Festival Print Unveiled

The 2023 Smoky Hill River Festival Print has been unveiled.

According to Salina Arts and Humanities, illustrator, printmaker, and musician Dan Grissom was selected to design this year’s print.

Grissom resides in Austin, Texas, but is originally from rural Louisiana. Childhood summer days spent exploring the forests around a nearby creek fostered a love of nature and animals that continues to find its way into his work. His primary focus is screen printing, although his background is in relief printing and painting.

He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from Northwestern State University in Louisiana. After graduating, he pursued a Master’s Degree in Painting and Printmaking at Stephen F. Austin State University in East Texas.

The print is a hand-painted 4-color screen print with custom mixed colors. With screen printing, each color layer is printed one at a time and allowed to dry before moving on to the next color layer. Grissom states, “I’ve titled this piece ‘Great Blue Heron on the River’ because I sometimes like to keep my titles simple and descriptive. I’m quite pleased with how this turned out, and I hope it transports you to a peaceful place like creating it did for me.”

Grissom’s work is colorful and marked by minimal, naturalistic compositions and sometimes very intricate line work. His subject matter varies but often involves nature and animals with subtle storytelling elements.

“While researching the wildlife around Salina, Kansas, for this print,” Grissom says, “I was transported right back to those childhood summer days sitting by the creek. The landscapes and animals around Salina are pretty similar to what I grew up surrounded by in central Louisiana, so I knew I’d feel at home creating this piece. I’ve always loved spotting a Great Blue Heron in the wild, and when I saw that those were prominent around Salina, I knew I wanted that to be the focus. I grew up frequently seeing their paler cousin, the Egret, in Louisiana. Other details you can find in this piece are some deer, a dragonfly, some turtles on a log, and a beaver dam.”

The Festival Print is currently available for a donation of $100 or more to the Smoky Hill River Festival.