An ArtPrize sculpture installed at Grand Valley State University Tuesday, September 4, pays tribute to the late Stuart Padnos, former senior vice president at Louis Padnos Iron and Metal Company, who died in April. The piece is located near the Blue Bridge, at the courtyard entrance to Grand Valley’s Eberhard Center, on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
“A couple of our employees came to us with the idea of honoring Stuart through an entry in ArtPrize,” said Shelley E. Padnos, executive vice president at Padnos and chair of Grand Valley’s Board of Trustees. “The Padnos company has been delighted to be able to support Stuart’s long-time collaborator, Juan Luna, in the creation and installation of the sculpture ‘Scrap is Beautiful-The View From Stuart’s Eye.’ It has been a labor of love for all of us.”
Rain kept things slick during the installation, but an experienced crew pulled it off without a hitch. The colorful 2,500-pound metal sculpture, that stands 6 feet high and 12 feet-by-16 feet wide, was made in Holland in two pieces that were bolted together at the installation.
Luna, who has been a welder and fabricator with Padnos since 1995, was the one Stuart turned to for help in making his art sculpture visions a reality. They collaborated on dozens of projects, including the Grand Valley Marching Band sculpture on the Allendale Campus.
“Each element of this ArtPrize sculpture represents a project Stuart and I worked on together,” said Luna. The flower pieces are representative of sculptures at the company headquarters in Holland, and the crankshaft and rings are replicas of pieces at the Maintenance Facility in Grand Rapids. The marching band figure represents the larger piece at Grand Valley. “The other figure is Stuart and his dog, admiring the sculptures.”
ArtPrize officially opens September 19 and continues through October 7. Opening Night activities will include a procession by members of the Grand Valley Marching Band from Rosa Parks Circle, across the Blue Bridge and to Grand Valley’s venue. Learn about additional ArtPrize entries at Grand Valley by visiting www.gvsu.edu/artgallery, or calling (616) 331-2563.