Tornado of Ideas, 2003-04

Tom Otterness


Texas Tech University
Student Union Building
Outside the west door leading into the SUB

The artist’s cast bronze contains characters that play a role in the narrative of this piece. At the base is a house splitting in two from the force of a tornado; books flying through the spiraling storm form the bulk of the piece. Titles on the books reflect conflicting ideologies; symbolically, these polar ideas fuel the tornado’s energy. Seated inside the divided house is a plump prairie dog eating coins. Riding high atop the piece is the artist’s rendering of the Masked Rider, kicking her feet triumphantly in the quest for truth. Otterness hopes this piece provokes discussion and discovery among viewers.