Arts

Illinois Issues - The Scene
3:38 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

The Scene: Faingold & Otwell Preview Upcoming Events

Scott Faingold & Rachel Otwell
Credit Sean Crawford/ / WUIS / Illinois Issues

Scott Faingold  reports on arts & culture for the Illinois Times. (Find his blog here.) We'll be turning to him for this podcast exploring the central Illinois art scene - everything from music, literature, visual art, film and more. With my focus also being on the arts world here in Springfield, and Illinois - we'll tell listeners about our favorite things to check out in the area. We'll be learning about new artists and musicians right along with you.

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Arts
11:11 am
Tue August 12, 2014

A Lifelong Love Affair With The Arts

Credit SAAC

Penny Wollan-Kriel will retire at the end of next month as Executive Director of the Springfield Area Arts Council.  But she won't give up her connection to the arts community. 

'I am definitely staying back.  I do not want to be someone looking over the shoulder of the new Executive Director," she said.  "I will continue my involvement in the arts and with children."

She is a Springfield native who grew up dancing. Her  connection to the arts goes back to her childhood. Wollan-Kriel has spent a combined 17 years with the arts council. 

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Arts
5:15 am
Fri August 1, 2014

New Choir Brings A Level Of Expertise

Dr. Elizabeth Zobel
Credit glorianachamberchoir.org

A new professional vocal ensemble will hold its first concert Sunday in Springfield.  The Gloriana Chamber Choir features several who teach music and voice as well as others. 

The Conductor and Artistic Director Dr. Elizabeth W. Zobel of Blackburn College is the founder and she spoke with WUIS' Sean Crawford about the endeavor. 

The choir performs at 4 p.m. Sunday August 3 at the First Presbyterian Church in Springfield.  The performance will feature English music. 

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Arts
10:47 am
Wed July 23, 2014

"The Civil War" Becomes A Downtown Musical

Credit alplm

You may know the story of the war between the states.  But what is often overlooked is the emotional drama the period had on those who lived through it.

The musical "The Civil War" brings that part of the story to the stage in downtown Springfield starting Thursday night. 

"It's not a history lesson, although you learn a lot," Co-director Phil Funkenbusch said. "It's really a concert theatre piece."

"Instead of telling the story of the Civil War, it's really telling the stories about the people involved in the war."

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Arts
12:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Get "All Shook Up" At The Springfield Muni

If you love Elvis, get ready for the next Springfield Muni production.  All Shook Up begins a 3 week run Friday night.

We had a chance to speak with Jacob Deters, an SHG grad who plays "Dennis", Glenwood grad Sophie Lanser, who portrays "Natalie/Ed" and the director Anna Bussing.  It's her first time directing, but she's been part of the Muni family for years, first appearing as a kid on the lakeside stage. 

Deters and Lanser also give us a sample of the dialogue and perform a song.

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Arts
5:06 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Local Artist and Veteran Hosts First Gallery Opening

Midnight Beacon
Photo by Dan LoGrasso A Feral Gentleman Productions

December visitors to downtown Springfield's Café Andiamo will be greeted by the photography of artist and Springfield native Dan LoGrasso. A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, LoGrasso has honed his camera skills as a military journalist on multiple international and domestic deployments.

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MON 10/14, Noon & 7 PM
9:33 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Ties That Bind A StoryCorps 10th Anniversary Special

 This Columbus Day, October 14, WUIS' Illinois Edition invites you to listen to this special broadcast, Ties that Bind: StoryCorps 10th Anniversary Special

There are questions we would answer, if only we were asked. How did we grow up? What do we remember about home? What about our family? Celebrate the first decade of StoryCorps, with a special retrospective hosted by NPR’s Scott Simon and StoryCorps founder Dave Isay.

10/14/13 | 12 Noon & 7 pm.

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Arts
10:35 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Musicians Create "Sound Portraits"

Credit http://werticocainandgray.wordpress.com

Combining audio and visual effects, three Illinois musicians have joined up to create an act that defies conventional genres.

The trio plays a host of electronic and acoustic instruments - everything from saxophone, to cello, to the iPad.

The group recently released an album that is 100% improvised, as well as a DVD of those performances. They call their production, "Sound Portraits".

The three will be performing live again on August 31 as part of the Chicago Jazz Festival.

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Illinois Edition
10:07 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Film Festival Now Hosting Mini-Screenings In Springfield

Credit www.route66filmfestival.net

The film festival held in Springfield each fall has expanded its calendar of events to include "mini-screenings" this summer.

Route 66 International Film Festival board member Thea Chesley joined Peter Gray on Illinois Edition to discuss the short films her group is now sharing with moviegoers - in a setting that's more casual than conventional:

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Can the Arts Salve The Wounds of the Recession?

A single mom working as a part-time postal clerk at a small village post office in Shelby County moves briskly, dispensing stamps, weighing letters and shifting bulky packages. When not on duty at the post office, she works the late shift at the convenience store, sweeping the floors and locking up. She also manages to baby-sit and clean houses at other hours, all in an effort to make the proverbial ends meet in the slow drag of this recession.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Letting Artists be Artists: 'Colonies' Continue Nurture Creative Souls Amid Funding Challenges

Ragdale House in the fall.
Credit Sarah Hadley / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Back home in Philadelphia, Beth Feldman Brandt reserves her Fridays for writing poetry. At least, in theory she does. Distractions tend to get in the way for the busy foundation director.

So, for the second time in two years, Brandt has traveled to Ragdale, a retreat-style campus in Lake Forest, to recharge her batteries as an artist. Within a week of arriving, she had already made significant strides on one of her next projects, a series of poems based on arcane maps she viewed at Chicago’s Newberry Library. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Letting Artists be Artists: 'Colonies' Continue Nurture Creative Souls Amid Funding Challenges

Ragdale House in the fall.
Credit Sarah Hadley / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Back home in Philadelphia, Beth Feldman Brandt reserves her Fridays for writing poetry. At least, in theory she does. Distractions tend to get in the way for the busy foundation director.

So, for the second time in two years, Brandt has traveled to Ragdale, a retreat-style campus in Lake Forest, to recharge her batteries as an artist. Within a week of arriving, she had already made significant strides on one of her next projects, a series of poems based on arcane maps she viewed at Chicago’s Newberry Library. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Becoming Ray Bradbury

Photograph by Ralph Nelson courtesy of the Ray Bradbury family
Credit Ralph Nelson / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Ray Bradbury has lived his life in two different worlds. Not on faraway planets like the settings of many of his science fiction tales. Bradbury’s life has been divided between his early childhood in Waukegan and his adult life in California. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu December 1, 2011

A Governor's Inspiration: The Illinois Artisan Program

The Illinois Artisan Program
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

The way former Gov. James R. Thompson tells it, the idea for the Illinois Artisans Program came to him on a trip out east.

“We went through Vermont, and Vermont had these artisan shops at their rest stops — a couple of them anyway — in which they exhibited and sold crafts and art done by Vermont artists and folk artists. It was a very impressive display, and I thought, ‘You know what, I’ll bet Illinois has artists and artisans as good as those in Vermont. Why aren’t we promoting Illinois arts and crafts?’”

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Painting with Spaghetti

Installation view of Scott Reeder’s Untitled, 2011, MCA Chicago. Courtesy of the artist and Kavi Gupta, Chicago|Berlin. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Commission
Credit Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago / Museum of Contemporary Art

Scott Reeder paints ice cream cones that watch themselves melt in a mirror, depicts cigar-smoking fruit and crafts art made of spaghetti.

“All of my work is kind of humorous, deals with humor in different ways. My paintings come from conversations I have with people or funny or interesting things that I read,” says Reeder, an artist and associate professor at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Healing Through Art

The buttons were created from photographs brought by family members of their fallen solider.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Operation Oak Tree — which provides military families the opportunity to participate in therapeutic art, music and drama activities — recognizes that soldiers’ children are affected just as much as the spouses at home when soldiers are on deployment. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu December 1, 2011

State of the Arts: In Times of Tight Budgets, the Arts Should Not Always Come Last

Jamey Dunn
Credit mattpenning.com 2014 / WUIS/Illinois Issues

State budget cuts and the often long wait that schools face for payments from the state have hurt arts education. Art teachers have been laid off. Schools sometimes forgo buying supplies such as paper and paint when the state is slow to pay, because often those are some of the only things in their bottom line that are flexible.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed December 1, 2010

The Headliner: One Artist's Evolution

Jim Nutt, Bump, 2008.Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
Credit Jim Nutt / David Nolan Gallery, New York

Jim Nutt can take more than a year producing his paintings of women’s heads.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Walldogs: Building Murals Spruce Up Towns

Walldogs mural
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Former U.S. House Speaker ‘Uncle’ Joe Cannon, actor Dick Van Dyke and Chuckles candy all have something in common: They once called Danville home and recently had a mural painted of them. 

This August, the Walldogs, a group of sign and mural artists from around the world, descended on downtown Danville. Over the course of four days, a total of 16 murals were painted, bringing to life the town’s history and heritage. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Aerosol Art: Out of Graffiti Comes Renewal

The graffiti mural in Monmouth, IL
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

The Buchanan Center for the Arts is a facility not always found in a community of 10,000 people. Located in Monmouth, county seat of Warren County in western Illinois, the center features a 2,400-square-foot exhibit space, an artisan gift shop and a large studio for classes, meetings and other arts-related and community events.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Art School: Campus Recognized for Making Arts Education Central

The Odyssey program is a two-day fine arts festival attended by everyone at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., recognized Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire as one of five schools nationwide that have made the arts an essential part of their students’ education. The award, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education, comes with $2,000 to support the school’s arts education program.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Editor's Note: Nonfiction is Art, Too

Dana Heupel
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

My wife and I were feeling housebound on a recent rainy Sunday, so we set out for one of my favorite places in Springfield: a small used-books store near our home. It’s not the sort of place where you go with a particular book in mind; it’s the kind where you drop in periodically to scour the shelves for unexpected treasures.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed December 1, 2010

State of the Arts: The Arts Can Change Lives

Jamey Dunn
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

I would not be a reporter today if it weren’t for the drama program at my high school. I was a pretty shy kid. Sure, I had friends, but I also had a very difficult time talking to strangers. Knowing I had to make a speech in front of a group of people would cause me to lose sleep for days. In conversations, I often mumbled or spoke too softly for people to hear. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue December 1, 2009

Museum Misery: Illinois Institutions Dealt Dwindling Endowments

The Art Institute of Chicago. North View of Michigan Avenue Facade, courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Hours cut. Salaries trimmed. Pay frozen. Staff reduced. An exhibition canceled in part because of budget woes. Sharply reduced endowments have forced Illinois museums into distasteful decisions over the past year.

“I’m not trying to put any icing on this. It’s been a difficult time. The most difficult time in my 30-year career in museums,’’ says Jim Richerson, president and CEO of the Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences in Peoria.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue December 1, 2009

The Art of Science

Shown are color changes for 11 toxic industrial chemicals detected by an optoelectronic nose using a colorimetric sensor array (upper left). Like a fingerprint, each odorant has a unique color pattern.
Credit Kenneth Suslick / University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

“Art is science made clear,” said the French artist Jean Cocteau.

The public needs that. Science is complicated, detailed and that thing the “smart kids” in high school do. It uses terms such as “biotechnology” and “nanotechnology” that people sort of know and other terms like “phagocytes” and “quarks” that most have little idea what they are.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue December 1, 2009

Conversation

Millennium Park in Chicago is home to an exhibit featuring sculptures never before been seen in the United States. A Conversation with Chicago: Contemporary Sculptures from China displays four sculptures from some of China’s leading artists.

“Chinese contemporary art has become very popular in the last few years,” says Wu Hung, co-curator of the exhibit. “China is an emerging country, economically, and has a growing impact on the city of Chicago.” The exhibit aims to bring a global conversation about China to the city. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue December 1, 2009

Illinois Artisans Program Raises Public Awareness of State Crafts and Artists

Mississippi Mud Pottery, Raku sheepshead
Credit Illinois Artisans Program

The Illinois Artisans Program, created in 1985 by former Gov. James R. Thompson to help raise public exposure for state crafts and artisans, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2010.

“The Illinois Artisans Program has nearly 1,700 juried artists that do everything from painting, sculpting, metal working and basket weaving to sculpting, ceramics, wood carving and lace making,” says director Carolyn Patterson. “Some of these crafts are traditional Illinois crafts, but it is not required that an artist’s work have an Illinois focus.”

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue December 1, 2009

Illinois High School Students Recognized in Congressional Art Competition

The 2009 Congressional Art Competition marked the 28th year that congressional representatives and their young constituents have been brought together through art, and this year, 17 high school students were recognized from throughout Illinois. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Fri May 1, 2009

Editor's Note: Artwork Serves as a Reminder of Distinguished Illinois Politicians

Dana Heupel
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

For our wedding anniversary recently, my wife gave me a gift to hang in my office. Created by Springfield artist Jim Edwards, it is an accordion-like combination of two images. Viewed from the left side, you see Abraham Lincoln; from the right, Barack Obama.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon December 1, 2008

The Perfect Storm: Advocates Focus on Positioning the Arts as a Way to Escape Economic Gloom

Artwork from the Decatur Illinois Post Office WPA mural.
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

One of President John F. Kennedy’s last speeches before his assassination described poet Robert Frost as possessing fidelity that strengthened the “fibre of our national life.” That speech, on October 26, 1963, at Amherst College in Massachusetts, went beyond honoring a single poet, however. Nestled in his message was Kennedy’s take on the arts as part of the nation’s strength, morality, wealth, wisdom, power and purpose.

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