After months of fundraising and a summer of construction, teachers, students, parents and neighbors will celebrate the bright new version of Mt. Royal Elementary/Middle School school’s sculpture, Nut and Bolt, on Friday, Oct. 7, at 9 a.m. The school is located at 121 McMechen St.
Nut and Bolt is in the public art collection of the City of Baltimore. Created by Arthur Benson, it was commissioned by the architecture firm Ayers Saint (now Ayers Saint Gross) in 1981 and funded through Baltimore City’s “Percent for Art” Program. Benson, the long-retired chair of MICA’s sculpture department, supervised the work.
It was conceived as an aesthetic enhancement of an architectural footbridge connecting the school’s learning spaces. The footbridge required vertical footing supports for stability, so Benson clad the bridge and cleverly disguised the footings with a painted design scheme inspired by TINKERTOYS®, the toy building system invented in 1913.
The Maryland State Arts Council awarded $50,000 to the Parent Teacher Organization to start the restoration, which came in at about $75,000.