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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release


Gumby and an assortment of characters are floating on Colden Pond today as the result of an art project by students in Steven Banks' 3D design class. One of the students built a love machine, shown in the picture at right. (Photos by Darren Whitley/University Advancement)

Nov. 29, 2010

Students create floating art projects for Colden Pond

Steven Banks

Steven Banks

MARYVILLE, Mo. - Students and staff passing by Northwest Missouri State University's Colden Pond today are seeing a little more color in the pond's reflection, thanks to students in Steven Banks' 3D design class.

At 8 a.m. the students launched an array of colorful paper mache heads onto the campus pond for their " Floating Head Regatta."

The heads, which stand about 4 to 5 feet tall, mostly resemble video game characters and animals. There's a crocodile, a one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater, and Gumby. There's even a love machine.

Banks, an instructor in Northwest's Department of Art, said the idea for the project blossomed several weeks ago while the class was trying to think of ideas for a public art project. Because the project involved Colden Pond, Lezlee Johnson, Northwest's associate director of landscape services approved it, and the students began working on the heads about two weeks ago.

Banks said students were assigned to build the floating heads at least as tall as themselves. To make them float, students fashioned rafts out of pieces of foam, cardboard, plastic bottles and swim noodles.

"First of all they had to design a head and then deal with the physics of making it float and not fall over," Banks said. "I'm impressed with their ingenuity."

Banks added that several students worked on the project over the Thanksgiving break. For some of those students that meant the added pressure of packing their projects into vehicles and assembling them on campus Monday morning.

Barring strong winds, rain and other natural elements, Banks said the heads will be stationed at Colden Pond until 5 p.m. today.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468