Emmy-Winner Wayne White is First Riverfest Artist-in-Residence

Wichita Festivals, Inc.(WFI) and Harvester Arts announced today they are partnering with Ulrich Museum of Art and Wichita State University School of Art, Design and Creative Industries (WSU SADCI) to create an artist’s residency in collaboration with Riverfest 2015 with Emmy and Billboard award-winning artist, Wayne White.

Among other events during the 10-day residency, White will work with local artists to build several large-scale puppets for Riverfest’s Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade and conduct public mask-making workshops for anyone interested in walking with him in the parade.

Best known for his set and puppet designs for “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” for which he won three Emmy awards, White also voiced characters on the show. His other television credits include production and set design for “Shining Time Station,” “Riders in the Sky,” “The Weird Al Show,” and “Beakman’s World.” White was also art director of two seminal music videos, Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” in 1986, for which he won a Billboard award for best art direction in a music video, and the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight,” for which he designed the Georges Méliès-inspired sets in 1996.

“Wayne White is a creative rock star,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc., “and thanks to great collaboration by local arts organizations and a broad range of generous supporters, everyone will get to experience his unique and engaging art, just for the price of a Riverfest button.”

“Here at the Ulrich we believe that today’s art matters, so it’s a natural extension for us to support this residency,” said Bob Workman, director of the Ulrich Museum of Art. “We really look forward to presenting some of the results of Wayne’s workshops here at the Ulrich Underground in June. We are so fortunate to live in a community with dynamic arts organizations, and Harvester and WFI are bringing important programming to enrich us all.”

Kristin Beal, co-founder and COO of Harvester Arts, has worked as a creative consultant for the Riverfest parade since 2013. Beal approached Ann Keefer, Wichita Festivals’ vice president of program development with the idea of an artist residency that coincided with the Sundown Parade.

“We aim to make the Sundown Parade – with its vast audience of more than 40,000 attendees – an annual arts destination and a showcase for the ephemeral, experimental, creative and cultured experiences our community has to offer,” said Beal.

Mimi Pond, Wayne White’s spouse, will also be in residence. A creative force in her own right, Pond will give an artist talk and do a book signing at Watermark Books.

Author of the first full-length broadcast episode of The Simpsons, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” in 1989, Pond was nominated for two Emmy awards. Her cartoons and illustrations have been published in National Lampoon, The Village Voice, The New York Times, Adweek, and others. She is the author and illustrator of five books and currently contributes to the Los Angeles Times. Pond won the PEN Center USA award for Graphic Literature Outstanding Body of Work, with a special mention for her 2014 graphic novel, Over Easy, for Canadian publisher Drawn & Quarterly.
“The School of Art, Design and Creative Industries at Wichita State University values creative partnerships with organizations and artists in our community and around the world,” said Dr. Royce W. Smith, director of WSU SADCI. “Our collaborative venture with Harvester Arts and WFI to bring Wayne White and Mimi Pond to Wichita demonstrates the excitement that can be generated in the art world when we work together—campus and community.”

Riverfest Artist’s Residency with Wayne White: Event Schedule

Thursday, May 21:    

7 p.m.: Film screening of “Beauty is Embarrassing,” a biographical documentary about Wayne White directed by Neil Berkeley and winner of Tallgrass Film Festival’s Audience Award in 2012. Presented in conjunction with Tallgrass Film Association at Wichita Center for the Arts. A Q&A with the artist will take place after the show. $15 general admission/$10 students

Sunday, May 24:        

1-3:30 p.m.:  Mask-making workshop, Harvester Arts. $35 General public/$20 Students

Monday, May 25:      

7 p.m.: Artist’s Talk with Wayne White, Abode Venue. Free, but RSVPs are recommended.

Tuesday, May 26:      

1-3:30 p.m.: Mask-making workshop conducted by Wayne White, Harvester Arts. $35 General public/$20 Students Sponsored by Lucinda’s

5-7:30 p.m.: Mask-making workshop conducted by Wayne White, Harvester Arts. $35 General public/$20 Students Sponsored by The Arts Council

Thursday, May 28:    

4:30 p.m.: Mimi Pond author/artist talk and book-signing at Watermark Books. Free, but RSVPs are recommended.

Friday, May 29:         

6:30 p.m.: Puppets debut at Safelite AutoGlass Sundown Parade at Riverfest 2015. Riverfest buttons are $5 for adults through May 7 at SelectaSeat.com; Intrust Bank Arena Box Office, 500 S. Waterman; and Wichita Festivals, 444 E. William. Adult buttons are $10 starting May 8 at area Dillons and QT stores.

Tickets for all events are available online at EventBrite.com (search Wayne White at Riverfest) or call (316) 267-2817. RSVPs are required for paid events and recommended for free events.

Sponsors for the Riverfest Artist Residency with Wayne White include Harvester Arts; Ulrich Museum of Art; Wichita State University School of Art, Design and Creative Industries; Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission; Lucinda’s; Abode Venue; Watermark Books; WaterWalk Hotel & Apartments; Tallgrass Film Association; Wichita Center for the Arts; and The Arts Council. For more information, contact Kristin Beal at harvesterarts@gmail.com.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (May 29- June 6, 2015) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 18-20, 2015).