International soccer ball sculpture coming to Buss Field


WORTHINGTON – Like a series of one-touch passes, the city’s last public artwork was an exercise in teamwork and precision.

A new soccer ball sculpture, decorated with the flags of a wide variety of countries, will be placed at Buss Field later this year.

Led by the Worthington Public Arts Commission (WPAC), the creative project began with a simple tank of recycled LPG, given to the commission by Keith Maxwell of Cenex.

The Houselogs, who usually make their own custom fireplaces from gas tanks, agreed to have a go at making a hollow soccer ball sculpture this time around.

It was a success. Following the lead of WPAC President Gail Holinka, Houselog used a plasma cutter to cut out the ball’s signature hexagons and pentagons, as well as a cutout depiction of two children playing with a soccer ball.

After a Kevin Schreier boot, the balloon still needed painting, so Holinka and teammate Bobbie Alsgaard-Lien loaded the sculpture into the Artmobile and took it to a Buss Field event on July 22. Locals began to paint the flags of various countries. on the sections of the balloon, and it was soon furnished with flags of countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

“We are really happy with how it turned out,” said Holinka. “And people came to the event and took selfies all day… they just loved it.”

Later, Hugo and Alva Monterroso worked all night to put the finishing touches on the sculpture.
“We did it in a week, so it’s pretty amazing how the community came together to make this happen,” said Holinka.

Once the public works department has time, they will place the sculpture at Buss Field near the parking lot. The sculpture was painted with oil paints, so Holinka expects it to last quite a long time.

“It’s a beautiful piece which we think really suits this space,” Holinka said.