"Maximus" came to Betty one night in a dream. He was the artists first large scale welded piece and was completed in the fall of 2012 after nearly eight months of work. Not unlike a typical horse which symbolizes strength, courage and proud character, he quietly stands watch over the family farm, awaiting her return.
Constructed entirely from metal objects which were saved in the Ballew family barn, at the heart of the piece is Ballew's childhood bicycle. It is akin to the soul of the piece and represents her childhood innocence. Attached to the frame are other elements to include baking sheets and burner bibs from her Mom, saw blades, rakes, post diggers, and water heater parts from her Dad, a rusted metal sign post from her Great Grandfather's country store. Other items consist of her Grandfathers hubcaps, farm license plate, and WWII era barb wire. The body was composed of the bed-springs from her Great Grandmothers house which she once slept on as a child.
"There are many more items on Maximus, and each one has its own story to tell. A collection of memories from the past as well as lessons learned. United together, they take on the form of the strong, proud, courageous horse...which is how I see my family today." - Betty Ballew