Professionally Impressed

Jun 22, 2021

By Ted Metz
I am Ted Metz, a sculptor from Alabama, and I was on campus June 2 to install a sculpture at the newly renovated Medical Sciences Building. For the past two years I have been in contact with project managers who have arranged for placement of my sculpture, called "STRUCTURAL MECHANICS," and the design and construction of the pedestal. As the final installation date was set, the ironworkers shop, the electricians shop and others were brought in to secure the site and actually install the sculpture with my guidance.

I am writing because I was so impressed with the quality of professionalism I experienced. Todd Hawkins, Erik "Cable" Davis, Brett Balsamello, Will Corum and Mark Stine all worked together in harmony, exhibiting respect for me, the task at hand, and each other. I suspect that this sculpture installation was just another "work order" of many they probably do each day. From my brief experience with them I observed  their pride in the work itself. I believe they are a well-oiled machine of intelligent craftsmen. 

The Art Itself

The cast bronze portion is immediately recognizable as being a realistic figurative hand. Also immediately recognizable is the stainless steel portion which highlights the skeletal structure of the bones within the hand. The bones are accurately represented but they are formed with the negative space within the stainless plate. I think this sculpture is simultaneously realistic figurative and figurative abstract. It attempts to show the hand as we are familiar and also an X-ray view of the interior.  Bones form the structure within us and they are also the mechanical apparatus which allows us to move. "STRUCTURAL MECHANICS then seems a fitting sculpture for this building site."

On Campus Again


I recently retired from 42 years of teaching sculpture at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. While on the faculty I became aware of the different strata of employees within the university community such as the administration, staff, faculty, maintenance, and many others. In order to achieve a sound education for the students it took all of us doing our best to make a quality education happen. It is indeed a team effort and everyone involved needs to be reminded of that from time to time.

I have always sought friendships with like-minded people and I have found these folks primarily in the physical plant shops where skilled craftsmen and women apply their knowledge and solve simple and complex problems on a daily basis. These trades, these shops, these men and women keep the campus afloat and moving forward. I have a tremendous respect for all the traditional trades.