About the Author

Todd Ramsey

2017-2018 Sculpture WalkAbout

The Arts Council is proud to announce the kickoff of the 9th Annual Sculpture WalkAbout! Inspired by past Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and local arts supported Dora Timmerman-Bayer, the Sculpture WalkAbout is a yearlong exhibition that showcases the work of the region’s premier three-dimensional arts. The Sculpture WalkAbout is overseen by the Arts Council WalkAbout committee in conjunction with the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County, and with the generous support from private sponsors.

Ed Langston
Ed Langston was born in Pampas, Texas in 1947, moving to Wichita Kansas at age 5. He attended Wichita state University and majored in graphic design and then sculpture. Bernie’s Bird was inspired by Senator Bernie Sanders, and is a very stylized, conceptual version of a bird from one angle, and a flame from the opposite angle. It’s handcrafted from stainless steel, and uses Kevlar to hold the pieces together in place of the usual technique of welding the pieces together. The individual pieces of the work are cutout from a computer-controlled waterjet cutter. Langston has two installments on display.

Ed Langston, Bernie’s Bird. Stainless Steel & Kevlar, 4’ H x 3’W x 3’D.

Sam Shoffner
Sam Shoffner has been making and welding things for people since the ‘60s. He has designed and produced tools, handicap ramps and accessories, mountings and brackets, trailers, parade floats and so much more. Shoffner says his involvement with Art Aid led him to make several pieces for other fundraising projects and things for people in need to use. Shoffner’s steel installment, “Titan II” is on display Downtown.

Sam Shoffner, Titan II. Steel Parking Light Post, 20’H x 18’W x 18”D.

Marc Durfee
Marc Durfee, Art Director at the Derby Recreation Commission, was born in California, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Ceramics from Southern Connecticut State University, and a Master’s of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Wichita State University. Durfee is a vintage luggage collector and enthusiast, who has always been interested in travel and the containment of history. He wonders about the people, places, and thing the luggage has seen and/or experienced. Durfee has three installments on display.

Marc Durfee, Bike-elisk. Welded Steel, 12’H x 3’W x 3’D.

Conrad Snider
Conrad Snider has worked toward developing an understanding of clay as a material. It’s his desire to limit the visual residue of his hand, allowing the clay to have a dominant voice. The scale of his work forces humans to look at how they relate to the world around them, and to question their sense of entitlement. When an object is the size of a human or larger, Snider says it requires the viewer to walk around it and take on the role as a temporary equal. Snider has two sculptures on display in Downtown Wichita, as well as public commissions for Wichita, Newton, Salina, Hesston, and Garnett.

Conrad Snider, Sunrise Bottle. Clay, 5’H x 3’W x 3’D.

Rollin Karg
Rollin Karg said it’s not easy to stick his head into a hot furnace and burn the hair off of his forehead, but it’s in his nature to take on challenges like this. He loves the feeling of accomplishment when he works hard on a piece, and it comes out looking right. For a truly one-of-a-kind piece, he’s created metal bases to house and enhance the glass that creates a unique and architectural feel. He has been working with glass for over 50 years, and says he’s still learning. Karg works out of Kechi, Kansas, and has received more than 40 awards for his work. Karg has four pieces on display.

Rollin Karg, Faith’s Flight. Stainless Steel & Glass, 12’9”H X 43”W x 52”D.

Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson is Wichita born and raised. He started a career
in autocollision repair in 1967, and started Auto Body Complex
in 1979, which still runs today. He found a void when things
began to level off with his business, so he turned to art and the
creation of sculpture. He believes creating and repairing are parallel with very different outcomes. Johnson has two pieces on display at the WalkAbout, but you can also catch his work around Wichita. The outdoor piece that he’s most fond of is “Mosquito Mohawk,” the giant dragonfly at Botanica’s Children’s Garden.

Greg Johnson, Chomamma. Steel, 6’H x 3’W x 3’D.

Check out more information, including a full list of sculptures and a map to navigate the Sculpture WalkAbout this Final Friday!

Arts & Economic Prosperity Report

The arts are thriving in Wichita, contributing about $94.7 million into the local economy, according to Americans for the Arts’ Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 study.

Randy Cohen, vice-president of research and policy with Americans for the Arts, presented his findings last month, and his full report is available below.

Join us at the 48th annual Art Awards on Nov. 2

Celebrate the one-of-a-kind arts and culture that make the Wichita region memorable.

Nine Wichita area individuals, cultural organizations and businesses will be recognized for their work to further the growth and development of arts in the Wichita area during the 48th annual Art Awards dinner, held by the Arts Council and sponsored by Westar Energy, Culinary Catering, and the City of Wichita. The event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 2 at Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center. A complete list of award winners is included below.

The festivities will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m.; dinner and a cash bar will follow. The awards ceremony will commence at 6:30 p.m. with performances by local musicians and artists throughout the evening.

When: November 2, 2017
Where: Century II Convention Hall, 225 W. Douglas

5:30 PM: Doors Open
6:00 PM: Dinner begins
6:30 PM: Awards program
8:30 PM: Event Concludes

Tickets are $60 per person or $750 for a reserved table of 10 (includes complimentary wine). Tickets are on sale at WichitaTIX.com or at the WichitaTIX box office in the Concert Hall entrance of Century II.


This Year’s Honorees:
Gordan W. Evans Award: Dr. Dennis & Ann Ross
Arts Organization: Northeast Area Strings Academy of Wichita (NASAW)
Arts Advocate – Individual: Colby Sandlian
Burton Pell Award: Dr. Jay Decker
Individual Artist: Rob Simon
Special Project: The Miro Project, Ulrich Museum
Arts Educator: Mary Sue Foster
Arts Advocate Group or Business: Trish Higgins
Youth Recognition: Zoe Corrigan
Chris Cherches Award: Eisenhower Airport Project, City of Wichita Airport Authority

View a list of award descriptions below.

History of the Art Awards
The Wichita/Sedgwick County Arts and Humanities Council established the Annual Arts Council Awards in 1969 to recognize and honor those businesses, foundations and individuals who have displayed consistent and exemplary support of the arts and humanities in Wichita/Sedgwick County. These awards focus attention on the importance of the arts as they relate to the quality of life in Wichita/Sedgwick County and honor those who have made major creative achievements or significant contributions to cultural growth or development.

Award Categories

  • Gordon W. Evans Award – Given to a patron demonstrating outstanding leadership and special support for the arts.
  • Arts Organization – Given to a public, not-for-profit organization that presents or provides arts opportunities to the Wichita community and region.
  • Special Project – Given to a neighborhood, business, corporation or group that has provided support for a single event or project.
  • Arts Educator – Given to an individual who has devoted a career to teaching the arts in an educational environment.
  • Arts Advocate/Individual – Given to an individual or couple dedicated to furthering the cause of an art form or the arts in general through promotional, volunteer, administrative, legislative or professional efforts.
  • Arts Advocate/Group or Business– An organization or business dedicated to furthering the cause of an art form or the arts in general through promotional, volunteer, administrative, legislative or professional efforts.
  • Individual Artist – Given to an artist actively working in such categories as Choreography, Music Composition, Film/Video, Theatre, Interdisciplinary/ Performance Art, Two-Dimensional Visual Art and/or Three-Dimensional Visual Art, who has shown outstanding achievement.
  • Youth Recognition Award – Given to a high school and/or middle school student who has shown outstanding achievement and development in the arts.
  • Burton Pell Award – A new award created in memory of Mr. Pell a long time member and past president of the Arts Council. It will be given to an outstanding individual in music.

Past Art Award Winners