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MINING MINDS

“Mining Minds” is an iconic piece of public art installed in 2010 to enhance The University of Texas at El Paso campus. At night, lights illuminate the steel structure, while LEDs emanate from the perforated ones and zeros at each end of the pick.

On special occasions, including historic dates, major annual milestones and to celebrate special accomplishments, the pick is illuminated in blue and orange.

Michael Clapper

Iconic Pick Marks the Spot Where Minds are Mined

 

“Mining Minds,” the creation of Denver-based artist/sculptor Michael Clapper, is a 25-foot-tall pickaxe head partly buried in a rock garden within the campus roundabout at University Avenue and Sun Bowl Drive.

By itself, the impressive carbon steel artwork with the rusted finish resonates with the University's proud past, but there's more to this sculpture. Clapper added a perforated binary code - a pattern of ones and zeroes - on the top and bottom thirds of the pick to signify the language of modern technology. The artist, who prides himself on the amount of technology he puts into his projects, loosely based the code on an inspirational quote from UTEP President Diana Natalicio's 2008 Convocation speech:

"Believe in yourself and in your dreams. Believe in UTEP and its aspirations.
Share the dream!"

quote

Special Occasions When the pick will be illuminated in blue and orange

Minerpalooza

Minerpalooza

December Graduation

December Graduation

TCM Day

TCM Day

May Graduation

May Graduation

Homecoming Week

Homecoming Week

Fall Convocation

Fall Convocation

Honors Convocation

Honors Convocation

Historic Dates

Historic Dates

  • Sept. 28: First day of the first class in 1914
  • April 16: Establishment of the State School of Mines and Metallurgy by the Texas legislature in 1913
  • March 19: 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship
Special Accomplishments

Special Accomplishments

  • Conference Championship
  • National Championship
  • Any other major national recognition approved by the President

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