Tribute to the Arts


Client: Arts Center of Burlington

Location: Burlington, IA, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $55,500

Project Team


Chris Bennett

Chris Bennett


Tammy McCoy

Art Center of Burlinton

Industry Resource

Josh Wilson

Steffenmeier Welding

Industry Resource

Daniel Prentergast


Industry Resource

Mike Winslow

Mike's Collision and Tire

Industry Resource

Jason McClure

McClure Masonry


“Tribute to the Arts” is a cast aluminum colorful four pod totem with eight arts discipline icons in sculpture relief on its surfaces. The pods are slid over a standing red handled and yellow bristled paint brush. The totem is positioned above a stainless steel pyramidal shaped pedestal. It is 13 ft. tall. x 45 in. square, located in the Arts District near the Art Center of Burlington, Iowa, installed 2018.


The Art Center of Burlington initiated the project as the sole sponsor. They wanted to start a major sculpture acquisition program using one of my sculptures as an anchor piece. Originally I made a proposal, and received approval for, a different tribute and concept. There are several arts organizations in Burlington. Each of them wanted to contribute to a sculpture design but were not interested in helping to fund the first concept. I borrowed pieces of imagery from some of my former sculpture concepts, and developed a design that would be representative of all the arts. The colorful pod and paint brush totem is placed at the corner of Jefferson and 3rd street which is central to the “Arts District” and architectural restoration projects of Burlington.


I presented four different designs to the Executive Director of the Art Center & Capitol Theater of Burlington. After the first presentation, I developed concepts for a committee of representatives from all of the arts. I presented three more concepts, as drawings and models, each having some semblance to former completed sculptures. The comments and requests of the committee were invaluable to the overall development of the concept.
Daniel Prendergast, of Wood Minstrel turned a twelve foot long wooden paint brush, ferrule and bristle to be used as a casting pattern.
I assembled the initial pod patterns with individual sculpture reliefs as halves, including a split portion of the wooden brush handle. The eight halves, brush bristle, and ferrule were presented for casting.
Steffensmeier Welding designed and fabricated the stainless steel pedestal shroud and interior mount system.
Max-Cast, and in particular Josh Wilson, cast the four pods and brush in aluminum. He engineered the assembly and securing method of the many parts. His participation with the installation was critical because of his understanding of the assembly method.
Mike’s Collison and Tire prepped the aluminum castings for painting, later sealing them.
McClure Concrete prepared a level foundation

Additional Information

My sculpture designs are primarily based in nature. They are classically rendered human figures, wildlife, and natural forms. I am able to design traditional and also contemporary imagery, or implement a combination of both formats. For “Tribute to the Arts” the images were icons of human artistic expression. I implemented a classical bas relief format within a contemporary composition. Most recently I have enjoyed applying color and textural quality to my cast and fabricated images. I am used to and enjoy working with clients and design committees as a team, to develop the right concept for their site.