Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press
Jonathan Whitaker

New ‘Beginnings’ In Downtown Merced

Merced artist Monika Modest this week completed the installation of a new 10-foot mosaic square on the sidewalk next to the Merced Theatre along MLK Way.

The square — recognizing UC Merced and the university’s contributions to the community — joins with others on the sidewalk as part of the venue’s fundraising and beautification efforts.

The new mosaic features an image of the “Beginnings” sculpture that’s located at the center of the UCM campus. Also an image of the Leo & Dottie Kolligian Library can be seen in the background.

Tile setter Ed Contreras helped with the installation of the artwork.

“Beginnings” was inspired by former Acting UC Chancellor Rod Park in 2006, and conceived by noted American sculptor Aris Demetrios. It consist of two gently curving, vertical arms, each about 40 feet high, rising from a large circular base.

The enfolding arms are a metaphor for the embrace of a caring university that values its students and its community and the germination of a seed representing the growth and ever-increasing potential of UC Merced.

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