Portrait of Mika Holtzinger courtesy of the artist

Mika Holtzinger

Artist Mika Holtzinger participated in Artist INC Wichita this year. She designs public art projects, illustrates children’s books, operates an internet gallery, teaches art classes, and collaborates with wildlife organizations, like the Honey Bee Conservancy in New York City.

She offered the following feedback about her experience:

“I’ve organized my bookkeeping, have attempted writing my first press releases, and I feel more confident talking about my work. The goal-setting exercises gave me clarity about career options and actions, and have inspired me to plan more strategically for the future. Overall the most impactful aspect of the program was not a tool or a skill but the sense of belonging I now feel to an art community. It’s the bond we made that inspires me more than any exercise or lesson. I had no idea when I applied, it would be the relationships forged with other artists that would be the source that ‘moved’ me.

In many ways, this class filled a void in my career/life that I wasn’t aware I had. I’m not sure how to describe it, but I realized how alone I’ve been building my career, especially since grad school, and I believe that isolation is the root to many of my struggles. I’m not sure this rant makes sense, but the program has opened me to a community that I desperately needed on a spiritual level (yeah, I said it, ha) and I am going to do everything in my power to nurture and support the connections I’ve made. I’m managing a new gallery in Wichita and have invited several of the artists to exhibit, as well as a participate in different events. For example, this month several people from the program will be collaborating on a piece of art, live for an audience.

I’m grateful for the empowering knowledge and the supporting paperwork/book to make forward motion practical and possible. Most of all, I’m grateful for a place in a local art community that I will forever support. In many ways, thank you for a ‘life-changing’ experience. I know I sound overly dramatic but I’m sincere. Onward and Upward.”

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