Mary Moser Ernst graduated from Maryville College in 1948. In 1982 she earned a Master of Fine Arts from Washington University. She learned metalsmithing under Heikki Seppa, a Finnish metalsmith and a professor at Washington University. Mrs. Ernst also studied under John Baltrushunas, who is now Director of the Studio Art Program at Maryville University.The pair of sculptures entitled "Reeds" was created circa 2000. Mrs. Ernst wanted to combine brass and steel into a tall piece. She described the work as being in three sections. The brass at the top represents the reeds. The middle steel part creates the stem. The bottom part depicts the plant's twisted roots.Mrs. Ernst donated the sculpture to Maryville University.