Brady Hatter sees the university campus as a giant garden. And every garden, he says, is a potential gallery in need of art.
On Earth Day 2019, Hatter made his latest artistic contribution to the Wichita State canvas with the installation of his Earth Pod west of the Woodman Alumni Center.
Earth Pod is the latest in Hatter's series of Shocker Pods, 16-foot tall steel structures that are part art, part social space – a place to relax by yourself or sit and talk with friends. It's Hatter's second pod: The first, Love Lock Pod, was dedicated on Feb. 14.What's a pod? Find out here.
Each pod is hand built by Hatter, a 2009 WSU fine arts graduate, and features its own unique design. While the Love Lock Pod focused on creating a space for visitors to place locks throughout the structure, the Earth Pod will provide the perfect trellis for a combination of climbing plants and seasonal color.
Hatter designed it with leafy, layered steel curves covering the exterior of the pod, giving it the appearance of a bud preparing to bloom. And with help from WSU botanists James Beck and Dexter Mardis, Hatter planted 10 trumpet honeysuckle plants around the perimeter of the pod. As the plants climb up the structure, it will be covered with red clusters of flowers that can be enjoyed from outside the pod or inside, which features six seats and a table.
"I see the Earth Pod as being symbolic of my personal growth as an artist," he says. "There will be much more to come from my hands. The ideas are flowing faster than I can build them. Every day I wake up with inspiration to create. The garden is now my gallery."