For students, faculty and visitors alike, their Tuesday afternoon stroll up Pattee Mall featured something out of the norm.
It came in the form of a sexually explicit sculpture placed outside the Willard Building’s entrance, facing the Mall.
The figure, which looked to be a cardboard cut out, showed a man and woman engaging in a sexual act. The figure was completely silhouetted and did not show any features.
The sculpture was placed in front of where Gary Cattell — better known as the Willard Preacher on campus — normally preaches to passing students.
A group of students in ART 111 (Ideas as Objects) installed it and other structures around campus Tuesday as part of a class project. The student who created the sculpture requested to remain anonymous and said she made arrangements with her professor to install the project anonymously. The image was intended to provide a contrast to Cattell’s usual comments regarding sex, the student said.
Cattell said the structure appeared sometime between 2:30 and 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, a period of time where he was inside the Willard Building. The figure was gone by 5 p.m., he said.
“Obviously the image was perverse, and the students liked it,” Cattell said. “I don't know what that says about the students.”
Cattell said he did not know who put the figure there, but when he came out of the Willard Building to resume preaching, there was a group of people waiting to see his reaction.
Lisa Powers, university spokeswoman, confirmed the university was aware of the figure, citing that it was near Old Main where her office is located and that officials saw pictures on Twitter.
The university did not remove the figure, and Powers said she believes someone in the crowd removed it shortly after it was placed.
Some students, like Mike Markunas, found the statue to be amusing.
“I thought it was hilarious,” Markunas said. “People are annoyed by the Willard preacher... Students are going to do what they’re going to do.”
Matt Onorato, another student who saw the statue, said it “made his day.”
“It gave me a nice chuckle,” Onorato said.