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Meet the 2018 Riverfest Resident Artist: JooYoung Choi

Every year the Wichita Riverfest invites an artist to take up residency during the festival. This year the Artist-In-Residence is JooYoung Choi whose multi-disciplinary art documents the interconnecting narratives of a high-structured, expansive fictional land called the Cosmic Womb. Her work has been exhibited in museums and institutions across the United States, and has been featured by numerous regional and international media groups and publications.

Her piece “Perennial Favorites, Big Time Believer and the Garden of Courage and Love” will be on display during the 2018 Wichita Riverfest.

“I often take issues and concerns I see rising up in my everyday life and translate them into stories that play out within my imaginary world,” said JooYoung Choi. “This world has become home to every snow person we thought melted away, every imaginary friend we grew out of – here, they are all welcomed,” she says.

The “reality” of the extinct dinosaur Brontosaurus has passed through various phases since the first Brontosaurus skeleton was discovered in the late 1800s, Choi said. “Its full acceptance as its own prehistoric species has been as recent as 2015.” With this in mind, Choi plans a series of immersive art opportunities for Riverfest 2018 around two invented characters: a Brontosaurus named Perennial Favorites and her adopted brother, Big Time Believer. Together they serve as catalysts for a series of projects Choi envisions.  

During the week of Riverfest, artist JooYoung Choi welcomes you to help reunite two imaginary brontosaurus siblings through art. Throughout the week, festival goers can contribute to the installation by visiting the tents east of the river, south of the Douglas Street Bridge. There will be two tents, one for creation and one for the installation. Participants can create “Whom-blooms and awesome blossoms”– flowers designed to look like or remember loved ones. These flowers will become part of the instillation as it travels across the country.

The Riverfest 2018 Artist-in-Residence program is sponsored by Harvester Arts.

“We, as an organization, provide a big sandbox for artists to play in and they design what they want to do,” said Kristen Beal, Program Director for Harvester Arts. “For Riverfest, it’s also important that we give them that freedom. The festival is an immense project and this is not a traditional way to show your work, so we try to explore that and let them engage with that however they want to.”

Riverfest Artist-In-Residence Tent

River Festival attendees can view the installation and add their own contributions by creating “Awesome Blossoms”. This event will be held on June 2nd-9th from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The tents will be located east of river, just south of the Douglas Street Bridge.

About Harvester Arts

About Harvester Arts

Launched in early 2014 with the mission of "providing a thoughtful platform for visual arts experimentation that engages the community through critical dialog and the creation of new work." Through our exhibition programming, discussion forums, and online presence Harvester aims to reinforce Wichita as an art destination on the national level and thereby enrich our local arts culture. As an independent space, they have the freedom and flexibility to respond to current trends and react to timely events.

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