Millie turns 5 years old

Staff Reporter

By walking around on campus, one would be hard-pressed to go their college career without stopping to admire the many sculptures on campus.

One of the biggest sculptures, and the hardest to miss, on campus greeting students going to Henrion, Wilner and McKnight daily had its fifth birthday on Oct. 29th.

Tom Otterness, a Wichita native, dedicated his piece, “Millipede” to Wichita State Fall of 2008 and it remains a focal point on the campus. The sculpture to most students as “Millie.”

Otterness is an internationally acclaimed sculptor considered by many as the most important working in the field of public art today.

Despite his worldwide demand, he agreed to create an original work for the outdoor sculpture collection.

The 24-foot bronze sculpture, located south of the Ulrich museum, is a symbol of unity and teamwork.

In the dedication, Otterness used the segmented body as well as the feminine and masculine footwear on the sculpture as a metaphor for together to move in the same direction.

Otterness’s work retains a whimsical and fairytale-like narrative.

The piece originated from a smaller millipede sculpture he made in 2004 for Puerto Rico’s Camuy River Cave Park and was altered in scale and composition.

The piece was placed in the center of a garden, where millipedes would normally be found, to further the imagery, along with a tree planted to mark the passing of time.

To celebrate the sculpture’s fifth year on campus, the Ulrich Museum hosted a birthday party with attendance over a hundred.

A collectable “Millie” notecard giveaway will take place from Oct. 29 to Nov. 27. To receive the notecards, students need to complete three out of the five tasks found on the Ulrich Museum’s website, webs.wichita.edu/?u=ulrichmuseum.