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Ballet Wichita runners’ art to be offered for sale

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Sunday, June 15, 2014, at 8:09 a.m.
  • Updated Sunday, June 15, 2014, at 8:27 a.m.

The Ballet Wichita 5K Art Run doesn’t end at the finish line. Registered participants are invited after their race to what organizers are calling the “silk village.” The tented area, which will be west of the Century II Convention Center at A. Price Woodard Park, will feature food, drinks and music as runners have a chance to take part in a group art project.

While the past two races have incorporated a single, giant-sized group painting, this year’s post-event will be simpler in scale. Artist Julie Cox Hamm will help participants paint on swaths of silk, making unique creations that will result in numerous pieces of clothing that participants can eventually purchase.

“One of the things that I think will feel better this year is that this project will be much smaller and more manageable,” said Barbara Chamberlin, Ballet Wichita’s executive director. “The synergy of the post-race activity is going to bring us more together, and we’ll have more of a critical mass this year. With everyone at street level, it will feel more like a party.”

Participants are encouraged to line up at the tented area when their runs conclude. Hamm will then have them paint with sponges on one of the 40 separate 50-by-36-inch silk panels she has prepared. They’ll be stretched out on wooden frames and paints in yellow, magenta, turquoise and purple will be available. Images of words and pictures will come to the surface when the paint hits the resist areas they’ve been sealed into. Each panel will have different formations and will become a distinct work of art when completed.

“The images and words will relate back to what the event is all about: art, ballet and dance,” Hamm said. “Because of the dye going against the resist, you’ll see the image of the dancer or the words come up on the silk very fast. It’s just really beautiful – this revealing image just comes to life.”

Hamm said that after the event, she’ll take the panels back to her studio near Dallas for processing. Eventually, they will be made into prints and scarves available for purchase. Ballet Wichita is planning an unveiling event in July at its Delano facility. Participants and sponsors will be invited, and they will be able to purchase originals or prints of the silk panels. Look for information on the event at www.balletwichita.com.

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