“Two talented Johnson County Community College art students have taken some sage advice – find what you love and turn it into a career. Eman Alsadeq and Ember de Boer are both working toward earning degrees that pertain to using art, yet each has chosen a different bend along the road to success.  

Both students recently experienced campus fame as winners of the annual sculpture competition sponsored by the Center for Sustainability and the Fine Arts department at JCCC. Every other spring, contestants submit drawings or models of their ideas. A campus committee then chooses several to fund to completion.”

sustainable sculptures commision

“As always, pieces are made from recycled metal, plastic, paper and glass. What typically might have ended up as campus waste is transformed into a work of art.

Using art as a conduit, neither artist is shy about tackling tough political and social issues.”

Ember spent more than 400 hours carving chess pieces from wood previously used in JCCC academic theater sets. Her whimsical yet thought-provoking work, “Checkmate,” is a statement piece that symbolizes four kinds of renewable energy:

  • Thermonuclear
  • Solar
  • Hydraulic
  • Wind energy

“We humans are playing games with each other and using the environment as pawns. We wield it (the environment) recklessly for our own benefit,” Ember said. “If we’re going to try to generate talk about sustainability, then how we treat the environment should be No. 1.”

The only black piece on the board represents big oil and politics. It’s shaped like a building that might be on Capitol Hill. It also has an aluminum casting of a woman warrior made from scraps from her classmates’ metal projects. This piece can be viewed inside the south entrance of the Office and Classroom Building (OCB).

read about jccc artists in this feature:

“Without my experience at JCCC, I wouldn’t be ready to move forward. I wouldn’t have as many tools or been given nearly the same opportunities,” she said.



E Street Gallery 1115 E Street