CCA Art Installation Captures Essence of New STEM Center

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Construction work continues on the Community College of Aurora’s (CCA) campus, with bulldozers and trucks moving tons of dirt to make way for the new Center for STEM, Power Mechanics and Applied Technologies building. 

While builders lay the foundation and walls that will house CCA’s new innovative spaces to train the next generation of STEM professionals, another type of builder awaits his moment to plant his work firmly on the grounds of the new building. 

Alex Bond is an artist who specializes in sculptures designed for public spaces. He was awarded the commission to display his large-scale sculpture series “Birth of Innovation” in front of the STEM building. 

The piece, consisting of three spheres, unfurling its protective hard shell to reveal the twisted inner workings of an industrial core fits right in with the mechanical landscape of the new center. But the cold-seeming exterior lends itself to a deeper understanding when considering the human element.

A prototype of the installation sits in CCA’s
Presidential Conference Room

“I think Aurora is a really special part of Colorado, and it really speaks to me from the human element, because of the diversity and the type of people that are attracted to that college,” Bond says of the thought process behind his piece. “The project really checked the human and technological boxes for me. The project itself, the three spheres, will really speak to how people interact with the world, which is one of the stories that I enjoy being able to tell.”

As a person with Ukrainian and Ashkenazi Jewish roots, Bond found comfort in being able to express his diversity through art. He completed his first permanent installation when he was just 15 years old. 

“Diversity, when approached with intention and care, actually yields something which is extremely strong, instead of something that is fragmented, and has breaking points,” Bond said. 

Bond chose to work with spheres, he says, because of their universal representation as a symbol of strength. Though it’s filled with small, independent mechanical pieces like bearings and cogs, it’s how all of those small parts come together to form a strong whole. With an intentional approach, he hopes his message of unity comes across. 

From a technical standpoint, he says the choice to build spheres instead of boxes or

rectangles makes the project even more meaningful, as spheres are a difficult shape for the artist to work with. 

In keeping with the idea of the STEM building’s role in powering innovation through thought and advancement, Bond says this too is represented in the layers of this piece. 

“The red color is really representative of the raw, the primal, the human. The mosaic texture of technology is reminding us that all of our technological advancements come from our flesh, minds and our hearts.” 

Bond’s connection of human achievement and technological advancement found an apt home in the STEM building. The new space which will encompass 55,000 square feet on the CentreTech campus allows CCA to upgrade and expand its diesel technology program, build educational programs in construction, solar, sustainable energy and other fields, designed to help strengthen Colorado’s workforce, and build lasting and well paying careers for Aurora area students. The building is on pace to open in the Fall of 2025. 

Inside the final sphere in the series, Bond says observers will find a bright red ball. This too draws a parallel between human and technology. He calls it a reminder that technology is not just born of humans, but that also humans are becoming more intertwined with the tech they use every day.  

“We are also the product of technology. Our relationship as humans is not unilateral. It’s a cyclical relationship, and that is also the story I aim to tell with this piece.”

Of course, as with any art piece, the artist is careful not to put too much emphasis into his own interpretation of his work. He says he wants to leave it up to the viewer to draw their own conclusions into what the piece means to them. As a public artist, he enjoys the various interpretations that arise from the people who see his art. 

“One of the things I love about being a public artist, is that sometimes people have totally other concepts that come up for them when they experience a piece based on the uniqueness of their own life, and how they see the world, and I think that’s awesome.”

You can find Bond’s work throughout the country, including in Southwest Colorado, where he lives, and also along Colorado’s front range, upstate New York, Chicago and more. Click HERE to see more of his work and learn about what inspires him.

To learn more about the Center for STEM, Power Mechanics and Applied Technologies, click HERE.

Photos by: Dept. of Strategic Communications