A new staff member is on the job at Salina Arts and Humanities. According to the organization, Crystal Hammerschmidt has been selected as the agency’s new Arts Services Coordinator.
Raised in Smolan, KS, Hammerschmidt most recently lived and worked in Hays, KS, where she recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in printmaking and sculpture at Fort Hays State University (FHSU). She also lived in Lawrence, KS, for twelve years and was involved in projects with the Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence Public Schools, the Douglas County Food Policy Council, and managed a local screen printing shop.
“I strongly believe access for all to the arts within our community is vital to the development of artists and community members of all ages. I am fortunate to be a product of a rich arts community between Lindsborg and Salina. I look forward to a chance to help strengthen rich cultural experiences throughout Salina,” says Hammerschmidt.
Her artistic practice is currently about objects in nature and how they relate to one another. As a mixed media artist-printmaker, she combines relief cuts, lithography, etching, silkscreen, cast metals, and fabric. “I have always enjoyed studying science, and I find the natural world to be a curious and magical place, ripe for exploring.”
This past June, Hammerschmidt participated in an international project in Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany, with a team of artists, former FHSU faculty, and students. There they built a cupola furnace
for smelting iron. The furnace will be the center performance of an international cast iron festival in 2024 in Saalfeld, Thuringia. “This opportunity took place at the crossroads of industry, art, and community and has given me a unique perspective on how to approach large-scale projects. I’m excited to apply this process to the public art projects here in Salina.”
“Crystal will be a great addition to the Arts & Humanities team”, Executive Director of Salina Arts & Humanities Brad Anderson, “Her strong arts practice and familiarity with central Kansas will allow her to get a jump-start in connecting with the community.”
For Salina Arts & Humanities, Hammerschmidt will oversee the Smoky Hill River Festival’s juried art show, demo artists, outdoor Art Installations, and the Art Patron Program. She also will serve as the primary liaison to the Community Art & Design Program and its advisory committee and will serve as a regional public art and visual arts resource.