Steel sculptures created by UA Department of Art and Art History members in 2016 were auctioned off for the largest total donation to Children’s of Alabama the department has made since it began participating in the Nucor Children’s Charity Classic live auction three years ago.
Children’s of Alabama is the only medical center in the state dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children and serves as the primary site for University of Alabama at Birmingham pediatric care. UA Art and Art History undergrad art majors, a staff member (who is also an alumnus), and a professor raised $78,000 for Children’s of Alabama this year.
Engineering-turned-studio art major Brandt Deeds and New College major and art student Nick Jackson together made their first sculpture for the charity auction, a collaborative project that brought in $12,000 to the pediatric care facility.
BFA alumnus Eric Nubbe, who now works as Foundry Specialist for the department, has designed and created works for the last three charity auctions. Two of his steel sculptures brought high bids of $15,000 and $11,000 each. This year, Nubbe and Professor Craig Wedderspoon collaborated on a piece that brought $21,000.
The high bid of $25,000 went to a steel version of “Simon the Lion,” Wedderspoon’s third year casting the Children’s of Alabama mascot. The two previous “Simons” were cast in bronze and brought in $15,000 each. This year, Wedderspoon collaborated with UAB’s Metallurgical Engineering foundry to cast “Simon” in Nucor steel. Nucor donates all the materials for the sculptures.
After the auction was over, Wedderspoon said one of Nucor’s CEOs commissioned him to do another steel “Simon the Lion” for an additional donation to the hospital of $20,000.
Wedderspoon said, “We had an incredibly successful night…This brings our three-year total to $176,000, every penny of which goes directly to the hospital.”
Wedderspoon attended the auction and banquet and listened to stories about some of the facility’s patients. He said that participating in Nucor’s fund-raising for Children’s of Alabama makes him grateful for many things. “I am reminded of how truly incredible it is to be alive and to be afforded the privilege of working to teach young men and women how to use their skills, knowledge and passion, not only to be successful in life, but to share what they have learned and to contribute to their community.”
Images above courtesy of Craig Wedderspoon.
Images of the sculptures and their creators from 2015 and 2014 are below.
Source: Professor Craig Wedderspoon, email@example.com or (205) 348-1898.
Contact: Rachel Dobson, communications specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 348-1893.