Art Moments From 2018
With the New Year upon us, many find pause for reflection on the year that preceded. Looking back at the Wichita Art Scene, you’d see painting, dancing, sketching, singing, sculpting, performing, writing, creating at such a volume it would be impossible to have seen it all before it passed. As a brief litmus to an amazing year, I’d like to reflect on a few watershed art moments from 2018.
Monet to Matisse
The Wichita Art Museum’s Monet to Matisse: French Moderns from the Brooklyn Museum, 1850-1950
From February 24th – May 20th the Wichita Art Museum delighted guests with a tremendous offering of Impressionist masterworks. For Wichitans, this was an unprecedented display of paintings and sculptures from household names like Claude Monet & Henri Matisse, Cezanne, Renoir, Degas, Rodin, Courbet, Corot, Redon, Derain, Soutine; the list goes on and on. A major win for Wichita.
The Horizontes Project & GLeo’s largest single-artist mural in the world – in North Wichita!
2018 witnessed a potentially Guinness World Record-breaking mural (the largest single-artist mural in the world!) painted on a grain elevator in North Wichita. Spearheaded by local artist & activist Armando Minjarez and the Horizontes Project, designed and executed by South American street artist GLeo, and funded by the Knight Foundation and local Wichitans, this Herculean collaborative effort is a breathtaking international achievement.
The Tallgrass Film Festival
A jewel of the Prairie, the annual Tallgrass Film Festival had an especially strong 2018 as it gets bigger and better with each passing year. On top of showing diverse and critically-acclaimed films (like the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters) the festival brought famed actors like Jim O’Heir (Parks and Recreation), Pam Grier (Jackie Brown), and Martin Starr (Silicon Valley) to Wichita, a testament to its growing status and reach.
Even as a local artist on the pulse, there are just too many incredible shows, events, and projects to effectively sum in one article. Whether its knockout gallery exhibitions like Tim Stone’s – No Middle Ground at CityArts, magical art installations like Linnebur & Miller’s The Surreal Supper, or community collaborations with world-renowned artists like JooYoung Choi (via Harvester Arts & Wichita Festivals), a year in Wichita consistently offers innumerable, singular experiences like these.
Expansive yet intimate, vibrant and humble – the Wichita Art Scene is thriving and will only continue to grow, strengthen, and shine in 2019 and the years to come.