Autumn & Art

Outdoor show's second year provides art, food, entertainment

Story by Kristin Baker

Combine cooler weather with a variety of artwork for sale, throw in a beautiful setting, musical entertainment and cuisine from some of the city's best restaurants and you get Autumn & Art.

The second annual Autumn & Art event, sponsored by Fidelity Bank, will be held September 16-18 at the Bradley Fair Parkway. The event kicks off with a preview party Friday evening and artists will display their work all weekend.

Autumn & Art had its inaugural year in 2010 after Wichita Festivals, Inc. decided they wanted to do an event each year in addition to Riverfest. "We felt like we had the skill here and we knew we had enough time," said Janet Wright, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals. "We decided we could do another event."

Wright said the organization had considered an art festival a number of years ago and two or three years ago it got serious.

"It was something that was not taking place in our community and it was a gap we knew we could fill," Wright said.

Five local art jurors selected more than 90 artists from around the country out of about 140 applicants for this year's event. Jurors included Howard Ellington of Wichita Center for the Arts, Ted Adler of Wichita State University School of Art & Design, Newton artist Phil Epp, Reuben Saunders of Artworks and local art collector and supporter Kelly Callen. Category winners will be announced the weekend of the event.

Autumn & Art Preview Party

Sept. 16 from 6-10 p.m.
Food by YaYa's Eurobistro
and Newport Grill
Call (316)267-2817

Autumn & Art

Bradley Fair Parkway
10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sept. 17
10 a.m. -5 p.m., Sept. 18

"We want it to be a high-quality event and we want people to be able to see some things they might not ordinarily see here," Wright said.

The festival will take place along Bradley Fair Parkway, east of the Bradley Fair Shopping Center at 21st Street and Rock Road.

This year's featured artist is J.D. Hillberry of Denver, Colo. His work will be displayed at the event and can be seen on the event's promotional materials or on the website at

"J.D. does such unique work it's so dramatic that we felt like his work was something that would serve our show well," Wright said.

Friday evening's preview party will take place from 6-10 p.m. and guests will have the first opportunity to view and purchase the show's artwork. Food for the event will be provided by YiaYia's Eurobistro and Newport Grill and tickets cost $100. Jazz saxophonist Joseph Vincelli will provide the evening's musical entertainment.

On Saturday and Sunday a variety of musical acts will play and patrons can listen as they look at art or take a break in the shade. A food area will be set up at the intersection of Bradley Fair and Wilson Estates Parkways and Bradley Fair restaurants will have selected food items for sale. Eating areas will be provided. Children can participate in hands-on activities at the Family Art Pavilion, supported by the Wichita Center for the Arts.

Wright said the Bradley Fair setting is extremely important to the event's success.

"Laham Development has been very helpful working with us on this project and we couldn't do it without them," Wright said.

George Laham, developer of Bradley Fair, said the festival is ideal for the shopping center.

"Autumn & Art fits well with the music and community events we now host at Bradley Fair," Laham said. "We are pleased to be a part of this great event."

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