Powell Gardens Festival of Lights shines with the help of MCC welding students

Sculpture set to wow motorists driving by Powell Gardens on Highway 50.

Metropolitan Community College students, faculty and staff are behind part of the magic at a first-ever spectacular lighting display.

Sculptures welded by MCC-Business & Technology students will greet visitors to the Powell Gardens Festival of Lights, which opened Dec. 1 and runs 3-9 p.m. Thursday-Sunday through Jan. 7.

About the Festival of Lights “Illuminated by KCP&L:”  It’s a holiday experience featuring a mile-long pathway of botanically themed displays, utilizing more than 10 miles of lights. The lighting exhibition, artfully curated by the Powell Gardens horticulture staff, the Festival of Lights includes botanically-themed lighting displays that begin at the garden entrance and stretch along a winding pathway through six of the seven themed gardens.

Several MCC campus departments worked together to accomplish the creation of seven unique sculptures for the exhibit, welding instructor Aaron Gibbs says.

Gibbs was assisted by Welding Department coordinator Kendall Davis, as well as teams from MCC’s engineering technology computer-assisted design and the computer-integrated machining and manufacturing programs.

He says the experience was a great learning opportunity for the students. “I look at it as being work on a real-world project,” said Gibbs.

The sculptures include two large designs inspired by Allium flowers. The flowers welcome visitors to the entrance of Powell Gardens right off U.S. 50. The botanical garden is in Kingsville, Mo., east of Lee’s Summit.

Four other smaller flower designs are also featured, leading to the Garden Gatehouse. The final sculpture is a 6-foot-wide lotus flower design placed in a pool.

Lotus flower designed by the MCC-Business Technology team.

Special thanks to the following:

ETEC CAD participants

  • Mike Cline/Faculty
  • Tiffany DaVinci / Lab Tech employee

CIMM Advance level class

  • David Grady/Faculty
  • Students:
    • Ellen Enriquez
    • Scott Fleenor
    • Kevin Jeffries
    • Melissa Kaplafka
    • Zachary Kimzey
    • Tory Lanham
    • Christopher Powell
  • Welding Students:
  • John Holcroft III
  • Dawson Shields
  • Chris Lattner
  • Ashley Raymond
  • Caleb Green
  • Dalton Duffet
  • Andrew Lehman
  • Quinton Brown
  • Samuel Gomez
  • Raef Dahiquist
  • Jacob McDermott
  • Nick Morgan
  • Ethan Wilson
  • Lord Hathaway

For more on MCC’s welding, ETEC CAD and CIMM programs, watch the videos below:

For more photos of the welding students behind the scenes of this project, visit our Facebook album.