Keeper of the Plans

‘Intensive’ fellowship for local creatives open for applications

Harvester Arts has opened applications for its first class of Community Fellows. The program will be an “intensive” program to give local creatives critical feedback and career incentives.
Harvester Arts has opened applications for its first class of Community Fellows. The program will be an “intensive” program to give local creatives critical feedback and career incentives. File photo

Single arts organization seeking partners in creative endeavors. Squares need not apply.

Harvester Arts is accepting applications for its new Community Fellows Program, an initiative to provide career incentives to six to eight local creatives — across all disciplines, from visual art to music to writing.

That group would help with planning Harvester Arts programming and curating Final Friday exhibitions. The fellows also will have access to the Harvester Arts workspace and will receive one-on-one critique and mentorship from local and guest artists.

Kate Van Steenhuyse, co-founder of Harvester Arts, said the program was borne out of a desire to support local artists.

“Artists need community – they need feedback, critical feedback, studio visits and critiques, space where they can make and show stuff,” she said. “We started brainstorming and said we can provide a lot of this stuff, facilitate and organize these needs.”

Harvester Arts is a nonprofit organization that brings in artists from across the nation for two-week residencies in Wichita.

As part of the residencies, Harvester invites local artists to participate as “satellite artists,” exhibiting works inspired by the resident artist weeks after the resident artists have left.

The Creative Fellows program expands on that outreach to local artists, Van Steenhuyse said.

Applications are open to anyone who is not currently a student – “we made that distinction because students already have a lot of what we’re offering; they have a community and a space,” Van Steenhuyse said.

“We see it as a chance for maybe someone who has finished their bachelor’s degree and is trying to prep for grad school or maybe someone who is … a normal working adult, trying to keep up their creative career at the same time and really misses the kind of intense critiques they got in grad school or undergrad.

“People are craving a little more intensive experience, and that’s what we’re looking to provide.”

The first class of fellows will commit to Harvester Arts through 2018. After that, the organization hopes to have a class of fellows every year.

Van Steenhuyse said hearing constructive, insightful feedback about artwork, writing and other disciplines will prove invaluable to the fellows.

“We feel like in a community this size, sometimes it’s hard to provide critical feedback because it can be misinterpreted as disloyal or a criticism,” she said. “There’s a difference between being critical and criticism. That can be a delicate thing, and if you’re an artist, you need criticality to grow. We need a platform for feedback, and this is definitely a part of that overall goal.”

Harvester hopes to provide stipends to the fellows, but as of last month, funding was not available.

The application deadline is April 24 at harvesterarts.submittable.com. There is a $10 application fee.

Fellows will be announced on Final Friday, April 28.

Matt Riedl: 316-268-6660, @RiedlMatt

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