Hometown Artist Produces 45th-Anniversary River Pageant T-Shirt

When firm dates for the 45th-anniversary Smoky Hill River Competition have been introduced in February, several River Festival followers were elated, but none so much as Salina combined-media artist Julie Cates, who was picked to design the Festival T-shirt for the second 12 months in a row.       “I was overjoyed,” Cates explained about the Festival’s return for 2021. “It felt like the initially glimmer of hope that life and celebration could return to Salina. I needed the 45th-anniversary T-shirt layout to reflect that enjoyment.”

Born in Kansas City and lifted in Salina, Cates’s like for creating started in Anne Nettleton’s initially-grade artwork class at Hageman Elementary College. “I marketed my 1st drawing entitled “Sam, My Cat” for 50 cents at the counter of my parent’s chicken restaurant at the age of six.” After attending K-Condition Manhattan, then the University in Illinois, Cates moved to Warm Springs, GA to serve as the director for the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, functioning athletics programs for elite wheelchair athletes.

“When 9/11 happened, I didn’t love not currently being equipped to come property, and I missed Kansas,” Cates says. “Robin was functioning in retail and wanted a lot more independence, so we asked ourselves what we could do that was extra imaginative and nearer to dwelling. In December 2001, we came up with a 5-calendar year prepare, and five months later on, we had a making and had been open up.” As Cates arrived again to her life’s contacting, she states, “I understood I need to have listened to my mother in the initial position, and I returned to art.”

In 2002, Julie and sister Robin opened On The Pot: A Pottery Playhouse, in downtown Salina. In excess of the many years, they have assumed various roles to lead and really encourage other company entrepreneurs or designers in the pottery sector. In 2015, Cates launched the Fantastic JuJu Artwork Paper Goods Line, bought in retail locations nationally for three many years. In 2016, PYOP Studio Stuff started carrying their silk-screen designs, now marketed globally.

In producing the 2021 T-shirt, Cates wanted to emphasize the River Festival’s vibrancy, togetherness, and pleasurable. “The vibrant, vibrant factors springing out of the ‘2021’ are intended to characterize Salina and the Smoky Hill River Competition bursting with excitement, as our community appears to be like forward to coming together all over again.” Inclusion of a spray-paint can, a balloon, musical instruments and other icons stand for some of her most loved facets of the Festival.

Cates and Salina Arts & Humanities Government Director Brad Anderson stopped by KSAL on Monday to unveil the new style and talk about the River Pageant.


Cates’ expert relationship with the River Competition goes again to 2009, when she very first labored as an Set up Artist. From 2014-2016, she exhibited and offered in the 4 Rivers Craft Industry, now recognised as the West Side of the Great Art and Craft Clearly show. Given that 2017 and all over again for 2021, Cates will do the job as a Demonstration Artist, showing and offering her wooden mixed-media items.

“I can’t believe of quite many matters that unite our town like the Competition,” Cates states. “I like wanting about and seeing the hundreds of volunteers who happily appear out and give of themselves, to make guaranteed the park is clean, the artists are taken care of, and that all people is obtaining a safe, enjoyable time. That’s what keeps the artists, makers, performers and other people coming back again.”

Time put in at the Festival guided Cates toward a career in artwork. “One of my earliest reminiscences is making buttons in the children’s tent,” she claims. “It was the very first time my artwork experienced been turned into anything completed- it felt long term and kind of qualified. A pair of years in the past, one of the kiddos who ordered a person of my Very first Treasures pieces arrived to pay a visit to my booth and gifted me with a button she experienced designed. I must admit, I cried a little bit.”

Together with remaining a Competition artist, Cates is a person of its biggest lovers. “The Pageant delivers the arts to the middle of our city. It is the time when our group becomes its pretty finest. The park arrives alive with shade, audio, laughter and reunions, crammed with men and women from every corner of the region with distinctive viewpoints on every single subject. For four days, we come with each other to be taken care of to a feast of the senses. It’s a celebration of who we can be.”

Regionally, Cates’ multimedia perform has been revealed at the Salina State Club, the Salina Group Theatre, the Five Star Art Competition in Abilene, and is bought at A Retail outlet Known as Things in the Brookside area of Kansas Town, Mo.

The Smoky Hill River Competition, now in its 45th 12 months, is the flagship event manufactured by Salina Arts & Humanities. A department of the City of Salina, SAH has served a special function as an arts advocate and resource lover given that 1966. The Smoky Hill River Pageant, Horizons Grants Software, Smoky Hill Museum, Arts Infusion Plan in educational institutions, Group Art & Style and design, and Resourceful Connections are among the courses of Salina Arts & Humanities, found at 211 W. Iron Avenue in Salina.