Rena Detrixhe began creating the 2021 Festival Print when she worked as a research resident at The Land Institute in 2019-2020, by using grasses, forbs, and flowers collected from the prairies near Salina. The plants were dried and pressed, then arranged and delicately traced onto archival paper by dusting them with powdered graphite, using a soft brush, to render them in soft silhouettes. To Detrixhe, the plants and silhouette images represent the prairie and were collected from land very near the Smoky Hill River, evoking all it means to the River Festival.
Detrixhe grew up south of Russell, KS, and holds a BFA in Visual Art with a minor in Art History from the University of Kansas. She currently lives and works in Kansas City.
Limited-edition commemorative Festival prints are available with a $100+ donation to the Smoky Hill River Festival. Full sponsor perks and donation opportunities can be found HERE.
In creating the 2021 T-shirt, Cates wanted to highlight the River Festival’s vibrancy, togetherness, and fun. “The bright, colorful elements springing out of the ‘2021’ are meant to represent Salina and the Smoky Hill River Festival bursting with excitement, as our community looks forward to coming together again.” Inclusion of a spray-paint can, a balloon, musical instruments and other icons represent some of her favorite aspects of the Festival.
“I was overjoyed,” Cates said about the Festival’s return for 2021. “It felt like the first glimmer of hope that life and celebration could return to Salina. I wanted the 45th-anniversary T-shirt design to reflect that excitement.”
Purchase your Festival T-Shirts here and be sure to catch Julie demonstrate her artwork during the Festival in the Art/Craft Demonstration Area.