July 30, 2021


art requires creative

Hometown Artist Results in 45th-Anniversary River Pageant T-Shirt

4 min read

When agency dates for the 45th-anniversary Smoky Hill River Festival were being announced in February, a lot of River Pageant followers were being elated, but none so significantly as Salina mixed-media artist Julie Cates, who was selected to style and design the Pageant T-shirt for the next yr in a row.       “I was overjoyed,” Cates claimed about the Festival’s return for 2021. “It felt like the first glimmer of hope that everyday living and celebration could return to Salina. I desired the 45th-anniversary T-shirt layout to reflect that exhilaration.”

Born in Kansas Town and elevated in Salina, Cates’s appreciate for building started in Anne Nettleton’s 1st-quality artwork class at Hageman Elementary School. “I sold my first drawing entitled “Sam, My Cat” for 50 cents at the counter of my parent’s chicken restaurant at the age of 6.” After attending K-State Manhattan, then the College in Illinois, Cates moved to Heat Springs, GA to provide as the director for the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, managing sporting activities plans for elite wheelchair athletes.

“When 9/11 happened, I did not appreciate not being able to come house, and I missed Kansas,” Cates states. “Robin was functioning in retail and preferred extra freedom, so we requested ourselves what we could do that was extra imaginative and closer to property. In December 2001, we arrived up with a five-12 months plan, and 5 months later on, we experienced a making and have been open up.” As Cates arrived back to her life’s contacting, she states, “I understood I ought to have listened to my mom in the initially put, and I returned to art.”

In 2002, Julie and sister Robin opened On The Pot: A Pottery Playhouse, in downtown Salina. About the several years, they have assumed many roles to lead and really encourage other enterprise entrepreneurs or designers in the pottery market. In 2015, Cates launched the Fantastic JuJu Artwork Paper Goods Line, offered in retail places nationally for a few many years. In 2016, PYOP Studio Stuff commenced carrying their silk-display types, now sold globally.

In developing the 2021 T-shirt, Cates wished to spotlight the River Festival’s vibrancy, togetherness, and enjoyment. “The shiny, vibrant features springing out of the ‘2021’ are meant to stand for Salina and the Smoky Hill River Pageant bursting with exhilaration, as our community seems ahead to coming collectively once again.” Inclusion of a spray-paint can, a balloon, musical devices and other icons symbolize some of her favourite elements of the Pageant.

Cates and Salina Arts & Humanities Executive Director Brad Anderson stopped by KSAL on Monday to unveil the new design and discuss about the River Pageant.


Cates’ skilled connection with the River Festival goes back again to 2009, when she 1st labored as an Set up Artist. From 2014-2016, she exhibited and bought in the Four Rivers Craft Sector, now recognised as the West Side of the Fine Art and Craft Exhibit. Considering that 2017 and again for 2021, Cates will work as a Demonstration Artist, showing and promoting her wood combined-media pieces.

“I just cannot believe of extremely a lot of issues that unite our metropolis like the Competition,” Cates claims. “I like searching close to and looking at the hundreds of volunteers who happily arrive out and give of themselves, to make positive the park is clean, the artists are taken care of, and that absolutely everyone is possessing a safe and sound, exciting time. That is what keeps the artists, makers, performers and others coming again.”

Time used at the Festival guided Cates to a occupation in artwork. “One of my earliest memories is producing buttons in the children’s tent,” she claims. “It was the initially time my artwork experienced been turned into one thing completed- it felt everlasting and sort of skilled. A pair of a long time ago, a person of the kiddos who ordered one of my To start with Treasures parts came to check out my booth and gifted me with a button she experienced made. I must admit, I cried a bit.”

Together with currently being a Competition artist, Cates is a person of its biggest followers. “The Pageant brings the arts to the centre of our town. It is the time when our community will become its really most effective. The park arrives alive with shade, music, laughter and reunions, filled with individuals from every corner of the region with unique viewpoints on each matter. For 4 days, we come together to be addressed to a feast of the senses. It’s a celebration of who we can be.”

Regionally, Cates’ multimedia function has been shown at the Salina Nation Club, the Salina Neighborhood Theatre, the Five Star Art Pageant in Abilene, and is offered at A Keep Identified as Stuff in the Brookside spot of Kansas Metropolis, Mo.

The Smoky Hill River Pageant, now in its 45th year, is the flagship function generated by Salina Arts & Humanities. A department of the City of Salina, SAH has served a unique job as an arts advocate and resource associate considering that 1966. The Smoky Hill River Competition, Horizons Grants Program, Smoky Hill Museum, Arts Infusion Software in universities, Community Artwork & Design and style, and Inventive Connections are among the packages of Salina Arts & Humanities, situated at 211 W. Iron Avenue in Salina.


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