Barton School Adds “Entrepreneur” Sculpture from WSU Alumnus to Woolsey Hall


Woolsey Hall, the new building for the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University, is now home to the Chris Brunner sculpture titled, “The Entrepreneur.” Standing eight feet tall and three feet wide, this powerful piece serves as a sentinel and guardian at the entrance to the Frank A. Boettger Auditorium. Made of limestone and steel, “The Entrepreneur” is a modern, imposing, and approachable work of art.

The blocks of limestone at the base of the piece represent the foundation of business. The steel framework stands for the challenges, and upward climb encountered by the entrepreneur. The hand-carved limestone figure stands tall, shifts, redirects and triumphs to success through experimentation and innovation.   

“This sculpture is a conceptual representation of the journey our Barton students take – learning, growing and strengthening themselves over their time here,” said Dr. Larisa Genin, Dean of the Barton School. “We’re grateful to have Chris’ sculpture prominently displayed and we hope it serves as a reminder and inspiration to all who experience it.”

Brunner graduated with a Master’s of Fine Arts in sculpture from WSU and has been an active artist for more than 45 years with numerous public projects and private commissions. Some of his more prominent work, serving as art consultant and artist, include Wichita’s River Corridor Keeper of the Plains revitalization project, Veteran’s Memorial Wall, the U.S.S. Wichita Memorial, Drury Plaza shade structures, Hutton Construction headquarters, and CityArts Façade. Brunner’s work is represented in many private collections in Wichita and across the United States. “The Entrepreneur” is his first sculpture on WSU’s campus.

“I was honored to receive a commission to build a piece specifically created for Woolsey Hall,” said Brunner. “This original sculpture was inspired by the work and success of the Barton School. I hope when people experience this sculpture, they know any aspiration is possible.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony to honor Brunner and “The Entrepreneur” will be held at Woolsey Hall on May 10th at 5:00 p.m. A reception will follow featuring remarks from Brunner as well as appetizers and beverages. The event is open to the public.

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