News Releases

3/27/2014 - Festival 2014 Print Features Wichita Artist

Kay Quinn or Karla Prickett
(785) 309-5770

Festival 2014 Print Features Wichita Artist

Salina Arts & Humanities announces that a well-known artist from Wichita, KS has been selected to create the 2014 Smoky Hill River Festival Print.
A beloved River Festival tradition, this year’s Festival Print is by Stephen Perry. He has spent his life shaping and depicting rural Kansas. “My love of the natural beauty and rugged character of the back-road landscape has directed all of my artistic pursuits...there is strength and permanence in the prairie, yet it speaks in such a simple voice.”

Before becoming a full-time artist and writer, Perry’s 35-year career in landscape architecture encompassed projects at Wichita State University, the city’s Delano area, the Boundless Playground at Sedgwick County Park and the original master plan for Wichita’s Downtown Riverbank Development. Since setting up his Backroads Press studio in 2007, he has produced editions of 72 intaglio and relief prints.

Most images in Perry’s portfolio are scenes of the Flint Hills region that he knows and loves well. Over the years, he has developed a distinctive style of pen-and-ink work.  Perry’s interest in printmaking grew through the acquisition of his grandfather’s collection of Prairie Printmakers’ works.  The research he did on those prints kindled the passion Perry now has for intaglio and relief printmaking.

The 2014 Festival Print entitled “Autumn On The Smoky Hill” is a photopolymer relief print with watercolor.  Perry’s original ink drawing was scanned and reversed, then printed to acetate and etched onto a metal printing plate through exposure to ultraviolet light.  The plate is then inked and run through a printing press for each individual print.  Each print is hand-painted by the artist with watercolor, signed and numbered, and stamped with the artist’s signature “chop mark” logo on the lower right. Perry’s work is only the second Festival Print ever to be hand-colored.

“Stephen’s distinctive style and technique bring a bold graphic to the Festival Print collection,” says Festival Visual Arts Coordinator Karla Prickett. “His defining black-line work and hand coloring highlight a familiar imagery.  Patrons and viewers alike will engage and relate to this river landscape as it is central to our lives and this region.”

Perry also will exhibit at the 2014 Fine Art Show. To see his work in advance, go to to watch a step-by-step video of how he created the 2014 Festival Print. To acquire the Print, which is available to any business, family, or individual that makes a $100 gift to the River Festival, call Salina Arts & Humanities at 785-309-5770 or e-mail

One of the Midwest’s most celebrated arts events, the Smoky Hill River Festival runs Thursday through Sunday, June 12-15 at Oakdale Park in Salina. It is the flagship event of Salina Arts & Humanities. For information about River Festival admission Buttons, gift certificates, T-shirts or various Festival events, visit

For needed accommodations, please call Kathy Burlew at 785.309.5770 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 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.