College unveils new art in sculpture garden

As graduation excitement builds at the Cerro Coso Community College Ridgecrest campus, it is joined by the anticipated addition to the fence that surrounds the college sculpture garden.

Each year a new piece of art is unveiled prior to the graduation ceremony. A former student, Dwight Furnish, created this year’s addition, entitled “The Ride to Higher Education.” The new sculpture complements the landscape and other works of art in the Luis Miro Sculpture Garden, a top destination for photographers and visitors at the college.

A sculptor, Furnish signed up for a class at the college to improve the facial expressions on his vases. He thought it was a clay sculpting class, but quickly discovered that was not the case when he was handed 20 inches of wire and told to make something abstract. That assignment led to the sculpting of rebar into four individual bicyclists the following semester.

Intrigued by the challenge, Furnish found bending the rebar into shapes and trying to figure out how the four pieces would connect interesting. Inspired by a sculpture he saw online, he came up with a creative representation of one of the most popular activities often seen on the way up the hill to the college — bicycling.

The sculpture took him one semester to complete and was “a lot of work for a project that was not required for the class,” said Furnish. He really enjoyed the classes and found a new form of artistic expression.

A 1991 graduate of Cerro Coso with an associate of arts degree, Furnish transferred to Antelope Valley College, commuting several times a week, to attend a Registered Nursing program. He has served as an RN for Ridgecrest Regional Hospital for the past 18 years.

Story First Published: 2013-07-17