Paint the town scarlet, cobalt blue and burnt sienna

Written by Amy Palser

Artist Stephen Perry has made a life’s work out of capturing lovely scenes that will forever be etched into a memory — or in his case, etched onto a copper plate and printed on paper. To hear Perry describe it, the upcoming Autumn & Art event at Bradley Fair sounds like it belongs in one of his timeless prints.

“It’s a wonderful, beautiful setting, right on the pond behind Bradley Fair,” said the artist, whose work can be viewed on his website at backroadspress.com. “People just come out and stroll around the lake and enjoy being out there. And while they’re there they can look at some art and see a lot of really nice work.”

Perry, of Wichita, has been part of Bradley Fair’s Autumn & Art event since the beginning, showing his art seven of the nine years. A great show from its inception, it’s only gotten better, he said. “They’ve done an excellent job of promoting it and putting together a great show. They bring in some really fine artists.”

Autumn & Art, which last year drew 29,000 attendees, takes place Sept. 14-16 on Bradley Fair Parkway. This year’s event will feature 100 artists from 19 states, including 30 Kansas artists. Original works will be available in 14 artistic media, including jewelry, painting, glass, fiber, ceramics and photography. Organized each year by Wichita Festivals, Inc., this year’s event is presented by Fidelity Bank, with the help of many other corporate sponsors.

“Art, in its many forms, is a powerful connecting point for people,” said Clay Bastian, chairman of Fidelity Financial Corporation. “That’s what Autumn & Art is all about — bringing artists from across the nation, volunteers, attendees and partners together in shared celebration of the creative spirit that makes our community special.”

In addition to browsing and shopping for art, attendees can purchase food, soft drinks, wine and beer to enjoy as they stroll the parkway. Admission is free to the public thanks to festival sponsors and the patrons who support the event by purchasing a Patron Pass.

Art-themed fun for all ages will be available Saturday and Sunday, including a variety of free, hands-on activities at Artie’s Art Studio, coordinated by Mark Arts. Also available are paddle boat rides around Bradley Fair Lake and entertainment — including live music, dance, theater and art demonstrations — throughout the weekend.

Ceramicist Emily Chamberlain is excited to take part in her first Autumn & Art. In past years she’s helped boyfriend Joseph Rincones at his booth, but this year she will have an adjacent booth where her plant-like sculptural ceramics will be on display. As opposed to the large pieces she shows at galleries, Chamberlain, who is an art teacher at Allison Middle School in Wichita, will also have some smaller, ready-to-sell items. Her work can be seen on her website, emilychamberlainceramics.com.

“I’ll definitely have wall pieces. Those are always a really good seller for me,” said Chamberlain, who came from Buffalo, N.Y., to study ceramics at Wichita State University. “I’m excited for sure.”

Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair

Bradley Fair Parkway, just east of Bradley Fair at Rock Road and 21st Street
Admission is free to the public
Friday, Sept. 14, 6–9 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Patrons can purchase a Patron Pass for $120 by calling 316.267.2817. The pass includes an exclusive opening-night Patron Party with gourmet food from Newport Grill, Red Rock Canyon Grill and YaYa’s EuroBistro; specialty wine and spirits; a silent auction and wine pull; Patron gifts and entertainment; reserved parking and complimentary beverages throughout the weekend.

 
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