“Shockers” sculpture dedication

Adam Beren: We are all very lucky to have Wichita’s
own, world-renowned artist in residence with us today, Tom Otterness. Otterness: I had
the basic idea of the hay sculptures. It kind of morphed back-and-forth, just kind
of like continents shifting and figures moving, but we settled on this and I’m
really happy with it. I think of it as a pair of giant workers
looking over the field, taking a break in the sunshine. Beren: Tom we were all so
impressed by what you have created here, but you also make us proud when we see
the other many wonderful pieces on campus and around the world that are
part of your genius. We definitely see your Wichita roots shine through in this
sculpture and can feel the pride in Wichita that you obviously had in
creating this piece for this time and on this occasion. Elizabeth King: I had the privilege
of knowing Joan Beren since my arrival on campus in 1991 and she chaired the
outdoor sculpture collection and in doing so she recognized that there is
something special to have one of the top outdoor sculpture collection affiliated
with any university in the country, but to not preserve that collection would be
a travesty. And so she gave her seminal gift to this university to start an
endowment and the earnings are used take care of these sculptures. Every year
they undergo preservation because of Jones’ vision. Otterness: I do feel deeply flattered
to be in this collection with, you know, sculptors that I idolize. It’s just
amazing and to be supported by Wichita State this way. I can’t tell you how
happy and proud I am standing here and it’s really true.

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