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SCULPTURE RESURFACES AFTER CARRIED BY TORNADO

SCULPTURE RESURFACES AFTER CARRIED BY TORNADO

SCULPTURE RESURFACES AFTER CARRIED BY

ART SCULPTURE RESURFACES AFTER CARRIED BY TORNADO What is left of “Fast” sits in Craig Wedderspoon’s studio on the University of Alabama campus. Much of the sculpture was lost when it traveled over a mile away, swept up in the April 27 tornado. An aptly titled sculpture by a UA art professor is found after being blown away April 27 BY MEREDITH CUMMINGS PHOTOS BY SCOTT BOWMAN When University of Alabama art professor Craig Wedderspoon named his sculpture “Fast,” he could not envision how fast it would go. When the aluminum sculpture, which weighs hundreds of pounds, was not being shown around the country, Wedderspoon kept it in Steve Miller’s pecan orchard. The work was not meant to be an outside piece — there is, after all, no way to safely bolt it down — but keeping it outside at a friend’s house seemed a safe bet. Until April 27. That’s when “Fast,” so named because of the whirlwind of vortices throughout the sculpture, went about 150 miles per hour, its welded-together aluminum squares taking flight over the city. The EF-4 tornado blew the work more than a mile away, 64 crimsonmagazine.net but it — most of it, anyway — came back to Wedderspoon, head of the sculpture program at the University of Alabama. Wedderspoon’s mentor, artist Lester Van Winkle, once said the piece had velocity, and mentioned that “it looked fast.” The name stuck. “There’s lots of irony to this piece,” Wedderspoon says, looking at what is left of it in his studio on campus. He has about three-quarters of the piece, which he says is basically built like a “big whiffle ball.” The rest is still missing. Just after the tornado, Wedderspoon was worried about Miller, whose home was destroyed, and went to see if he was all right. The last thing on his mind was the sculpture. “But the first thing he said to me was that my piece was gone,” Wedderspoon said. “I was just happy for him to be alive.” Wedderspoon finds it emotional to talk about events surrounding the disappearance of “Fast.” One of his sculpting students, Morgan Sigler, died in the tornado that day, and he >>

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