Galleries alfresco

101 artists, food and fun at 6th Autumn & Art Festival

Written by Joe Stumpe

A year after first showing her ceramics at Autumn and Art at Bradley Fair, Elisabeth Owens can't wait to return.

"It was really well received," the Wichita artist said. "I got a lot of new clients, and a lot have continued to purchase from me."

Owens is one of 101 artists from around the region and country who will display their works at the festival, held Sept. 18-20 along Bradley Fair Parkway.

Now in its sixth year, the event has continued to grow and evolve, drawing 18,000 people last year. Artists from 23 states are participating. In addition to ceramics, paintings, drawings, glass, jewelry, photography, sculpture and two and three dimensional media works will be shown and available for purchase. Several winners of last year's juried competition are back, including painter Aletha Jones of Madison, Wisconsin, and glass artist Scott Hartley of Benton.

The festival's schedule holds plenty for families and lovers of culinary and performance arts, too. Musicians and dancers will perform throughout Saturday and Sunday, with food available from Outback Steakhouse, Il Vicino and Jason's Deli.

Artie's Studio lets kids make free art projects they can take with them, while Artie's Clubhouse is a gallery with low-priced works for kids only. There will be paddle boats for rent on the Bradley Fair lake and free art-themed games based on classic paintings along the parkway.

New to the festival this year are:
A wine and art tasting by Jacob Liquor Exchange and Pinot's Pallete at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Whisky sampling and a cigar bar at 2 p.m. Sunday
"Celestial Caravan," a Linnebur & Miller photo booth.

Wichita Festivals, which organizes the event, is putting a big emphasis on selling $100 patron passes this year. Along with corporate sponsors, patrons help keep the rest of the festival free for the public.

The passes get patrons into Friday's opening night party, where they can enjoy food and drink from Newport Grill, Redrock Canyon Grill and YaYa's, live entertainment by Latin jazz group A Terra Plana, a silent auction and wine pull. They also get a signed print of the festival's featured artwork, courtesy of Grant Thornton LLP, and reserved parking and complimentary beverages throughout the weekend.

Owens called the festival well-organized, well-attended and "very quality driven." She specializes in decorative vases inspired by nature, incorporating handcrafted flowers and insects. The only part of the festival she doesn't look forward to is lugging 150 fragile pieces of ceramic art to the site.

"I watch the 2D artists, and I'm kind of jealous," she said. "It is what is is, and we get it done.'

Location information

Autumn & Art 2015
Hours: 6-9 p.m. Friday
10 a.m. 7 p.m. Saturday
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Location: Bradley Fair

Admission: Free for regular festival activities; patron passes are $100.

For more info or to purchase a patron pass, visit or go to and search for Autumn & Art.

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