In the fall of 2013, we started to brainstorm about a little side project that could be a fun way to bring new artists to town. We are humbled by the support that has allowed us to grow into what we are today.
Then, we decided to host a design competition for our logo design. The impetus was taken directly from our mission of wanting to engage the community to create new work. We wanted to give the community a chance to be directly involved with Harvester from its initial inception and to help shape this new organization. In all, we were honored by the 26 designers who contributed time and creative energy on Harvester’s behalf.
Congratulations to our winning designer, Kristyn Chapman! Kristyn’s design focused on dialog and ideas. We instantly fell in love.
Thank you to our participating designers: Amy Hopper, Artists A+B, Colton Young, Courtney Kruger (honorable mention), Ellie Newlin, Gabriela Garlow, James Farmer, Joanna Stock (honorable mention), Kristyn Chapman, Maggie Newlin, Mary Lebeda, Megan Radley, Ryan Gould, Sara Lynn Harder, Bella McCorvey, Emily Wilson, Ian Stewart, Ian Blume, Justin Miller, Kacy Crider, Karen Scroggins (honorable mention), Kayla Romey, Maisie Pryce, Rebecca Hoyer, Sue Spade, and Wade Hampton.
The name Harvester Arts was finally chosen after days and days of brainstorming and discussion, because we wanted a name that recognized our home and was applicable for this region. The name Harvester encompasses our mission conceptually: to cultivate dialogue and new work. We wanted a name that was active and implied a generative force and yet seemed accessible, comforting, and welcoming.
Harvester Arts is always seeking ways to connect creatives with new ideas in order to inspire action and enrich intellectual life. We are not a traditional gallery space, so here is a bit of background to hopefully clarify why we do what we do … and what it is that we actually do.
We bring Resident Artists from across the country to Wichita for two weeks to create an installation or performance of new work. The Resident Artists act as catalysts to provide fresh ideas and be a sounding board for dialogue. We partner the Resident with local artists, student groups, and area creatives (referred to as Satellite Artists) to engage with each other’s ideas and processes. Once the Resident Artist has completed an exhibition, the Satellite Artists continue the conversation by creating new work in response which is shown in various locations throughout the community. We host discussion sessions, artist talks, potlucks, and exhibitions to further foster this dialog.
We want to build and foster critical dialog and expand the scope of the local art scene. We have amazing local talent here in Wichita, and Harvester wants to connect that talent with guest artists from outside the community. We see the guest artists acting as a catalyst to bring fresh ideas that we can all chew over and react off of together. Harvester and the Resident artists’ projects are a hub from which all kinds of creative dialog and activity on the local level can sprout.
Yep. Often artists and what artists do seems elusive and mysterious. One goal of Harvester is to allow students, kids, adults, and all facets of the community direct access to working artists so that the artistic process and these individuals can be de-mystified a bit.
Through thoughtful dialog, art provides enrichment. Too often people just look “at” the art, but don’t immerse themselves in it or try to truly understand before drawing conclusions and passing judgement. This is largely because they do not have a point of entry. Most often the best point of entry is understanding why an artist made the decisions she or he did. When we understand the root of ideas and the process an artist goes through to see those ideas become reality, we begin to recognize our own potential and be inspired.
There are always new ideas on the horizon. Harvester Arts was designed with a certain programming structure, but we like to remain nimble so we can grow and adapt to the needs of our local community and much broader world.
The Harvester Arts Community Fellows: Creative Class 2017 is a new pilot program designed to expand our Satellite Artist programming and offer more career incentives for the local arts community. This program creates a focused community of artists working together to foster dialog, offer practical support and feedback, design exhibitions, and create new work. Find out more in Happening.
Certainly not! The longer we develop programming, the less and less we even like to use the term “artists.” We are interested in what creative makers and creative minds are up to in this community and beyond. We have and are currently working with dancers, comedians, musicians, composers, sound artists, poets, graphic designers, and more.