciative Dr. Regina Organ, Vice President for Student Services, as thanks from the college for his efforts.
“Welding is a cool profession,” he said. “You’re basically manipulating 1,000 degree fire to melt steel.” And, some might add, to create an amazing piece of art that will be admired and remembered at New Mexico Junior College for a very, very long time.