Hometown Artist Generates 45th-Anniversary River Competition T-Shirt

When company dates for the 45th-anniversary Smoky Hill River Competition were introduced in February, several River Pageant followers have been elated, but none so a lot as Salina blended-media artist Julie Cates, who was picked to structure the Competition T-shirt for the next yr in a row.       “I was overjoyed,” Cates reported about the Festival’s return for 2021. “It felt like the to start with glimmer of hope that life and celebration could return to Salina. I wished the 45th-anniversary T-shirt design and style to reflect that pleasure.”

Born in Kansas City and lifted in Salina, Cates’s love for producing started in Anne Nettleton’s initially-quality art course at Hageman Elementary School. “I marketed my initial drawing entitled “Sam, My Cat” for 50 cents at the counter of my parent’s rooster restaurant at the age of 6.” Right after attending K-Condition Manhattan, then the College in Illinois, Cates moved to Heat Springs, GA to serve as the director for the Roosevelt Heat Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, functioning sporting activities courses for elite wheelchair athletes.

“When 9/11 took place, I didn’t love not getting equipped to occur house, and I skipped Kansas,” Cates says. “Robin was working in retail and required much more independence, so we requested ourselves what we could do that was a lot more artistic and nearer to home. In December 2001, we came up with a five-yr prepare, and 5 months later, we experienced a creating and ended up open up.” As Cates arrived back again to her life’s calling, she suggests, “I understood I really should have listened to my mother in the very first place, and I returned to art.”

In 2002, Julie and sister Robin opened On The Pot: A Pottery Playhouse, in downtown Salina. More than the yrs, they have assumed different roles to lead and motivate other business enterprise homeowners or designers in the pottery business. In 2015, Cates introduced the Great JuJu Artwork Paper Goods Line, sold in retail places nationally for three yrs. In 2016, PYOP Studio Stuff commenced carrying their silk-screen layouts, now offered globally.

In developing the 2021 T-shirt, Cates desired to spotlight the River Festival’s vibrancy, togetherness, and fun. “The vibrant, colourful features springing out of the ‘2021’ are meant to stand for Salina and the Smoky Hill River Festival bursting with exhilaration, as our group appears to be like forward to coming with each other yet again.” Inclusion of a spray-paint can, a balloon, musical devices and other icons represent some of her favored elements of the Competition.

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


Cates’ expert marriage with the River Competition goes back again to 2009, when she initially worked as an Set up Artist. From 2014-2016, she exhibited and sold in the Four Rivers Craft Market place, now known as the West Facet of the High-quality Artwork and Craft Exhibit. Considering the fact that 2017 and again for 2021, Cates will get the job done as a Demonstration Artist, demonstrating and providing her wood mixed-media pieces.

“I just cannot consider of incredibly several factors that unite our town like the Festival,” Cates states. “I adore on the lookout all around and viewing the hundreds of volunteers who happily appear out and give of them selves, to make certain the park is thoroughly clean, the artists are taken care of, and that every person is owning a risk-free, enjoyable time. Which is what keeps the artists, makers, performers and many others coming back again.”

Time invested at the Festival guided Cates in the direction of a profession in art. “One of my earliest recollections is earning buttons in the children’s tent,” she says. “It was the to start with time my artwork had been turned into some thing finished- it felt everlasting and sort of skilled. A couple of several years back, 1 of the kiddos who purchased 1 of my Initial Treasures pieces arrived to go to my booth and gifted me with a button she had built. I need to acknowledge, I cried a bit.”

Alongside with staying a Competition artist, Cates is 1 of its largest lovers. “The Pageant delivers the arts to the heart of our metropolis. It is the time when our community results in being its very best. The park will come alive with colour, new music, laughter and reunions, stuffed with people from each individual corner of the nation with distinctive viewpoints on just about every subject matter. For four times, we arrive collectively to be taken care of to a feast of the senses. It’s a celebration of who we can be.”

Regionally, Cates’ multimedia do the job has been revealed at the Salina State Club, the Salina Local community Theatre, the 5 Star Artwork Festival in Abilene, and is bought at A Retailer Termed Stuff in the Brookside place of Kansas Metropolis, Mo.

The Smoky Hill River Pageant, now in its 45th calendar year, is the flagship event created by Salina Arts & Humanities. A division of the City of Salina, SAH has served a special job as an arts advocate and source husband or wife given that 1966. The Smoky Hill River Festival, Horizons Grants Program, Smoky Hill Museum, Arts Infusion Method in colleges, Local community Artwork & Style, and Resourceful Connections are amongst the systems of Salina Arts & Humanities, located at 211 W. Iron Avenue in Salina.


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