The Relief Sculpture class is a new course here at CCCC. It is a direct result of the Cloud County Historical Society's Whole Wall, a 120'x30' continuous brick relief sculpture, being carved in the art department by professional artists Catharine Magel, St. Louis, MO and wall designer, and Mara Smith, 30+ year career brick carver from Seattle, WA. The project took about three years to carve, with the artists coming to Concordia for three to six week periods of work, returning home for a few weeks, and then returning to Concordia to carve. This was a monumental project in which the art department was fortunate to be such an integral part of the process. The CCCC art students and faculty, as well as area high school art classes and community members were all able to participate in helping to carve the wall. By the time the wall was installed and dedicated in the summer of 2009, a proposal for adding the Relief Sculpture class was written and presented to the Instructional Services Committee that fall. It passed with a unanimous vote and proceeded to the state for final approval.
The first class was in the spring semester of 2010. As far as we know, this is the only class of its kind in the United States. We were delighted that the installation of the first two carved brick benches coincided with the first class. One is installed just outside the art department and the other is at the Poet's Grove outside the main building on campus.
This class offers a real career opportunity for artists, especially in this area of Kansas since we are also fortunate to have Cloud Ceramics brick plant at Concordia. Cloud Ceramics has a wonderful native clay body to use for carving....some of the best in the United States.