Butler Community College recently unveiled the first pieces of the “Art Without Walls” (AWW) initiative to invigorate the El Dorado campus with sculptures.


Butler Community College recently unveiled the first pieces of the “Art Without Walls” (AWW) initiative to invigorate the El Dorado campus with sculptures.

The initial phase of the project came to a close on Tuesday with a dedication of the initiative's penultimate component.

Wichita artist Ted Krone, head of Friends University Art Department, crafted the featured sculpture, a non-representational stainless steel sculpture titled “Ignition III.”

This new sculpture is the sixth – and next to last – in the outdoor installation, chosen by Butler to emphasize the outdoor learning spaces for the Fine Arts building.

At 1:30 p.m. groups gathered outside the 700 building on the El Dorado campus.

Cake and punch was served in the hall of the Fine Arts building and a four-minute video was presented to students and faculty attending.

Jackie Vietti, Bulter president, spoke to the crowd about the new addition.

“We would be remiss if we didn't recognize the efforts of those with the vision for this project,” said Vietti. “There is now a venue for learning to take place.”

Vietti went on to explain the celebration marked the closure of phase one of the project and the beginning of phase two.
Krone spoke as well.

“I feel honored to be a part in this project,” said Krone. “For me art is an important part of life and it is my language.”

Krone explained expression through art is something he needs.

“This piece is a part of a change in direction for me,” he said.

Stainless steel is a material Krone had planned to work with for a while and this recent addition to AWW allowed him to use that material.

“It was a learning experience for me,” said Krone. “It much more of a challenge and I enjoyed it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.”

The crowd moved outside for the unveiling.

Krone revealed his new piece as the crowd applauded.

AWW was made possible through private donations and in part through a grant from the Kemper Foundation.

Since 2006, Butler purchased and placed five previous pieces, “Prairie Preening” by Chris Bennett, “Contentment” by Gary Alsum, “Interlude” by Gary Coulter, “Column of Cohabitiation” by Ed Pogue and “The Reader” by Frank Jensen.

This final sculpture in phase one is a six foot bronze by Kendra Fleischman called “Truth,” was unveiled Tuesday afternoon.

Primary stages in phase two of Art Without Walls has already began with fundraising in progress.