Collaboration between art professors from different continents

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Building a framework of friendship and an oversized figure that will be a permanent part of the St. Louis Community College at Meramec Campus.

“I cut out the giant shape of a foot with toes and then you take newspaper and bundles and a couple more to shape,” says Jonathan Wotka, art and design student. “Then we covered it with wallpaper paste and white paper for the uniform so you could see the texture and then Tomasz would come in and apply the larger muscle groups.”

A professor in his native Poland and world renowned for his figurative sculptures, Tomasz Koclega found a friend in Joe Chesla when the Meramec campus professor of art took a work trip to Poland in 2015.

On Thursday afternoon, students connected the foot bone to the leg bone, but it's the connection between these two professors that brought this unnamed sculpture to life.

“When I was starting to speak to students he continued like one sentence,” says Koclega. “It was like the same completely same approach so I really appreciate the cooperation with him and I’m really glad to be invited here.”

“We had this really kind of great brotherhood because we approach art the same way and talk about art the same way and we deal with our students in the same way,” says Joe Chesla, Professor of Art, Sculpture and Design St. Louis Community College at Meramec. “So it really became quite a beautiful way. It was just the easiest transition I've had working with another artist.”