“Whimsical Flowers”

Artist: Amanda Smardo-Pride

Location: From Pittsburg, KS resides in Girard KS

Medium: Spray paint (can) “Rustoleum” is my preferred paint can

Platforms: Canvas, paper, metal, concrete, wood, anything anyone will allow me to paint on

Bio: I grew up taking art classes. I’ve always dabbled in the arts, the more traditional arts that is.  However, I won’t say I’m classically trained, more self-taught. In 2011 I saw a YouTube video about speed spray painting. From there I created my form of spray paint art. I paint on canvas, paper, metal, concrete, wood, etc. Below is a list of projects I’ve been involved in. The last two
years have been busy personally with getting married, moving, becoming a bonus mom, adopting a dog and in the processing of adopting two brothers under 2 years of age, so I’ve kind of put painting on the back burner. However, my husband Justin and friend Elizabeth have
always encouraged me to paint. So, I decided to enter and was happy to receive my acceptance with the concept title “Whimsical Flowers” Lots of unique big, little, bright, random flowers. Some made with a paint scraper, some with a playing card, others with a piece of card board. No two flowers are the same. Just like my unique little family.

Locations and or events I’ve been involved in:
2014 SEK Artfest fiberglass football participant
2014 Fuzzy’s Taco Mural artist
2015 SEK Artwalk Mural artist
2015 SEK Artwalk vendor
2015 Frontenac Restaurant Feature Artist for December
2016 SEK Artfest concrete cow participant
2016 SEK Artwalk vendor twice
2016 Pittsburg Makers Market as a vendor
Artforms Gallary Co-Op member- May 2016 to July 2017
2017 Girard, KS Artwalk
Drink your “Art” out- I teach paint and wine classes and host public and private parties for both adults and children.
I have donated several commission pieces to local organizations such as SEK Humane Society, Walk to end Alzheimers, several benefit auctions, and local school fundraisers.

“Summer Song”

Artist: April Davis-Brunner

My bio for “Summer Song”.  April Davis-Brunner a full time artist has been around art her entire life being daughter of Carthage artist Lowell Davis She sculpts and paints the nature around her.  She has a gallery in Joplin called ,”Local Color” where she sells and teaches art. She lives south of Joplin on a fabulous piece of property called “Cox Spring” where she hosts art shows and other events.

“Fields of Dreams”

Artist: Brooks-Elizabeth Billings

I am currently attending Missouri Southern State University and am working towards my bachelors in Art Education and a minor in studio art. I have been teaching at Martin Luther Day School for the past eight years for grades Kindergarten through eighth grade. I also run a after school art club twice a week and am a contracted instructor at Spiva Art Center in Joplin. I have experience as the lead instructor for Missouri Southerns paint night for student cab events. I have participated in the past football and animal themed S.E.K Art Festival.

Artists that have influenced my style are Harlem Renaissance artist Jacob Lawrence, Regional artist Grant wood and Regional Artist Thomas Heart Benton. I am inspired by jazz and blues music and often use my son as my model. I love creating complex, simple images that evoke emotion.

When I think of Kansas….I think of the flat farm, rich with corn, and the clear blue skies. While
driving through South East Kansas I find peace and solitude in the serene landscapes.

“Meadowlarks in Love”

Artist:  Bryan W. Lewandowski

Bryan is a Pittsburg-based filmmaker, currently writing, directing and co-producing his first feature length film to be shot on location in Pittsburg, Kansas in association with the executive producers of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and A Star is Born. Bryan always had a love for the arts since he was a child and knew he wanted to be a filmmaker since he was 5 years old. Dating back to middle school, Bryan showed an innate ability to communicate effectively as a visual storyteller in numerous ways. He’s been the award recipient of a Scholastic Arts Gold and Silver key and won First Prize in the Cox Communications Seasons Greetings Card Contest in which he donated 2k to the PMS art program. In highschool, Bryan’s short film, “Goodbye Shular” took first place in the first ever PHS Film Festival. Bryan’s inspiration for most of his work stems from his love of avoking a sense of beauty and wonder in his audience despite the
limitations of the project.

“Celebrating the Arts in SEK”

Artist:  Elizabeth Wallsmith

I am an artist formerly known as Elizabeth Cosby. This is my fourth time participating in the SEK Art Fest project. I was a selected artist for the coal bucket, football and for an animal in 2016. I have a mural on 5th and Broadway in downtown Pittsburg and I have a painted 9ft. swordfish at Fuzzy’s Taco in Overland Park. I am currently a full-time art teacher at Monett High School and was previously at Carl Junction Junior High for 12 years. I received my Bachelor’s from Pittsburg State University and then my Masters at Missouri State University in conjunction with Missouri Southern State University.

This piece was created to share the love of the arts in our community. The title, “Celebrating the Arts in SEK”, is in celebration of all the performing arts that make dreams possible. I used color schemes and a variety of compositions to showcase the arts such as theater, music, dance and visual art. I began by arranging objects in my work to produce a personal interaction within the visual presentation. For me, art is a synthesis of my personal feelings and the subjects and colors that inspire me. I believe life experience can be a creative catalyst and that each encounter with a new person has a purpose. My work is an expression of my soul’s journey through life; an extension of who I am as an artist and so it is my desire for my work to portray that ideology.

“Weather in the Midwest”

Artist:  Frank Shaw

I have been involved in Art for 50 yrs. I got my interest in Art from my Grandmother. She was a artist, musician, and singer-songwriter. She inspired me to pick up a pencil, and encouraged me to draw at a very young age. I have been interested in drawing landscapes most my life. I was trained in high school art classes, and self taught. I was inspired by the beautiful landscapes of the state of Kansas, to paint this landscape.

“Grandpa’s Barn – remembering simpler times”

Artist:  Ina Niday

I am a realistic oil painter with some trompe l’oeil thrown in occasionally.

I consider my painting not as a natural talent but one developed from the desire, determination and patience given me by God.

Since 2006, I have suffered from a rare disease (blepharospasms) where both eyes severely spasm shut. I regularly have to hold one eye open with my fingers in order to see and then my vision is distorted and focus is difficult. These spasms also severely affect my concentration and coordination. Needless to say, this condition changed my life and future plans. Because of the spasms, depression and anxiety plague me but when I pick up a paint brush the spasms settle down and I am relaxed, calm and at peace for a while.

Thoughts of being able to paint never occurred to me until my early 20s. With very little money for Christmas, I was refinishing a vintage coal bucket for my mother. I searched for decorative decals to place on the top plain border but in the late 1960s very few were available. Someone suggested I take tole painting lessons. As the statement goes, “the rest is history”.

Painting has been an “in and out” enjoyable thread most of my adult life, from hobby to instructor (tole painting) to a total career for 5 years painting in homes on walls, floors and furniture. Now it is so much more than that; it is my peace and calm.

Inspiration for my bench was an old barn I photographed several years ago in Southeast Kansas. I have painted it on canvas and thought it so unique and beautiful it would make a perfect subject for a Southeast Kansas art fest project along with the Kansas state flower!

My paintings have been auctioned in live auctions for several churches, Cystic Fibrosis and many Big Bear Valley Board of Realty auctions to fund Meals on Wheel and food pantries in Big Bear, CA.

“Migration over SEK”

Artist:  Jenna Spencer

“One of the my favorite outdoor moments in SEK is when a flocks of birds fly overhead in their yearly migrations. I have captured these moments many times with a camera and sometimes just in memory, but now have captured them in an SEK Art Fest Object.” — Jenna Spencer

Jenna Spencer has been an artist for as long as she can remember and loves to work in many mediums. Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Pittsburg State University in 2015, she now is the Office Manager and Gallery Director at the Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium. Jenna has participated in SEK Artfest since its inception in 2013 and now serves on the board.


“Our Seasons”

Artist:  Kate See

My name is Kate See and I am the artist for ‘Our Seasons’. I wanted to create something that would resonate with everyone in PIttsburg and the surrounding area. Each season throughout the year brings us to these special locations and with that great memories of family and friends.

Springtime at Lakeside Park

The 4th of July at Lincoln Park Friday night football games in the Fall

The Christmas lights on Broadway

This is my second time to be chosen as one of the artists for SEK Artfest. It was an honor to be chosen two years ago and that is what brought me back again.


“Where the Buffalo Roam”

Artist: Kay Graves

I am an Art Teacher at Diamond R-4 and have been for the past twenty years and work with pre-k through fifth grade. I also run an art club after school for middle school students. I have acted as a district judge for art contest in Indiana and Missouri Southerns “Winged Lion”. I have helped with the Boy Scouts, given private lessons, volunteer craft time annually for VBS. My students have consistently placed in the George Washington Carver Monument Art and Essay contest too. My school has also received the most creative classroom award for four years. Diamond Elementary students also participate with the online children’s museum “Artstonia” and can have their work viewed around the world.

I will admit that I had some help with my piece. The guest artist is my dachshund Baby Cakes.
She had ran through the paint and had swiped her wagging bottom and tail into the paint. She added a twig with the whip of her tail. I was told it was comical watching me chase Baby Cakes. She is my shadow and my companion and she wanted to make her mark.
Thank you Baby Cakes for the addition to “Where the Buffalo Roam”.

“Old Dirt Roads”

Artist:  Kyle Shaw

My name is Kyle, I was born in Shawnee Mission Kansas. I moved to Southeast Kansas in 1999, from Kansas City. I have been involved in art every since I could remember. I have done wall murals, including my most recent in Mulberry Kansas, which is on the old City Hall. It was also featured in the Morning Sun Pittsburg. This is my third piece of art, with SEK Art-Fest. I am self taught, with the help of my Father and his Brother who also love art. I was inspired to paint my concept, based off things I enjoy to look at in KS. Which are Railroad Tracks, old dirt roads, trees, and white fences!!! The name of my concept for this yr. is titled “Old Dirt Roads”.

“The Four Seasons”

Artist:  Lori Stotler

I have a B.F.A. in drawing from Arizona State University. I have participated in the first two projects Sek ARTFEST sponsored. My work is in oil. I first spray painted the fiberglass, then continued on in oil.

I picked the 4 seasons because there is such a drastic difference between summer and winter. Also I Love trees!! I don’t paint as much as I would like so the projects that come about from SEK ARTFEST is great to keep me inspired to keep painting!!


Artists:  Mary Lakey and Megan Peters

“We are a mother and daughter educated in science and employed full time in the medical field. We have also participated in regional art shows in Pittsburg, Fort Scott, and Joplin. Individually we have won awards for our work – Mary in mixed media and photography and Megan in pencil, ink, and watercolor. We are proud to present ‘Sunflowers’, our first collaboration and large scale painted work for the SEK Art Fest.”

“The Quilters Bench”

Artist:  Ruth Miller

My artist life began as a hobby in the early-mid 1990’s. With each project my style of art evolved from incorporating what I learned from other artists and studying the cultural art from different countries and ethnic groups. Mentally I mesh the styles and forms together in my
projects. I am a self- trained artist. When I paint I create as I work. I do not have the end result in mind. People who view my art
find it to be a cheerful medium. When asked, “Where does this (creativity) come from?” My response is, “From my soul.” You can find more of my work at ArtForms Gallery, 620 N. Broadway, Pittsburg, Kansas.


“The Sunflower”

Artist:  Tina Blockburger

I’m Tina Blockburger from Weir, KS. My bench is the Sunflower concept.

I’ve always had a love for art. My forte is abstract drawing using colored pencils and pens. This project has been a series of firsts for me, including the first time I have ever used acrylic paints, as well as the first time I have entered one of my art pieces for public viewing. It has been a fun venture and a great learning experience. I have tried to give this project a look similar to that of colored pens with a splash of chaos as well.

“This is Native America”

Artist: Camillia Fearmonti

I’m Camillia Fearmonti from Pittsburg. I’m currently a Digital Artist at Miller’s Professional Imaging.

I have been interested in art since I got my first Lisa Frank coloring book in Kindergarten, it has always been one of my favorite hobbies. I owe a lot of what I have learned to Mr. Ballinger, my high school art teacher from Frontenac. I have done a few other projects around town such as the football and a downtown mural. Right now, I’m learned to do embroidery art.

My bench “This is Native America” is inspired by my heritage. I am 50% Native American and I loved getting the chance to pay tribute. It includes many Native American symbols such as rain, peace, wisdom, and “home”. Images of bison and an eagle are also pictured.