Vincent Van Gogh Coming to Life in Salina

The spirit of Vincent Van Gogh is taking over the Salina Art Center. The organization is welcoming  Dena Peterson to Salina September 29 – October 6. Peterson will be living and working in the Art Center Warehouse, visiting local high schools through Arts Infusion, teaching workshops, leading gallery and cinema discussions and much more.

Peterson worked as a painter/animator on the Academy-Award nominated film, Loving Vincent, the story of Vincent Van Gogh as told through his paintings. It was the first full-length hand-painted animated film. Dena has been a painter for over 25 years.  She was chosen as one of 125 painters from over 5000 applicants to help complete the film and worked on it for nearly 6 months in a studio in Gdansk, Poland in 2016. Dena has always been a fan of Van Gogh’s work and his style has been influential in her own.  Since the film, she has studied him and his work intensely and gives workshops about his life and painting in his style, as she did for the film. Recently, she returned from visiting the places he lived and worked in France, making him come alive even more for her. You can see Petersons work at Salina Art Center through Oct. 5.

The community is encouraged to participate in public activities listed below:

  • Monday, Sept. 30 at 7pm, 242 S. Santa Fe – FREE Gallery Talk: Channeling Van Gogh | My Work as a Painter on the film Loving Vincent
    • In this presentation Peterson discusses Van Gogh’s life and work, including those artists and styles that influenced him, especially the art of the Japanese print.
  • Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7:15pm, 150 S. Santa Fe – FREE Cinema Discussion: Loving Vincent
    • See Loving Vincent again (at 5:30pm, regular ticket prices apply), or for the first time followed by a Cinema Talk led by Peterson. Anyone can attend the Cinema talk, even if you didn’t attend the film.
  • Saturday, Oct. 5 from 10am-5pm, 149 S. 4th St. – Channeling Van Gogh | How to Add Passion to Your Paintings (Workshop)

Salina Art Center Cinema is also showing a special Van Gogh double feature Sept. 27-Oct. 2. Guests can see the Academy-Award nominated film Loving Vincent followed by the newly released documentary film on the making of the groundbreaking film, Loving Vincent: The Impossible Dream. Cinema goers should check movie times and prices for this special week long event.

Finally, the Cinema is showing a new Exhibition on Screen, Van Gogh & Japan Friday, Oct. 4 at 3pm or Saturday Oct. 5 at 11am. Van Gogh & Japan journeys from the critically acclaimed exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, to the beauty of Provence and the enigma of Japan itself. Featuring Van Gogh’s personal letters and written accounts by friends and contemporaries this extraordinary and moving film reveals the fascinating story of Van Gogh’s little-known deep connection to Japanese art, despite never travelling to Japan himself, and the role it has in understanding his most iconic works. As well as investigating the expression of Van Gogh’s ‘japonisme’, the film explores how Japanese society have developed an affinity to Van Gogh’s work as a result of his engagement with their culture. Featuring insights from contemporary artists, including calligrapher Tomoko Kawao and performance artist Tatsumi Orimoto, Van Gogh & Japan provides revealing and modern perspectives on the rich, symbiotic relationship between Van Gogh and Japan.


Dena Peterson’s residency in Salina was made possible by a generous Art Center donor, Wedel Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, and Arts Infusion a program of Salina Arts & Humanities. Salina Art Center is a nonprofit, contemporary art & education center accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The mission to create exchanges among art, artists, and audiences that reveal life is carried out daily through opportunities for community members to make connections between art and life through hands-on art makerspace, classes, exhibitions, films, demonstrations, and lectures. For more information about what’s happening at the Art Center, visit