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Facebook connection leads to CCC sculpture donation

Many people have a story of connecting with old friends or high school buddies on Facebook. Art instructor Kate Simmons made a Facebook connection earlier this year that led to the donation of a new sculpture at Clackamas Community College, created by Jan Zach, the prolific former head of the sculpture department at the University of Oregon.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: CCC - Jan Zach's 'Marching Women' is in the Randall Hall lobby of Clackamas Community Colleges Oregon City campus.Simmons was browsing Facebook in January when she saw a post from artist Olinka Broadfoot: “Jan Zach: Marching Women, 10 feet by 26 feet, Wood. We need to find a home for this piece. It will be a donation! Please any ideas?”

The post included a photo of the sculpture and information about Zach’s work in Oregon. Simmons contacted Tommy Griffin, the executor of Zach’s estate about the sculpture.

“It turns out that multiple institutions were interested in getting the sculpture. Tommy Griffins visited all of them,” Simmons said.

The 10-foot-high red figures represent a line of strong women in stride, and at 26-feet-long, the large sculpture of laminated wood required the appropriate indoor setting. The ideal place was found at CCC in the spacious Randall Hall lobby, outside the gym.

“Tommy and his wife really liked our setting,” Simmons said. “It works well outside the gym because it displays the unity, camaraderie and strength of our female student athletes.”

The sculpture was a donation to the college, which paid to have it moved and refinished with wax. CCC art students, members of the college foundation board and Broadfoot gathered on May 19 for a brief ceremony to welcome the sculpture to CCC.

“I think Jan is happy that it’s here,” Broadfoot said. Broadfoot shares Zach’s Czechoslovakian heritage.

The Randall Hall location is adjacent to the Chuck Clemans Memorial Sculpture Garden, featuring the sculptures of several Northwest sculptors.