Brian and I had been talking about doing a walking tour of Wichita State University’s outdoor sculptures for a while now. However, various things like weather, family events, and other commitments kept preventing us from going through with our plans. Well, we finally got around to doing it yesterday. Other than being a tad windy, it was the perfect day for walking around campus.
I’m filing this as a cheap date idea because it was a lot of fun and it doesn’t cost anything other than time. Set aside at least two to three hours of your day if you want to see all of the sculptures.
We took so many pictures yesterday afternoon that I can’t possibly highlight them all here. I will share with you guys some of my favorites, though. For instance, this horse sculpture by artist John Kearney is one that I used to walk by all the time because it’s outside Hubbard Hall and right by my favorite parking lot.
We also have a horse sculpture by the same artist outside my work building downtown (the Bank of America on Douglas and Broadway).
I was actually short enough to fit under this one.
The funny thing is that we got asked for directions twice during our walking tour and we really had to rack our brains. Neither of us have really been on campus in several years (five for me). Well, I attend Leadership Elite through CMD but I really don’t go anywhere beyond the Woodman Alumni Center.
Brian and I concluded that we must look like a couple of college students or something. We told our friend April this yesterday and she was like, “Perhaps they thought you were college professors.” And here, we were patting ourselves on the back for looking young enough to be mistaken for college kids. Gee, thanks, April.
There were several sculptures that I recognized from my days at the university but there were others, like this one, that I hadn’t seen before. I believe that the Tom Otterness Millipede sculpture was installed shortly after I graduated with my MBA. I really hadn’t been deep in the campus grounds since.
Have any of you guys ever noticed this detail on the Millipede?
Brian and I thought it was cute. Naturally, we had to take a closer photo.
I used to walk by these two Fernando Botero sculptures all the time when I was in college. It always amused me because the longer I was in school, the more I resembled these two figures. Seriously. They say you gain ten pounds each year in college. That was pretty much true for me. By the time I got done with grad school, I looked a lot like the woman in the sculpture. LOL.
I also used to walk by Francisco Zuniga’s Tres Mujeres Camindando (Three Women Walking) sculpture all the time because the ladies are located right by Clinton Hall which is where almost all of my business classes were held.
Here’s Brian taking a picture of Accord Final by Arman Ferndandez. This is one of the many sculptures that I’d never seen before until now because I never had reason to go to that part of the campus.
You’d think that after attending WSU on and off for over ten years I’d have seen everything. Nope. The campus is 330 acres. I really only got to see the areas where I had my classes, which was pretty much concentrated in the Jabara Hall, Clinton Hall, and Ablah Library triangle. I didn’t get to see much of the campus at all.
And back then I honestly had no interest and seeing the campus. I just wanted to get from my car, which always seemed to be parked ten miles from my first class of the day, to class without being late. My back was often sore from my 40-pound backpack filled with overpriced textbooks and my feet ached. I had absolutely no desire to walk around campus. I just wanted to get from my car to the classroom in the shortest amount of time possible. Even on when I had no classes, I had no desire to do it. Even if it would have occurred to me then (which I suspect it probably did because I know I’ve been wanting to do this walk for a long, long time), I had no time. I was working full time and attending classes full time. My free time was spent doing homework. LOL.
I was really grateful that we had the opportunity to go on our walk yesterday. When I proposed the idea to Brian, I told him that we were going on a sculpture scavenger hunt. We printed a map of the outdoor sculpture collection from the WSU web site and we set off on our mission. Brian wanted to drive to various parts, but I insisted that we walk the entire time. We were blessed with a beautiful day and I wanted us to enjoy it.
We had participated in a couple of photo walks before with some local photographers so naturally Brian observed that we were really doing a photo walk consisting of just the two of us. I said, “True. But this is a date! I’m taking you on a sculpture scavenger hunt date. Isn’t it fun?” I may be biased because it was my idea, but I do think that Brian enjoyed our afternoon date.
For those who are averse to walking around for hours, you can always check out the sculptures online. I don’t think it’s quite as fun as my sculpture scavenger hunt idea but it’s a suitable alternative for rainy days or if you are physically incapable of walking for extended periods. If none of those are true, then don’t be lazy. Get up off your butt and go see these works of art in person. Your body (walking burns calories, just sayin’) and your spirit will thank you.