Art, Dance, Music, News, Theater


Welcome to OpenStudios, a program that pairs empty storefronts with practicing local artists. The artists benefit from a free studio for several months, and the building owner can market an animated, more attractive space that’s easier to rent!

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM – all Final Friday and other activity posted by OpenStudios artists will be reposted on those platforms. To get your name on the list of artists, email your contact info and a brief description of what you’d like to do in your studio to

The intention of this project is to activate key neighborhoods of Wichita, specifically under-utilized areas with high potential to become walkable, dynamic, diverse, and prosperous nodes of cultural engagement: significant stretches of empty storefronts and non-active streetscapes are the most obvious challenges. In what has become known as the Soho Effect, artists move into these depressed, and therefore inexpensive, corners of cities, and unintentionally but consistently build thriving and vibrant communities that begin to attract attention from the creative class. This then cues developers to purchase viable buildings in the new “it” neighborhood and renovate them into expensive lofts and retail spaces, which in turn causes property tax and rent to rise, resulting in the eventual displacement of the artists. This inevitable cycle of gentrification affects all cities, from the smallest to the largest (the Soho Effect is named for the transformation that occurred in that part of NYC in the 1980s); in fact, Wichita is experiencing this phenomenon right now, in its own Commerce St. Art District.

However, rather than perceiving this as a problem, the OpenStudios project intends to embrace the pattern as a tool to inspire development. We are connecting with owners of buildings that contain under-employed street-level storefronts; specifically, retail spaces that have proven difficult to rent. This unfortunate situation detracts from the walkability of our city and is self-perpetuating, as potential tenants have difficulty envisioning their business in a dusty, desolate room. Our solution is to place working artists in these storefronts, makers with productive practices who are willing to welcome interested passersby and engage with the community. The artists receive the studios for free, and the landlords donate the rent in exchange for an animated, attractive street-level presence.

OpenStudios covers liability insurance and other expenses, as required by the owner. If the space gets rented, our ultimate goal, the artist has 30 days to vacate their studio and may be placed in another OpenStudio if available. The artist is aware of this condition from the beginning of their time with OpenStudios: the studio is free, and in exchange, the artist must accept that the arrangement may be temporary. We will attempt, if at all possible, to guarantee a minimum duration of three months for each artist in each space.

The long-term vision for this project is to not only supply free studios for Wichita artists, but also to advertise the program outside of our community in an effort to draw more creatives to the region; for example, at art schools such as the Kansas City Art Institute, KSU and K-State, or even further afield. The cost of living is reasonable in Wichita, and the art scene is unusually robust for a city of this size. This makes Wichita unique, and OpenStudios is excited to capitalize on the resources we already possess to help our city become competitive on a national stage.

Read the article in the Wichita Eagle about our first space, and follow us on facebook and instagram to get up-to-the-minute news and info.

A big thanks to our KeyPerks sponsors, who offer discounted goods and services to OpenStudios artists: so far, we’ve got great deals from WAM, Botanica, and The Mid-America All-Indian Museum (free admission for OpenStudios artists), and Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria and Tanya’s Soup Kitchen (discounts on goods and services). Let us know if you’d like to bring artists into your local business too!


Director: Sydney Lenox-Barkus

Click here for a map showing studio locations

RESIDENCY: January 1 – March 31, 2023

ARTISTS: Lear Heath Studio (Patrick Heath and Jae Lear, with Megan Bigelow, Miki Bonilla, Sara Grant, Rohan Govin), Sara Harmon, Charity Harmon, Christina Trammell, Kim Benage, Ulrick Brown, Christian Loeffler, Damar Sarter, Emily Winesberry

RESIDENCY: October 1 – December 31, 2022

ARTISTS: Lear Heath Studio (Patrick Heath and Jae Lear, with Megan Bigelow, Issabella Smith, Brooklynn Bolton), The Sunken Hollow, Julianne and Yvette Tovar, Kim Benage, shared studio (Miki Bonilla, Sara Grant, Natalya Paxton, Gayle Bryson, Rachel Hermes)

RESIDENCY: July 1 – September 30, 2022

ARTISTS: Lear Heath Studio (Patrick Heath and Jae Lear, with Taylor Bullock, Fabes Belcher, Laura Barwick), E. Vincent Wood (and group), Sewer City TV, shared studio (Julian Kincaid, Jimena Trujillo), Landen Swearingen

RESIDENCY: April 1 – June 30, 2022

ARTISTS: Lear Heath Studio (Patrick Heath and Jae Lear, with Saundra Highsmith, Joshua Jones, Mara Howes), TechArtICT, Holly Harper, Big Jump Studios, Black Rainbow, Kizmet Images, Write Vibez Publishing


The Towne West location is thankful for the financial support of the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.


RESIDENCY: July 1, 2021 – ongoing

ARTIST: Shaunte’ Levine



Director: Anthony Joiner

RESIDENCY: October 1, 2022 – January 31, 2023

ARTISTS: Dominique Joiner, Juli Saga, De’Andra Hughes

RESIDENCY: July 1 – September 30, 2022

ARTISTS: Dominique Joiner, Eileen McNeill, Jordan Debbrecht, An Le

RESIDENCY: April 1 – June 30, 2022

ARTISTS: Dominique JoinerSheldon Draper, Garrett Farha, Stephen Farha, Dajah Abasolo, Jessica Williamson

RESIDENCY: January 1 – March 31, 2022

ARTISTS: Dominique Joiner, Sheldon Draper, Jason Crile, MAS Art Co, Caitlin Alexander

RESIDENCY: September 1 – December 31, 2021

ARTISTS: Dominique JoinerBrittany Stewart, Rachel Harris, Kynnedy Moore, Thomas Cottner

RESIDENCY: June 1 – August 31, 2021

ARTISTS: Dominique Joiner, Amy Baber, Lauren Sanders, Kjersten AndersonWilliam Bloomquist

BUILDING OWNER: Bokeh Development


Schedule of artist time in the gardens: Look for a small orange flag with the OS logo.

RESIDENCY: August 1 – October 31, 2022

ARTIST: Andres Levaggi-Villanueva

RESIDENCY: May 1 – July 31, 2022

ARTIST: Denita Benyshek

RESIDENCY: August 1 – October 31, 2021

ARTIST: Jessica Vega

RESIDENCY: May 1 – July 31, 2021

ARTIST: Malissa Long

RESIDENCY: Fall 2020

ARTIST: Bill Goffrier

BUILDING OWNER: Botanica, City of Wichita


RESIDENCY: March 1 – July 31, 2021

ARTISTS: Angela Rangel, Daniela Diaz, Jalen Cooper

RESIDENCY: December 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021

ARTIST: Pam Bjork

RESIDENCY: August 1, 2020 – October 31, 2020

ARTISTS: Anthony Dozier, Aaron Morgan Brown

RESIDENCY: May 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020

ARTISTS: Marcela Martinez, Angela Rangel

RESIDENCY: January 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020

ARTISTS: Laura Shank, Jim Phillips

BUILDING OWNER: David Farha, Finn Lofts


RESIDENCY: mid-September 2018 – June 30, 2019

ARTIST: Christopher Gulick

BUILDING OWNER: Epoch Developments


RESIDENCY: March 1 – June 30, 2019

ARTISTS: Tina Thomas, Micala Gingrich-Gaylord

RESIDENCY: October 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019

ARTISTS: Kate Van Steenhuyse, Alex Moore



RESIDENCY: June 1 – August 31, 2023

ARTISTS: Barbara Haynes, Curtis Haynes, Skyler Lovelace, Julie Rippy

RESIDENCY: March 1 – May 31, 2023

ARTISTS: Peggy Hayes, Sam Pho

RESIDENCY: December 1, 2022 – February 28, 2023

ARTIST: Jim Simpson

RESIDENCY: September 1 – November 30, 2022

ARTISTS: Taylor McQueary, Emily Winesberry

RESIDENCY: June 1 – August 31, 2022

ARTISTS: Grace Shively, Sloane Dyer

RESIDENCY: March 1 – May 31, 2022

ARTISTS: Kat Eastman, Hope Dale

RESIDENCY: December 1, 2021 – February 28, 2022

ARTISTS: Lisa Coogias, Sam Butler

RESIDENCY: September 1 – November 30, 2021

ARTISTS: Ulrick Brown, Ruby Guerrero

RESIDENCY: June 1 – August 31, 2021

ARTISTS: Patrick Heath, Jayln Lear

RESIDENCY: March 1 – May 31, 2021

ARTISTS: Emiliano Milano, ShaBree Chatman

RESIDENCY: November 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021

ARTISTS: Ashley Streid, Robbin Gheesling

RESIDENCY: August 1, 2020 – October 31, 2020

ARTISTS: Alec Lang, Iris Fletcher

RESIDENCY: May 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020

ARTISTS: Adelia Wise, Stephanie Jeanes

RESIDENCY: January 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020

ARTISTS: Blake Anderson, Parker Tatro

RESIDENCY: October 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019

ARTISTS: Steven Campbell, Matthew Habiger, Veronica Laflin

RESIDENCY: July 1, 2019 – September 30, 2019

ARTISTS: Madison Leierer, Amanda and Jeremy Miller, Erick Nkana, Tim Stone

RESIDENCY: April 1, 2019 – June 30, 2019

ARTISTS: Liv Grant, Hallie Linnebur, Amy Meador, Elaine Adair, Meghan Miller

RESIDENCY: January 1, 2019 – March 31, 2019

ARTISTS: Meredith Radke-Gannon, Michella Tripoli, Jennifer Larson, Ted Adler, Juanta Wolfe

RESIDENCY: mid-September – December 31, 2018

ARTISTS: Anthony Joiner, Dominique Joiner, Verlene MahomesRobert Maxwell, Trish Van Osdel



RESIDENCY: August 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019

ARTIST: Casey Joy

BUILDING OWNER: Bokeh Development


RESIDENCY: June 1 – July 31, 2018

ARTIST: Ellamonique Baccus, Wisdom Tree Arts


Many thanks to the City of Wichita for initial start-up funding, and to Fidelity Bank for specifically supporting a studio at 333 E. English. This program relies 100% on donations and sponsorships, many of which are small contributions from individuals in our wonderfully supportive art community: too numerous to mention, but we thank you all sincerely. Our fabulous graphic designer is Carlos Palomino.

This project has been organized and underwritten by Fisch Haus’ not-for-profit arm, Fisch Bowl, Inc. If you are a building owner interested in participating, or an artist looking for free studio space, please contact OpenStudios at, via facebook, or instagram.