On August 3, Chesterton-based artist John J. Habela installed his “Bird on a Hashtag” sculpture at Ivy Tech Community College’s Valparaiso campus.
The 16-foot-tall, 11-foot-wide piece is now on display at the south entrance of the college. The piece was designed by Habela and fabricated by Bill Moore of Fabricated Metal Corp in Portage, Ind.
“This is a congealing of many individuals throughout the area. It began when I was an Ivy Tech student in 2005, taking a Saturday, ‘Welding for Artists’ course. Even the steel used is local,” Habela says. “While it’s inspired by a song bird, our connection to nature and the almost iconic hashtag in modern technology, I want people to make it anything they want.”
Valparaiso Chancellor Aco Sikoski says the art installation not only aligns with the college’s mission to prepare Indiana residents to learn, live, and work in a diverse and globally competitive environment, but creates an attachment to one’s community.
“[Bird on a Hashtag] creates an outdoor common area at the campus where students will feel welcome to simply be together,” Sikoski says. “As a commuter campus, it’s important to create as many of these kinds of places and spaces where students have an opportunity to spend quality time.”
Ivy Tech Community College Executive Director of Resource Development Cindy Hall shared that the artwork embodies the college’s commitment to its students throughout the region, while welcoming prospective students to consider an Ivy Tech education.
“We have always wanted artwork on display. Now we have that opportunity at the Valparaiso campus. Just like fine art is displayed on a pedestal, we at Ivy Tech put our students on a pedestal to help them achieve their goals for a better future,” Hall says.
In celebration of its much anticipated art installation, Ivy Tech Community College invites current and prospective students to take selfies or group photos at one of its local campus locations in Crown Point, East Chicago, Gary, Valparaiso or Michigan City and post to Instagram. The Ivy Tech logo, signage and/or the new art installation must be included in the photo, campus location listed and #MyIvyPedestal used. Submissions will be accepted through the school’s Express Enrollment week on August 9, 11 and 15. One winner will be selected from each Northwest Indiana campus on first day of classes on August 20 to win a prize.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.