A BEACON OF LIGHT IN SOUTH OMAHA Drive by the Metropolitan Community College Express location at 24th and Vinton streets in South Omaha at night, and you will notice the glow of the lampshades that light the front window. “Illumination” is a sculpture installation designed by MCC instructor, Jamie Burmeister and his winter New Media Design Class, installed in February 2016. The project was funded through the Metropolitan Community College Foundation Inspiring Innovation Mini-Grant program. To complete the project, students spent time in MCC Express to get a feel for the location. They utilized social media to secure donations of lampshades and acquired other lampshades in local secondhand stores. The students applied knowledge acquired in previous foundation arts classes to create the lampshade columns. In addition, they assisted in assembling the lampshade columns and related electronics to ensure a visually appealing and strong composition. The computer-controlled LED lights illuminate the sculpture from within, using lights that change color and intensity. “We intended to connect student work and community engagement by creating public art that inspires and enlivens the surrounding community and student-learning environment,” said Burmeister. “Light symbolizes knowledge, illumination and optimism. The piece reflects the diversity of our faculty, staff and students. These are qualities that make MCC standout as a beacon in our community.” The art installation serves as a welcome to the students at this location, which primarily serves noncredit students by providing individualized tutoring, English as a Second Language courses and assistance with obtaining a General Education diploma. Completion coaches assist students in their transition from ESL to GED and from GED to credit courses and onto a career pathway. Serving more than 3,000 individuals annually, MCC Express helps to light the way for everyone who walks through the door seeking educational support.