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Alumnus' Talent Brings Him Full Circle

July 30, 2013

A new sculpture sits in the center of one of the arches on the grounds of St. Louis Community College at Wildwood  
The newest addition to STLCC-Wildwood's
sculpture park was donated by STLCC alumnus
John Schnellman.

 

“What comes around goes around.”

That became very evident last week as artist John Schnellman installed his sculpture on the Wildwood campus of St. Louis Community College.

The sculpture is the latest addition to the campus’ outdoor sculpture park, an annually rotating exhibit of artwork. The sculpture is made of steel and stained glass.

Schnellman was one of the first graduates of St. Louis Community College, and took courses at Roosevelt High School during the time that the Forest Park campus was being built.

“I studied journalism at Forest Park, and started off in a job in that field. Then I started working for the IRS which took me to Washington, D.C.,” Schnellman explained.

Schnellman was inspired to take classes in stained glass by his cousin, who also works in the medium. He took classes in Washington, DC. He also returned to STLCC and took classes there in 2004 and 2005.

When asked why he chose stain glass as a medium, Schellman said, “I like the way light coming behind a piece makes it different. And I am better at sculpting than painting,” he added with a laugh.

This piece was inspired by a view of earth seen from the upper atmosphere. “I used colors and shapes that you would see from space that represent water, land and islands.” Schnellman said.

The stained glass is sandwiched between plexiglass to make it weather resistant, and sits inside of a steel base that is made from recycled metals from Shapiro Metals in St. Louis.

The sculpture park was established in 2010 through a grant from St. Louis Community College Foundation. Since then, 14 artists have participated in the exhibit. The artists are asked to loan their sculptures for one year, but many have chosen to leave their work on campus for a longer period of time. There are currently ten sculptures on the grounds in a variety of media.
Students and visitors to campus can learn more about the artist and their creative vision by reading the information located on a stand next to each piece.