February 5, 2013
Wildcat March Exhibition offers artistic take on 150th anniversary celebration
Manhattan residents will soon spot some purr-fect additions to the community, all decked out for Kansas State University's 150th anniversary celebration.
The Wildcat March Exhibition, featuring 30 fiberglass Wildcat statues, will begin Feb. 14 and continue through the fall as part of the university's sesquicentennial.
For the exhibition -- similar to the 2001 Kansas City CowParade with painted cow statues -- Kansas artists, architects, photographers and designers will paint and decorate the statues in whatever style they choose. The decorated Wildcats will then be displayed throughout Manhattan, some of them at the businesses of their sponsors. The statues are 36 inches high, 40 inches in length -- from paw to tail -- and weigh around 50 pounds.
Five of the statues will be on display at the sesquicentennial kickoff event Feb. 14, at the gala on Feb. 15 and at the men's basketball game Feb. 16. The rest of the statues will be on display at the K-State Alumni Center.
After Feb. 20, all statues will be at their sponsor home on campus and around Manhattan. Visit http://www.k-state.edu/150 for details on final locations during the celebration.
The Wildcat statues will be auctioned Sept. 13 at the Alumni Center. All the proceeds will go toward the 150th Student Scholarship Fund.
"Each and every statue will be unique and different and, at the same time, reflect a part of
Kansas State University," said Megan Umscheid, project coordinator for the president's office and coordinator of the sesquicentennial celebration. "We want to commemorate our university's anniversary, and every artist and sponsor pair has developed design themes that creatively showcase our heritage."
The university's Lynda Andrus, professor of art, has made decorating her Wildcat statue a hands-on activity for her students. Andrus' students ate various candies so they could cover her Wildcat with the candy wrappers. From a distance, Andrus said the statue will simply appear to be purple, but a closer look will reveal the mosaic of candy wrappers. The Wildcat will also be covered with a glaze so it can withstand the elements.
The public will be able to vote for the five best decorated Wildcat statues, and mini-replicas of these statues will be produced for purchase. All completed statutes will be featured in a commemorative Wildcat March Exhibition book, which will be available shortly after the celebration concludes.
For more information and updates on the university's 150th celebration and the Wildcat March Exhibition, go to http://www.k-state.edu/150.