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Gateway student’s art piece selected for display in national conference exhibit, Dali museum

News Release: 

An art piece produced by Gateway Technical College student Greg Kirstein (Walworth) will be exhibited at the national American Association of Community Colleges’ national Workforce Development Institute held in St. Petersburg, Fla. Jan. 29-Feb. 1.

The piece, called “Keycock,” is made of keys and other metals in the shape of a peacock. The keys on the metal sculpture metaphorically unlock a bright and solid future filled with success for Gateway – and all community college – students.

“I am honored and very grateful that I was selected,” said Kirstein. “It’s a great feeling to be able to represent Gateway at this national conference.”

Photos of the piece will also be displayed at The Dali Museum during a reception held there for the AACC conference. The group worked with the curator of The Dali Museum, who agreed to showcase one piece of artwork from a community college student or students – and Kirstein’s piece was selected.Kirstein used about 250 keys for his piece, donated by Gateway staff and community members from Racine, Walworth and Kenosha counties. A fabrication team headed by Kirstein assembled the metal piece, which weighs a little more than 200 pounds, including the base and other metal pieces for the structure.

Graphic Communications student Steven Samuelson as well as Welding student Joe Felgenhauer assisted Kirstein with the fabrication. Instructors Laura Laznicka and Scott Rohde also lended support and direction.

Kirstein’s genesis for “Keycock” came in Fall 2012 when he created a kinetic sculpture made from keys and light coat hangers found in his grandparent’s basement. The piece was entered in Gateway’s annual design show and received great reviews from instructors and the public.

When the request for submissions came for the conference, Laznicka urged Kirstein to reproduce the piece on a larger scale – and he agreed.

“My idea was to make sure that I received keys from all three counties Gateway serves, to ask the community to be a part of the sculpture,” says Kirstein. “To me, the subliminal message is that Gateway is the key to your success, to the success of students and our communities.”