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Sculptures on the South side of Ardrey Auditorium

On the south side of Ardrey Auditorium stands a small sculpture that looks like a campfire and is called "Cold Fire." The university's 2011 Sculpture II class, taught by Brian Painter, created the piece. Painter, a nationally known kinetic sculptor and metal worker, is the head of NAU's sculpture program and often uses humor in his art.

Just to the south of "Cold Fire" is a collection of small sculptures collectively called "Twister" created by Painter's 2012 Sculpture II class. Each student crafted their own tornado-shaped piece from sheet metal, created the mounting system, and painted the work to suit their own taste.

Although rare in northern Arizona, a 2010 tornado struck west of Flagstaff in Bellemont, damaging over 100 houses and thousands of trees.