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International soccer ball sculpture coming to Buss Field

Worthington residents paint a new soccer ball sculpture during a July 22 Artmobile event at Buss Field. (Special to The Globe)1 / 4
Hugo and Alva Monterroso complete the finishing touches on the Buss Field soccer ball sculpture. (Special to The Globe)2 / 4
Worthington residents paint a new soccer ball sculpture during a July 22 Artmobile event at Buss Field. (Special to The Globe)3 / 4
Worthington residents paint a new soccer ball sculpture during a July 22 Artmobile event at Buss Field. (Special to The Globe)4 / 4

WORTHINGTON — Like a series of one-touch passes, the city’s newest public work of art 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 in Buss Field later this year.

Led by the Worthington Public Arts Commission (WPAC), the creative project started with just a recycled LP gas tank, donated to the commission by Keith Maxwell of Cenex.

Les Houselog, who usually crafts his own custom fire pits out of gas tanks, agreed to try his hand with making a hollow soccer ball sculpture this time around.

It was a success. Following WPAC Chairman Gail Holinka’s lead, Houselog used a plasma cutter to make cutouts of the ball’s signature hexagons and pentagons, along with a cut-out depiction of two children playing with a soccer ball.

Following a priming from Kevin Schreier, the ball still needed paint, so Holinka and her teammate Bobbie Alsgaard-Lien loaded up the sculpture into the Artmobile and took it to a Buss Field event on July 22. Area residents began painting the flags of various countries on to the ball’s sections, and it was soon furnished with flags from countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

“We’re really pleased with how it turned out,” Holinka said. “And people came out to the event  and were taking selfies all day … they just loved it.”

Later on, Hugo and Alva Monterroso worked into the night putting the finishing touches on the sculpture.

“We did it in a week, so it’s pretty amazing how the community pulled together to make this happen,” Holinka said.

Once the Public Works department has time, it will place the sculpture in Buss Field by the parking lot. The sculpture was painted with oil paint, so Holinka expects it will last quite a while.

“It’s a nice piece that we feel is really fitting for that space,” Holinka said.

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