Sculpture symbolizes direction for education
Published: Thursday, March 8, 2012
Updated: Friday, March 9, 2012 11:03
A roughly 15-foot tall abstract steel monument, with a compass rose cobblestone layout entitled Points of Hope, is the brainchild of FSCJ art professors Michael Cottrell and Patrick Miko. This large sculpture, located at FSCJ South Campus, serves as a memorial of darker days, as well as a source of inspiration for the future.
Cottrell and Miko aimed to design an intricate monument that would commemorate the events of Sept. 11 and acknowledge the societal impact of those attacks. They designed the project with past, present and future FSCJ students in mind.
"We also wanted to show how the school helps people prepare for life and careers that focus on serving the community," said Cottrell. "FSCJ offers many service-oriented degree programs like EMT, the Fire Academy, and Nursing."
The 1,000 pound structure is a welcome edition to the once open space. "We've been teaching here for five to seven years, and we've had something in mind for this space for a while. This circular area is ideal for a central focal or gathering point. It all sort of gelled naturally," said Cottrell.
Many interpretations can be drawn from the artwork, and many aspects are symbolic. Cottrell emphasized how the compass points signify the various choices or paths a student can take during their education and life in general. The spherical component of the structure is comprised of many metal strips and multiple layers, resembling a rubber-band ball. According to Cottrell, the shape is symbolic of the interconnected nature of society, not just locally, but of a global society.
Most importantly, however, the structure suggests that students can always change the direction of their lives. Miko, who designed the compass base for the sculpture, said that the compass is not only used to guide people, but to also lead them in a direction. Education, along with proper guidance, can help people find direction in their lives, he said.