THe sunflower
2024 artwork

Meet the 2024 featured artist

We are thrilled to have this year’s festival artwork done by artist MJ King!

A Topeka native, MJ King’s artistic journey started in kindergarten when she placed her crayons on the radiator to watch the colors blend as they melted. While she still uses oil and wax-based pigments today, her medium has matured to lightfast coloured pencils on Clairfontaine Pastelmat then varnished like a traditional oil painting. Her medium of choice allows her paintings to exhibit exceptionally vibrant color that will last for generations.

MJ King is an accomplished artist with pieces in local and international collections. Her work “Radiance” was featured in the June 2019 issue of Colored Pencil Magazine. More works by MJ King can be found at StephenSmithGallery.com/mj-king/.

Statement about above art: 

Title: “Morning Sonata”

Medium: Lightfast Coloured Pencil

Substrate: Clairfontaine Pastelmat®

Size: 14×22 (before framing)

Finish: Archival mount and removable Gloss Polymer Varnish with UVLS (UV protection)

Value: $2,000

Morning Sonata© showcases a giant sunflower at dawn. Like a symphony, the sunflower in this original painting stands free with one movement ending while another begins. The petal’s curling motion while it slowly opens reminds the viewer you only need to listen to find the melody.

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