Recent grad brings art skills to Riverfest

Portrait of Lauren MartinezLauren Martinez won the 2019 Launch Award from Harvester Arts and the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries.

Lauren Martinez is the recipient of the second annual Launch Award through Harvester Arts and the Wichita State School of Art, Design and Creative Industries (ADCI).

Martinez will work with the 2019 Riverfest/Harvester Arts Artist-in-Residence, George Ferrandi. She will also receive a $1,000 stipend.

Harvester Arts and ADCI designed the Launch Award to give a recent graduate real-world experience right out of school. Martinez will assist Ferrandi with Jump!Star workshops and pop-up parades during the Wichita River Festival, which takes place May 31–June 8.

“We’re offering professional practice and real networking opportunities with working artists from around the country,” said Kristin Beal, Harvester’s co-founder and program director. A WSU alumna, Beal also serves as the gallery manager for ADCI.

Harvester Arts confers the Launch Award to a recent ADCI graduate who is nominated by an ADCI faculty member. Martinez graduated this spring with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art. She originally planned to study painting and drawing but switched her emphasis to ceramic media after taking an introductory wheel-throwing class.

A native of Wichita and graduate of Maize High School, Martinez never doubted her path in life.

“Since I was little, I’ve known art is the direction I wanted to take,” she said. “I feel like this opportunity is a great way to build connections and shed some light on what I want to do next, career-wise.”

Martinez was nominated by Robert Bubp, associate professor of painting and drawing, who taught the senior exhibition class this spring.

“I was very impressed by her work ethic,” Bubp said. “Lauren is focused and organized in a way that professionals need to be.”

The 2018 Launch Award went to multimedia artist Alexis Rivierre, who earned her Master of Fine Arts in Art last May.