Painter and muralist Katy England has been selected to design the 2019 Smoky Hill River Festival Print.
A native of Salina, England works most often in the medium of acrylic painting. In creating this year’s Festival Print, England depicted a view of the Smoky Hill River from the Mulberry Bridge in Oakdale Park on a large canvas, then produced a digital print of the original painting. The 2019 Festival Print is entitled “View from the Mulberry Bridge.”
A BFA graduate of Kansas State University, England has had an interest in creating and the arts from a young age. During her elementary and high-school years, the influence of her Salina Central High School art teacher Floyd Gibson, plus getting a first-year art scholarship to K-State, encouraged her to explore the arts. In addition to her degree from KSU, England studied painting and art history at The Royal College of Art in London in the early ‘90s.
Her love of nature and of her community is reflected in much of England’s work. “Growing up in Salina, I have been attending the Smoky Hill River Festival since I was eight years old,” she says. “I also grew up along the Smoky Hill River. This piece really combines those two experiences for me.”
Among England’s work in the Salina area is a multi-piece mural at Redeemer Lutheran Church and murals in many USD 305 elementary schools, including a 60-foot piece at Schilling Elementary School.
Paintings for original illustrations that England did for two books created with her sister Mari Loder have been featured in exhibits at the Stiefel’s Watson Room, at Saint Francis Ministries and at Mark Arts in Wichita, where England has also shown her large-canvas works. England has exhibited at the Salina Country Club and at the Courtyard Gallery in Lindsborg. She has worked on a mural in Denver with artist Tony Ortega and was a member of the Blue Stem Gallery in Salina for years.
The two children’s books that England and her sister collaborated on are “I Love You As Much” and “Where is God?” They were recently published by Ingram Publishing and are available locally at The Market Shop and online.
Alongside her work as an artist, England is a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker AWP. In the midst of her busy life, finding nature often helps England connect to her creative side.
“I love reflections in water, textures of the grass and looking at the Kansas horizon. When I look at things, I think about how I would paint them. Finding beauty when I’m outside or taking long walks with my dogs is one way I often get inspired.”
England works out of her home studio and she often carries a camera to catch scenes she later integrates into her work. “My favorite season is probably early spring, when the wheat is coming up and things start to turn green.”
England is married to Andy England and is mom to collegians Grant, Kegan and Mary. Katy and Andy enjoy travel, supporting the kids’ activities, having dinner with friends and cooking.
The Festival Print is currently available for a donation of $100 or more to the Smoky Hill River Festival. For more information, call 785-309-5770 or visit riverfestival.com.