June 3–11, 2022Admission June 3–11, 2022Admission

Second win for artist who received $4,000 for his 50th celebration design

FEBRUARY 3, 2022—WICHITA, Kan.—Wichita Festivals, Inc. and Emprise Bank, 15-time sponsor of Riverfest’s Poster & Button Artwork Contest, today unveiled the 2022 official artwork designs for the 50th festival and introduced winning artist Joe Worley in a video shared on Wichita River Festival’s Facebook page.

“We are glad to be longtime supporters of Riverfest, and especially excited to be part of the 50th festival,” said Paul Owens, community engagement specialist at Emprise Bank. “We recognize the enormous talent in our local art community and believe it has a tremendous impact on our quality of life. Each year this contest gives all of us another iconic image to enjoy, while recognizing and celebrating the work of a homegrown artist.”

Artist Joe Worley was awarded $4,000 from Emprise for his designs, in which the artist brings many beloved icons from past Riverfest posters together and presents them in his distinctive style. His winning artwork and theme, “50 Years at the Fest,” celebrate a half century of Wichita River Festivals, or Riverfests, as they are now called.

“When I read the prompt for this year‘s Riverfest contest, which asked artists to reimagine one or more designs from years past, I knew I wanted to include as many past poster designs as I possibly could,” said Worley, 37. “As I looked at the posters, I noticed that a lot of the characters were playing musical instruments, so I got the idea: wouldn’t it be cool if they all came together and formed a band?”

The vibrant poster, sponsored by Docuplex, will serve as an invitation to the 50th anniversary of the largest community celebration in Kansas: Riverfest, scheduled to take place June 3-11. Worley’s charming Riverfest buttons allow admission for all nine days of the festival. Adult buttons for ages 13 and up and child buttons for kids 6-12 will be available at area QuikTrip locations starting May 6. Kids five years old and younger get in free.

“Joe’s high-energy design gives fans a chance to stroll down Riverfest Memory Lane as they identify poster elements from festivals past,” said Teri Mott, director of marketing and communication at WFI. “What a wonderful tribute to fifty years of community celebration!”

The 50th festival will be the first nine-day, in-person Riverfest since 2019, due to COVID-19 concerns in 2020 and 2021. It will feature traditional favorites, including the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale, Fidelity Bank River Run, CNH Industrial Buckaroo/Buckarette Rodeo, Quantum Credit Union Food Court, Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social, Textron Aviation Opening Night Fireworks, the Sundown Parade, Kids Corner, and Twilight Pops featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Popular river events will return, including the Cowboy Bathtub Races and Cardboard Regatta. Headliner concert acts are being booked now and will be announced in the spring.

Worley is a two-time contest winner, having designed the winning “Admiral’s Jacket” for Riverfest 2018. A freelance designer and illustrator, he graduated from Wichita Northwest High School and attained his BFA in graphic design from Wichita State University in 2015. Worley engages in a wide variety of artistic endeavors including drawing caricatures, making comic books and designing T-shirts. As a member of Brickmob, a Wichita-based art collective, Worley has designed and/or painted many murals in Wichita and the surrounding area including the “ICT 316” mural near Douglas and Washington, the WSU-themed mural at Chicken N’ Pickle, and an exterior mural on the new Riverfront Stadium. His designs were selected to emblazon the WSU challenge coins given to all graduates. The artist and his wife, Abby, recently welcomed their first child, Otto.

“I had a lot of fun creating this design and am super glad for the opportunity to share it with everyone,” Worley said.

Discounted early-bird registration for Fidelity Bank River Run races has begun and will continue through Feb. 28. Follow Wichita River Festival on Facebook, @WichitaRiverfest on Instagram and @riverfest on Twitter, or visit WichitaRiverfest.com.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit organization with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations for the Wichita and the surrounding area. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 3-11, 2022), Wichita Festivals Golf Tournament in Memory of Bob Struble (September 9, 2022) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 16-18, 2022). For more information about Wichita Festivals or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or teri@wichitafestivals.com.

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