Wichita flag art piece pops up in Gerber

By Adrienne Esposito, Staff Writer

Newman’s newest addition to its art collection has found its home on the first floor of the Bishop Gerber Science Center.

“Mechanical Flag,” created by Luis Perez-Aguayo, was constructed from wood, paint and steel as a tribute to the Wichita city flag.

According to The Pratt Tribune, Pratt native and avid Newman University supporter Dale Withers originally purchased the sculpture after being mesmerized by the piece at the Wichita Home Show in February of this year.

Shortly thereafter, he donated the sculpture to The Vernon Filley Art Museum in his hometown so that it would be properly cared for and placed on display for others to see.

Newman’s Vice President of University Advancement J.V. Johnston recently visited Pratt and took time to visit The Vernon Filley museum. Johnston said that while he was there, the co-director of the museum, Brittany Novotny, explained that the piece didn’t fit the theme of the museum.

Knowing Withers is an avid Newman supporter, Johnston said, Novotny offered the piece to the university on a loan in hopes that it would have a better home.

The piece now rests facing the Bishop Gerber memorial wall in the science center, quietly turning its gears and capturing the attention of all who walk by it.  

Novotny said in an email that the sculpture is on a long-term loan to the university, with the timeline being undecided.

PHOTO: THE ICT FLAG PIECE popped into its home on the first floor of Gerber early last week. Tyler Pollard, Staff Photographer