top of page
  • Writer's pictureMDawson

WSCC board accepts donation of Dawson artwork

West Shore Community College Trustee chair Bruce Smith (center) makes a comment about the donation to the college of three pieces of Manierre Dawson artwork valued collectively at $150,000 at Monday’s meeting while WSCC president Scott Ward (left) and trustee James Jensen (right) listen. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

SCOTTVILLE — The West Shore Community College Board of Trustees confirmed the donation of three pieces of artist Manierre Dawson’s artwork that were donated by an anonymous donor to the college.

WSCC’s art gallery is named in honor of Dawson who lived in Mason County where he owned a fruit farm in the early 1900s. Dawson gained national and international fame for his abstract art and sculptures including many that were created in his studio in Mason County.

The three works of art that will be added to the college’s permanent collection are “Compages” a painted plywood relief wall sculpture mounted on masonite, “Line Connected Red Buttons” a painted plywood relief wall sculpture and “Gold Figures which is also a plywood relief wall sculpture mounted on masonite.”  WSCC director of college relations Thom Hawley said the donation ties in directly with an ongoing project at the college to place a replica of a sculpture of Dawson’s work on campus.

“It is our pleasure to recommend the acceptance of some new artwork by Manierre  Dawson,” said WSCC executive director of college relations Thom Hawley. “As a result the sculpture project we have been working on we developed a close relationship with a private donor who has a large collection of Manierre Dawson’s work and she is so excited about the new sculpture that she wanted to donate three more pieces to the college.”

WSCC president Scott Ward said the donation was a very generous one on behalf of the donor.

“The evaluation on those was $150,000 and so we are seeing the dividends of taking on some of these projects,” said Ward.

Hawley said the donation also fits in well with a special ceremony coming up at 2 p.m. on Saturday when the college will unveil a new outdoor sculpture by Dawson, in a ceremony outside of the Schoenherr Campus Center.

The nine-foot high bronze sculpture, titled “Daedayl,” has been placed on the north side of the campus center and is the latest addition to the college’s growing collection of Dawson’s work which now stands at 10 pieces. The sculpture was funded by a financial gift to the college’s foundation from Dr. Andrew Riemer.

“We are excited share the Manierre Dawson sculpture with the community. It is the first public outdoor sculpture on the campus and the first large scale outdoor Dawson sculpture of its kind ever,” said Scott Ward. “We are grateful for Dr. Riemer’s generosity and support of this project.”

“Daedayl” is an abstract representation of a standing figure consisting of one continuous line that bends and curls throughout the length of the composition. Dawson took the title from the name “Daedalus,” the character in Greek mythology who was employed as an architect, engineer and artist by Minos, the king of Crete.

Ward commented that the unveiling of the Dawson sculpture will coincide with an open house the college is holding from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the same day to showcase to the district a $5.2 million (50 percent funded by a state grant) includes renovation of 66,000 square feet of existing space and 2,700 square feet of new construction to add the expansion of high-bay welding lab and nursing simulation classrooms, remodeling of existing classroom space to increase student capacity, and updates to corridors, offices and restrooms throughout the facility.

“West Shore’s Technical Center was overdue for an upgrade, and we wish to thank the State of Michigan and our local taxpayers for the support of this needed project,” said Ward. “The expansion and improvements to the facility will make it a better place to learn cutting-edge, in-demand job skills.”

Monday’s board meeting also included the regular monthly update by Ward and board of trustees chair Bruce Smith on the activities over the past month of the Michigan Community College Association.

“There hasn’t been much action except for budget work in Lansing,” said Ward. “The recommended budget for community colleges came out last Friday. Overall there was a .8 percent increase for the community colleges that varies depending upon the college and our overall increase would be 1.2 percent and I think we were probably the fourth highest in the state. So we came out as good as could be expected.”

Ward also brought to the board for consideration bids for services on janitorial services for the recreation center and ice arena buildings. He said as staff retire from those duties at the college they are looking at other ways of providing those services at a savings to the college.

“In October 2017 the board approved a contract with Northern Floor Care to provide janitorial services for recreation center and ice arena,” said Ward. “Then in July 2018 the board approved a contract amendment to add janitorial services for the arts and sciences center.”

Ward said now the Riemer Public Safety Center is in need of janitorial services and it was decided to bid out all of those buildings. Six bids were received for the work ranging from $137,509 to $220,214.

“The college evaluation team reviewed all bids and through the review process the ream recommended DM Burr of Flint at $148,681,” said Ward. “They are based out of Flint, but have offices in the Grand Rapids area and said they will be looking hiring some local people for these positions.”

That contract was approved on a 5-0 vote and begins on Oct. 16. It runs for one year with the option of renewing for four one-year extensions on mutual agreement of both parties.

Board approval was also given for financial statements for August that included expenditures of $651,262 and auxiliary fund expenditures in the amount of $47,412. Board administrative committee chair James Jensen brought the recommendation to the board.

Two new employees were introduced to the board at Monday’s meeting, Russell Fulker is a maintenance technician and Kristie Richards an associate professor of nursing.



bottom of page