Day 29: Mining Minds Sculpture

By on December 3, 2013

Mining MindsToday is Day 29 in the Countdown to UTEP’s Centennial Year.

The pick has long been the symbol of UTEP.  It dates back to the early days of the establishment of the State School of Mines & Metallurgy 100 years ago.

In 2010, a grand sculpture was erected at the traffic circle at Sun Bowl & University.  The Mining Minds sculpture was created by Michael Clapper, an New York native who maintains a studio in Denver.  His focus is contemporary public & residential sculpture.  Clapper’s work is created mostly from carved stone and fabricated steel.

Mining Minds is a 25-foot-tall steel pick-axe head whose metallic makeup is a nod to UTEP’s history as a mining & metallurgy school.

The top & bottom of sculpture is also perforated with holes.  These holes are actually binary code – series of ones and zeros – which read “Believe in yourself and in your dreams. Believe in UTEP and its aspirations. Share the dream!” Clapper was inspired by a quote by UTEP President Diana Natalicio.

Mining Minds was dedicated in September 2010.  The sculpture is illuminated in the evenings, and on special occasions, it is lit up in orange & blue.

Posted in: 100-Day Countdown
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Jessica Molinar Muñoz is the director of communications for UTEP's Centennial Office.