Visual Arts


Continuing to build on its tradition of excellence, this authentic community arts celebration takes pride in presenting one of the nation's most outstanding visual arts venues. The Smoky Hill River Festival includes a highly competitive, juried show that bring exceptional exhibitors from coast to coast together. The Fine Art and Craft Show is highly revered among artists, garnering multiple awards of recognition now more than 40 years. With a local culture that values and appreciates art of all kinds the shows continue to draw patrons purchasing more than half-a-million dollars annually in original, hand-made work.

In addition to this outstanding juried show, the Festival features eight selected artisans in the Art/Craft Demonstration Area and nearly twenty Art Installations nestled throughout the park. Visual art is an important part of the Festival as is the participation and engagement of Festival goers in the creative process. The exciting event offers an opportunity to connect with the arts in unique and personal ways that you can get from experiencing it.

Show Applications

Online Applications for both shows available at

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Fri - Sat - Sun, June 14-16, 2019
Show Hours: 10-7 Fri, 10-7 Sat, 10-4 Sun
VIEW Exhibitors (PDF)

Smoky Hill River Festival Fine Art and Craft Show presents artists from all over the nation. This highly competitive, juried show presents original gallery-quality fine art and contemporary and traditional craft and folk art. The show has garnered numerous national awards of recognition. Both artists and patrons can expect a show of the highest quality across every category of artwork presented. Steeped in the tradition of a "true arts celebration," the show provides an exciting opportunity to sell and purchase through a very direct, rewarding and personal experience.

On average patrons purchase over $130,000 each year in the show. Private and Business Patrons from all over the region enthusiastically anticipate this once-a-year opportunity to select and purchase beautiful, original work for their homes, offices or for gift giving. Over $11,000 in Jurors' Merit awards are given including $2,000 of art purchased for the Salina Community Collection. Media represented include ceramics, jewelry, fiber, mixed media, painting, drawing/pastels, glass, metal, wood, graphics/printmaking, digital, paper, sculpture, and photography.

Fri - Sat - Sun, June 14-16, 2019
Show Hours: 10-7 Fri-Sat, 10-4 Sun
VIEW Demonstration Area Artists (PDF)
VIEW Art/Craft Demonstration Area Schedule

Artisans share their handmade processes during scheduled 45-minute demonstrations Friday through Sunday. Each presentation takes the viewer from conceptual beginning to the beautifully finished piece. Artists may include historic context, design inspiration, or share the skillfully developed craftsmanship used to create their individual techniques and unique styles.


The 25th year of the Art Patron Program will see us build on the tradition of some new and exciting opportunities. Since the inception of the program, over one million dollars of original fine art has been purchased making this program a vital part of Festival weekend. Your financial support helps entice high caliber artists to apply to our show. Click here for details on this exciting program.

Click here to register to become a 2019 Art Patron (PDF).

Click here to purchase a Gold Patron Ticket

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    Read Artist's Description (PDF)

    Click print to view larger image.

2018 Festival Print
"View from the Mulberry Bridge"
2019 Festival Print
by Katy England

Donors contributing $100 or more to the River Festival receive an original fine art print. The 2019 Print, created by artist Katy England of Salina, KS, is entitled "View from the Mulberry Bridge."

The digital print is a manipulation of a large canvas that England painted of the Smoky Hill River. The artist says growing up along the Smoky Hill River and attending the River Festival since age eight inspired her interpretation. After viewing the park and the river from Mulberry Bridge in Oakdale Park, England painted a canvas, and then created a digital print depicting the blue Kansas sky reflected in the river, framed by the bright summer foliage.

Click here for more information about obtaining the original Festival Print.


T-Shirt Art
Click for larger image

The 2019 Festival t-shirt, created by local artist Neil Ward, is inspired by the art installation "Reinventing the Wheel". Designed by David Exline and engineered by the family of Exline Inc., this installation debuted in 2003 and over the years has become an icon that exemplifies the spirit and energy at the heart of this community arts celebration. T-shirts and tanks are blue and available in a wide range of youth and adult sizes, in women's and regular cut. T-shirts can be purchased in advance at the SA&H offices, online beginning Tuesday, May 1st or onsite during the Festival at the Festival Information Booths north of Eric Stein Stage and near Kenwood Bridge.

Click here to purchase a Festival T-Shirt.


Unique to the Smoky Hill River Festival are large-scale art installations located throughout the park. Installations provide a great parallel to the development of public art within the community. These projects provide participating artists an opportunity to work on a large scale and to create works that exist in outdoor environments. Site-specific works are commissioned and installed annually, to the delight and discovery of thousands of Festival attendees. Whether decorative or kinetic, interactive or conceptual, the creativity and quality of these diverse works speak to the event and its decades-long, strong arts traditions.



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