Over the summer of 2018, residents and visitors enjoyed finding 85 statues of Bucky Badger throughout the Madison area. Thousands of social media posts showed appreciation for the public art event.
“Bucky on Parade” was produced by the Madison Area Sports Commission with support from the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau, and in partnership with UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, and UW Athletics department. Madison College also played a big role in the experience.
Instructors create art
A Sparta company made the fiberglass statues and delivered them to the Truax campus. From there, they were distributed to local artists that included Madison College instructors Emmalee Pearson, Visual Communications, and Jeff DeWitt, Animation and Concept Development.
While the artists worked, Architectural Technology students and instructors created a 3D model used by Mechanical Design students to draw various transport and display accessories for the statues.
With help from the Auto Collision program, Automated Manufacturing Systems Technology students designed and programed a robotic spray booth to coat the finished Buckys with a transparent, protective glaze.
Cabinetmaking and Millwork students built wooden bases that were also designed by the Mechanical Design Technician program. Construction and remodeling students poured and shaped cement bases for outdoor locations. Metal Fabrication students made a fixture to precisely secure the Buckys to the turntable in the spray booth.
Teamwork is good experience
“Collaborating with other departments helped my communication skills,” said Amadeo Kiser, Mechanical Design student. “All of us working together to accomplish this will be applicable in the real world.”
Provost Turina Bakken, who holds four degrees from UW-Madison, enthusiastically supported the project. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime art event that really put a spotlight on the talent we have at Madison College,” said Bakken. “It takes ingenuity to figure things out and commitment to carry it through. This project gave our students excellent opportunities to learn and apply their skills.”
The finished statues were revealed in May. After a summer on display, the Buckys were auctioned off to benefit the Garding Against Cancer organization started by Badger Basketball Coach Greg Gard. Winning bidders also selected a charity that received 10 percent of their bid. More than $800,000 was raised.