CTE Wing Artwork


Steel artwork by Mark Gibian in the CTE wing at West.

Matthew Ryder, Reporter

Recently just over spring break West high school got a new addition in its latest wing.  It’s a steel sculpture that’s been bent and welded together by the artist Mark Gibian, and it hangs in the middle of the spiral staircase in the new (Career and Technical Education) CTE wing.

Rick Stone, head principal at West, said that the new sculpture was added into the wing thanks to the one percent art program where one percent of the new wings funds went to adding a piece of art. Stone said, “A selection committee was made from members of the school, municipality, and others sent out a proposal to certain artists and they responded with their art bid, then it was just the process of narrowing it down to see whose art piece was chosen for the wing.”

Stone does not remember the exact cost of the piece but it’s estimated to be about $50,000 off the top of his head.  “It’s been rated for an earthquake and engineers have taken the precautions to make sure it will stay when a big one hits,” he stated.  This piece is unique to West in the fact that no others schools in town have a metal sculpture like this, although they do have other pieces dedicated to the one percent art.

Bryan Friedrichs, a process tech, geology, and astronomy teacher in the new wing at West says the sculpture is ok but wishes it had more of a connection to the things that go on in the CTE wing.  Both him and Sven Berglund have plans for it. “We want to stick a live eagle in it and have students feed it mackerel from the balcony as the wings new mascot.”  Although he likes art he said he wouldn’t want a piece quite like the one we have, but he wouldn’t mind having a different piece of steel art to own for himself.  He has hopes that others in the school and community will like the piece in the wing.

Mark Stewart, one of the art teachers at West, has some mixed feelings about the piece.  “There’s things I like about it and things I can be critical about, I try and focus on what I like about the piece before I find things I don’t like about it.”  Although he hasn’t heard of Mark Gibian he likes the abstract metal work style that he does.  “The simple way of explaining it would be to say it’s like old school playground equipment, with lots of bends and welds to make it seem smooth and flow as one,” said Stewart.

As an art teacher and artist himself he likes what the one percent program does for art and helping keep it alive instead of cutting it out.  Even though this isn’t the style art he would produce like paintings, sculptures, and comics he says it’s still an interesting style that looks nice although he wishes it had a finish on it instead of being bear.