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The Art Garden at WAM

The Wichita Art Museum is celebrating a fifth season of the Art Garden, which opened to the public in September 2015. Accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Art Garden has transformed the eight acres around the building into a lush oasis. Located in the heart of the city and alongside the Little Arkansas River, the Art Garden offers a breathtaking landscape environment.

With a terrain that reflects the place and plantings of Kansas, the roofless museum offers unique areas for peaceful retreat as well as animated gatherings. Lush plantings--more than 100 new trees, nearly 600 shrubs, and more than 20,000 perennials and grasses--with 13 outdoor sculptures gracing the garden meld art and nature, urban leisure, and aesthetic enjoyment.

The Kansas City design firm Confluence crafted a breathtaking environment for art and nature for the Art Garden. Plantings by Tree Top Nursery was completed with a landscaping plan calling for more than 80 species of trees, shrubs, and perennials. WAM acknowledges the important guidance from Jeff Van Sickle with GLMV Architecture and Bob Simpson and his strong team at Simpson Construction Services.

Admission to the Art Garden is free.

An award-winning Art Garden         

WAM's Art Garden was recognized with three significant awards in 2017:

The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce Keeper of the Plains Award:  The award celebrates an architectural achievement that enhances the landscape of Wichita. The requirements for this award include: aesthetic quality; improvement to the physical environment; visibility to the general public; and a well-maintained appearance. (See the Chamber's Honors Night video below of the Art Garden.)

Wichita Arts Council Chris Cherches Award:  An award presented by the Design Council to honor excellence in public art. The award is in honor of Chris Cherches, Wichita's city manager for 18 years, who was a strong advocate for the arts in this community.

Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Prairie Gateway Chapter: The award recognizes specific works of landscape architectural design with an emphasis on projects that exhibit a relationship to planning and a framework for larger than the immediate site. Judging criteria include the quality of the design, functionalism, relationship to context, environmental responsibility, and relevance to the profession, the public, and the environment.  


New sculpture commissions for Art Garden

Pulse Field by Derek Porter
Derek Porter is a multi-disciplinary artist focused on the use of light within the built environment. Porter masterminded the lighting scheme for the Art Garden, and a new light installation, Pulse Field, which beautifully combines technological elements with natural forms. The long, aluminum light poles scattered across a newly created berm are topped with solar lights that gently turn on and off.


Wind Screens by Vicki Scuri
Based in Seattle, the nationally important public artist Vicki Scuri was a contributor to the Confluence team, helping to design WAM’s new Art Garden. Scuri designed a trio of screens inspired by the Kansas winds. These Wind Screens rely on a gestural pattern of circles to reference wind sailing across the landscape.




Art Garden Director's Circle

Paula and Barry Downing
Martie and Keith Walker
Lattner Family Foundation
Friends of the Wichita Art Museum
Jayne Milburn
Judy Slawson
Tom and Myra Devlin
Mike and Dee Michaelis
Emprise Bank
Sondra M. Langel
Richard D. Smith
Jeff Kennedy and Patti Gorham
Steve and Jan Randle


Art Garden Benefactors
Mary Eves and Rigby Carey
Ann and Martin Bauer
Helen and Ed Healy
Mrs. Sarah Smith
Toni and Bud Gates
Bill and Mary Lynn Oliver
Scott and Carol Ritchie
Chris Shank and Anna Anderson
Sue and Kurt Watson


Art Garden Patrons
IBM Matching Grants Program
Becky and Todd Middleton
Stephen and Ann Starch
Trish Higgins
Donna Preston
Sonia Greteman and Chris Brunner
Marni Vliet Stone and David Stone
Dr. Christopher A. Moeller
Casey Voegeli
Mary Douglas Brown
Susan and Richard Skibba
Anita Jones
John and Cindy Carnahan
Ruthie and Jim Gillespie


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1400 West Museum Boulevard Wichita, KS 67203-3200 | 316-268-4921