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Recognizing the vital impact of artists who serve communities as thinkers, leaders,

and agents for positive change, the SAC relies upon collaborative interaction

with these gifted partners to achieve its mission. The Artist Initiative is the SAC’s

comprehensive plan for effectively nurturing artists as they in turn nurture vibrant,

thinking communities wherever they live or work.

The three primary components of the Initiative—Artist Exchange, Artist-in-Residence,

and Artist at Work—are designed to provide opportunities for artists to create

substantive new work while interacting and exchanging ideas with diverse

individuals in varied settings. By inviting questions and conversations that explore

contemporary issues from local, regional, national, and international perspectives,

the SAC encourages evolving expressions of the Salina region, its progressive

growth, and its coactive relationship with the global community.


With renovations to the Warehouse complete, Brooklyn painter Max-Carlos Martinez lived and worked in the space during August and September 2008. His residency was accompanied by an exhibition in the Art Center gallery space and outreach activities at the Lincoln Art Center and Kansas Wesleyan University. From mid-February to mid-April, interdisciplinary artist Jeff Schmuki of Lafayette, IN, created new work that engaged community audiences in conversations about global sustainability. His outreach activities included an extensive workshop for Salina high school students, two days with art students at Wichita State University, and a panel discussion related to the SAC’s spring exhibition. In May, Jason Peters, also of Brooklyn, began a three-month residency during which he created work for an SAC exhibition and the Smoky Hill River Festival.


The Artist at Work program is designed to provide local and regional artists access to artists-in-residence and to visiting exhibition artists for the purpose of exploring professional development strategies and opportunities. Lectures/discussions were provided by all three of this year’s residency artists, as well as by exhibition artists Robert Bubp of Wichita and Carrie Scanga of Philadelphia, who will be in residence here in summer 2010. In addition to these formal activities, the pur- pose of Artist at Work was accomplished through open studio hours at the Warehouse, when local and regional artists visited with artists-in-residence, allowing more focused conversations about individual creative journeys and practical experiences that contribute to professional growth.

ARTIST EXCHANGE November 2008 through September 2009

The Artist Exchange is a mentoring process that enables local and regional artists to teach and learn together while engaged in challenging, innovative work throughout the year. Three regional artists are invited to serve as mentors to three mentorees selected through an application process which seeks artists who are embarking on new work, taking their work in new directions, or striving to advance the level of their work, with mentors serving on the selection committee.

These artists communicate and meet regularly as they develop work for a culmi- nating exhibition at the Art Center. Participants document their methods and in- sights in personal journals as they share ideas, discuss concepts and techniques, and refine their artistic philosophies. In addition to meeting as mentor-mentoree pairs, the full group comes together three times during the year to participate in retreats with Art Center staff members. During these sessions, artists engage in wide-ranging discussions about the creative processes and progression of ideas that serve as motivating forces in their artmaking. In April 2009, this year’s group was joined by past participants for an in-depth conversation about questions cur- rently influencing their thought processes.

The 2008-09 Exchange matched Sandy Wedel (Salina) with Amy Payne (Salina), Marc Berghaus (Meade) with Brady Hatter (Wichita), and Barbara Waterman- Peters (Topeka) with Andrea Fuhrman (Abilene). The opening reception for their culminating exhibition (September 3 - October 4, 2009) provided the public an opportunity to hear the artists speak about the work they created this year as well as the depth and impact of their mentoring experiences.

Artist-in-Residence: Jason Peters

Artist Exchange reunion

Photo courtesy of Salina Journal, Tom Dorsey

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