The proposed work Shockers is influenced by the large-scale outdoor sculpture Makin’ Hay which resided at Wichita State University for two years. Similarly this new work depicts day laborers yet in this instance there are only two. Depicted in an embrace during a break in their work, the installation celebrates both camaraderie and the history of the “shockers,” the nickname given to the students who used to earn money for their studies by harvesting wheat during the early days of WSU. Shockers was commissioned by Adam Beren and sisters Amy Bressman and Julie Platt in honor of their mother, Joan S. Beren, one of WSU’s strongest fine arts supporters. Joan Beren received a Master of Arts degree from the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, at WSU in 1983 and was an ardent champion of the University and, in particular, the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection for which she established a conservation fund in 2016. Tom Otterness is widely known as one of the most popular public sculptors in North America. His works in bronze, which adorn many plazas and outdoor spaces throughout the world, are recognized for their playful, cartoon-like appearance and accessible nature although they often touch on serious topics such as issues of class, race, and gender.
3:30 p.m. Reveal and Remarks
4:00 p.m. Reception - South Lawn Duerksen Fine Arts Center