Staff Spotlight: Forging a Legacy on Campus

Since 2002, Josh Blackmon has created amazing works of art in the Facilities Maintenance Metal Shops.

Two of his most popular pieces can be found accompanying the superhero statues that keep an eye on all the comings and goings in the main lobby of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

Because the Spiderman statue was originally mounted on a laminated wood base, the hospital asked the Metal Shops to make an L bracket to mount the statue on the wall, so it would appear as though Spiderman was looking down at the kids.

Josh figured he could make something better than just an L bracket for the university’s littlest patients. He created a spiderweb base on which Spiderman could stand as he overlooks the Mott lobby. Mott administration was thrilled with the idea, and the results have captivated children ever since.

In 2015, the hospital administration approached the Metal Shops again, this time about their new Superman statue. Josh welcomed the challenge of finding a way to do something special. This time he crafted a base shaped like Superman’s crest with a metal shield and the Superman emblem mounted on the base in front of the statue.

Overwhelmed with the quality of Josh’s work, the Mott team wrote to the Metal Shops, “I just wanted to make you aware of the effort that Josh put forth and the quality of his expert craftsmanship as well as his artistic gift in creating this base for Superman. Josh went above and beyond to delight those for whom we care at Mott. This is a perfect example of how your team contributes in extraordinary ways to make our hospital stand out. Thank you on behalf of our patients, families and the Children’s and Women’s administrative team.”

While Josh’s favorite project remains the Superman base, you can find his work all across campus: skeleton hangers for the Med Sci building, 900 feet of countertop for all of the concession stands at the football stadium, a 7-foot tall stainless steel cabinet for surgical devices at the main hospital, and a butterfly threshold that doubles as a smooth entrance for wheelchairs at Mott’s main entrance.

Spiderweb base for Spiderman statue   Spiderman   Superman statute with custom base