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'Reaching for the Stars' greets visitors to the Cannon Centre

$10,000 City gift is re-gifted by Greer Cultural Arts Council

Published on Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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Mayor Rick Danner, Scott Ibbotson and Robin Byouk applaud the work of Jacob Maxy, far left, and Derrick Francis during the unveiling at the Cannon Centre.

Jim Fair

Mayor Rick Danner, Scott Ibbotson and Robin Byouk applaud the work of Jacob Maxy, far left, and Derrick Francis during the unveiling at the Cannon Centre.



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Jacob Maxy, left, Scot Thompson, and Derrik Francis, right, teamed from the J. Harley Bond Career Center to create the first piece of public art commissioned by the City of Greer. Thompson was the instructor for Maxy and Francis.

Jim Fair

Jacob Maxy, left, Scot Thompson, and Derrik Francis, right, teamed from the J. Harley Bond Career Center to create the first piece of public art commissioned by the City of Greer. Thompson was the instructor for Maxy and Francis.



Enlarge photo

The entire sculpture weighed nearly 1,000 pounds including the concrete anchoring the artwork.

Jim Fair

The entire sculpture weighed nearly 1,000 pounds including the concrete anchoring the artwork.



Enlarge photo

Jacob Maxy and Derrick Francis, Wade Hampton High School graduates and students in the welding program at the J. Harley Bonds Career Center, took on the project as a SkillsUSA community project.

Jim Fair

Jacob Maxy and Derrick Francis, Wade Hampton High School graduates and students in the welding program at the J. Harley Bonds Career Center, took on the project as a SkillsUSA community project.



A $10,000 gift from the City to the Greer Cultural Arts Council was re-gifted back to the community this evening.

A 3D sculpture, titled “Reaching for the Stars” is anchored at the entrance of the Cannon Centre on Cannon Street. The design incorporates elements of the arts council’s logo and its motto.

"It was totally, totally unexpected," Scott Ibbotson said of the city making the funding available. "I don't  think anyone on the board had a dry eye that night. It tells how the city wants to be involved in art."

City Administrator Ed Driggers has included funds in the 2013-2014 fiscal budget for a second piece of art.

"Art is one of the things we will continue to cultivate into our community," said Mayor Rick Danner. "It's a perfect way to embody what our community is about."

Robin Byouk, Greer Cultural Arts Director, coordinated the design and execution of the project since last July. "It's beautiful and I'm so happy for the arts," Byouk said.  

Jacob Maxy and Derrick Francis, Wade Hampton High School graduates and students in the welding program at the J. Harley Bonds Career Center, took on the project as a SkillsUSA community project. Francis is heading to the Navy and Maxy will enroll at Greenville Tech and work toward an Associates degree in welding.

Maxy and Francis with welding instructor Scot Thompson did the unveiling with a host of city officials and Greer Cultural Arts board members present.

"I was surprised when I was told I was doing a project for the City of Greer. I was more blown away when I was told it was art and the size of it," Maxy said.

"We took the original logo and had it blown up and traced on stainless steel," Francis said. "It took about two and a half months and we did onsite welding and installation last week."

Putting the entire work together was a piece of art. The materials are:

• 4 stainless steel supports/hands weigh 100 pounds each

• 6 stars weigh 30 pounds each

• The supports are bolted to concrete that anchors the display.

• Thin stainless rods are welded to connect supports and stars.

• The structure was tested to stand against strong winds.

A plaque will be put onsite to signal the significance of the structure.

"Some people will like this piece more than others and that's the beauty of art," Danner said.

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