WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State University officials are looking for answers after 11 sculptures on campus were discovered vandalized Thursday night and Friday morning. Duct tape was placed over the mouths of women depicted in the sculptures.
“The Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection is a university and community treasure that brings quality, pride and character to the campus,” said WSU President John Bardo. “Defacing great works of art is an attack on freedom of speech, artistic expression and the very nature of the university. A university is an environment that must welcome many voices and the discussion of differences, and it also must respect the creativity that is the essence of humanity.”
It is unclear who is behind the vandalism, but Natasha Stephens, the university’s Title IX coordinator, said there are other ways to express your voice that are more constructive rather than vandalizing art.
“Our goal is to foster a campus community that is fair and equitable to all in Shocker Nation,” said Stephens. “We strive to provide opportunities for individuals to articulate their concerns and to support and empower one another.”
The sculptures could have suffered further damage if discovered too late. Bob Workman, director of the Ulrich Museum, said the extent of the damage won’t be fully evaluated until later next month.
The vandalism comes just days after another sculpture was covered with taped posters.
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is asked to contact Wichita State University Police at 316-978-3450.