News Releases

3/30/2015 - Festival 2015 Print Features Kansas Artist

Kaye Quinn or grace Peterson
Arts and Humanities


Festival 2015 Print Features Kansas Artist

Northeast Kansas artist Justin Marable has been selected to create the 2015 Smoky Hill River Festival Print.
A beloved River Festival tradition, this year’s Festival Print is entitled “Prairie Mystique,” and features Kansas bison and birds underneath a starry twilight sky. The image was inspired by Marable’s love of Midwest geography and history, reflecting a reverence for ancient prairie life.
Since completing his BFA at the University of Kansas, where Marable studied print making, drawing and photography, he has worked as an artist and at-home father. A native of Robinson (near Hiawatha), Marable lives in Topeka with his wife Bailey and daughters Kassy, Willow and Olive. His hobbies include songwriting and playing the guitar.
“I was born and raised in the Midwest, a place where I’ve continuously deepened my roots and reflected on rural memories,” says Marable. “Social and environmental issues drive much of my work, as well as influences from family, nature and everyday life. My hope is to provide original art that flows from the roots of urban and rural Kansas to the surrounding local and global community.”
The 2015 Festival Print, an original, hand-pulled serigraph or screen print, was created using photographs of prairie birds and buffalo printed onto clear film, to result in a large positive of a single image. It is placed inside an exposure unit to transfer it onto an emulsion-coated silkscreen. Hand-cut paper stencils are then created and placed on top of the photographic image.
Marable uses brushes and spatulas to paint and dab vivid colors onto the screen prior to producing each print. A squeegee pushes the ink through the open areas of the stenciled screen, and a power-washer is used between each run to clean the screen. The final step of the process is printing the photographic image over the stenciled night sky.  Once complete, each monoprint in the limited-edition series of 250 is hand-signed.
“Justin was chosen to create this year’s Festival Print because of his unique process and admiration for the Kansas landscape,” says Visuals Arts Coordinator Grace Peterson. “Justin’s print combines several of the Festival’s greatest features--music, community and a true sense of place, that will resonate with many River Festival fans and supporters.” In addition to being the 2015 Festival Print artist, Marable will exhibit at the Fine Art Show. To learn more about his work, visit
Any family, individual or business that makes a $100 donation to the River Festival will receive the 2015 Festival Print, suitable for framing, to enjoy at home or office. The Festival Print’s “Prairie Mystique” image also will be featured on the 2015 T-shirt, available May 1 at the SA&H offices at 211 W. Iron Avenue or online at  For more details, call 785-309-5770 or click to 
One of the Midwest’s most celebrated arts events, the Smoky Hill River Festival runs Thursday through Sunday, June 11-14, 2015 in Oakdale Park. It is the flagship cultural event of Salina Arts & Humanities. For information about River Festival admission buttons, gift certificates, T-shirts or various Festival events, please visit

For needed accommodations, please call Kathy Burlew at Salina Arts & Humanities at 785-309-5770 between 8:00 a.m. - Noon and 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  Every effort will be made to accommodate known disabilities.  For material or speech access, please call at least five working days prior to the event.

Salina Arts & Humanities, a department of the City of Salina, has served a unique role in arts advocacy and support since 1966.  The Smoky Hill River Festival, Horizons Grants Program, Smoky Hill Museum, Arts Infusion Program in schools, Community Art & Design, Cultural Connections, and Art a la Carte concert series are among the programs of Salina Arts & Humanities, located at 211 W. Iron Avenue in Salina.