Wichita’s outdoor art show and sale, Autumn & Art, is returning for a third year next month at Bradley Fair.
For the first time, the art show will give art enthusiasts three days, rather than two, to browse and buy original, museum-quality pieces by 78 artists – many local – in a range of prices.
“This is just a really good opportunity to see some really beautiful pieces of art and make them part of your home,” said Janet Wright, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals Inc., which organizes the art show and Riverfest.
In previous years, the show kicked off with a Friday preview party, reserved for those who paid $100 to get a first glimpse of the artwork and a chance to buy before the sale opened publicly.
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This year, the art sale opens for everyone at 6 p.m. Sept. 14, at Bradley Fair Parkway, near 21st and Rock Road. The event ends Sept. 16. There’s no cost to browse.
Wright said the change accommodates feedback from the artists.
“We felt like one of the things we heard from the artists was that they wanted more people to see their work on the first night,” Wright said.
The Friday-night VIP event returns as an opening night patron party, featuring food, wine, a vodka bar and music on the patio of Ya Ya’s Euro Bistro, located in Bradley Fair. Tickets are $75 each.
Free activities – including food from Bradley Fair vendors, music and hands-on art activities for children – continue through the weekend.
The festival started in 2009 to fill a void in the local art community, said Brett Foltz, director of marketing for Wichita Festivals.
“We were trying to find a niche that was lacking in the area and an outdoor art show and sale was decided on,” he said.
Show organizers expect 10,000 to 15,000 people to attend the three-day event.
At a Friday afternoon news conference, Wright unveiled “Higher Calling II,” a pastel landscape reminiscent of a Kansas field. It was painted by this year’s featured artist, Austin-based Jeffrey Cannon. The art will be used on promotional materials and commemorative posters, Wright said.
Cannon, who is returning to Autumn & Art for another year, said he chose to showcase his artwork in the sale because of the “hunger for good art in Wichita.”
“I really heard from other artists just how much integrity and sincerity there was here to collect good, quality art,” he said.