The transformation of more than 2,500 used milk jugs into “Milky Way,” a luminescent artwork that adorned the Brazos Valley African-American Museum patio for six months, earned Jim Titus, supervisor of the Texas A&M College of Architecture woodshop, a museum honor for leading a team of students and volunteers who crafted and installed the piece.
Titus is one of 13 honorees, chosen by a museum awards committee, who made significant contributions to Bryan, College Station, the state of Texas or the nation. The honorees received awards at the museum’s 17th Annual Appreciation Banquet, 7 p.m., Feb. 23, 2018 at the Hilton College Station and Conference Center.
“Milky Way,” displayed December 2015 - June 2016, was conceived and designed by Weiling He, associate professor of architecture, who said the light-embedded piece demonstrated the aesthetic potential of discarded objects.
To install the piece, Titus led a team of student workers who cut more than 2,500 used milk jugs into 10,000 pieces with the woodshop’s bandsaw, punched the pieces with holes, then strung them together.
Titus and his team then installed anchors into the museum’s walls, secured installation roof attachments, and hoisted the piece above the museum patio.
They were aided by John Nichols, associate professor of construction science, and community volunteers organized by He, Oliver Sadberry, curator of the museum, and Cecilia Giusti, the college of architecture’s associate dean for outreach and diversity.
Titus then supervised the piece’s removal from the museum patio in June 2016.
The museum’s appreciation banquet included an address by Roy Lopez, senior regional advisor in the Texas A&M Office of Admissions, entertainment, and a silent auction.
At the woodshop, Titus oversees students who hone their design and building skills by creating objects with a wide variety of manual and power tools.