The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

CCC art piece coming down after more than 30 years

 

September 21, 2018

Jamie Cushman

This stained-glass artwork that has hung in the Clovis Community College commons area since 1982 is scheduled to be taken down on Saturday due to safety concerns.

CLOVIS — A fixture of the Clovis Community College commons area for more than three decades will be coming down this weekend due to safety concerns, according to college officials.

A stained glass art piece created by former CCC art teacher Bruce DeFoor, which features New Mexico scenery, has hung in the second floor of the commons area near the bookstore since 1982. But when he inspected the piece over the summer, DeFoor said he recommended it be taken down.

"There's nothing immediate but it's been there for a long time and I think any building will settle a little bit. And so I just thought it would be a good idea to move it," DeFoor told The News on Thursday.

Norman Kia, vice president of internet technology and operations, said over the years the weight of the glass artwork — at least 800 pounds by some estimates — has caused several pieces at the bottom to come loose and pop out of the frame.

"It's been a wonderful piece to have up there but just out of sheer safety concerns (it needs to be taken down)," Kia said.

CCC President Becky Rowley said the piece would probably be safe for the next couple of years, but the college wanted to be proactive about it.

Dick Wimberly, an artist based out of Santa Fe, has been hired to oversee the removal process. Wimberly said it will be a challenge to remove the 90-inch pieces of glass without twisting or bending them.

"For one thing it's pretty risky because you've got these pieces of glass and glass doesn't like to bend," Wimberly said.

He said the plan is to lift several people up to the glass and then individually guide the eight panels that make up the stained glass piece into a padded box.

Wimberly said that plan could change once they get up on the lift and see what condition the piece is in.

"We have to be prepared to change our game in the middle if things aren't working," he said.

Wimberly said the 10 feet by 18 feet frame will also be taken down on Saturday, and that could require as many as eight people to manually lower it to the ground.

DeFoor said the piece is titled "The Pair" for the two eagles present, one of which can be seen immediately in the foreground and the other depicted by a shadow.

DeFoor said the inspiration for the piece was the Caprock and distant Plains of San Jon.

He appreciated the fact that Wimberly, who helped DeFoor install the piece in the 1980s, will be tasked with overseeing Saturday's work.

Kia said the stained-glass piece will be put in storage for now and, depending on its condition after removal, it may be displayed in a different location at the college in the future.

He said CCC art instructor Carolyn Lindsey is brainstorming other art projects that could fill the void created by the removal of the stained glass.

 

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