Past Exhibitions



Holiday Treasures is sponsored by Julius Alexander, Mary Anderson, Anne & Brian Boyden, Julia Davis Law Firm LLC, The Family of Jackie Dolan, Richard & Diana Finch, Ruth Ann & Steve Friedberg, Peggy Hundley, Mike & Alexis Kalish, Anne & Steve Matter, Cathy Pratt & Dave Templeton, Jim & Pam Raymond, and the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts


Artist Residency Workshops:

Mandy Roeing (pastel) Thursday, Nov. 1st – Saturday, Nov. 3rd

Kara Kirchner (felting) Wednesday, Nov. 7th – Saturday, Nov. 10th

Natalie Wetzel (encaustic/mixed media painting) Wednesday, Nov. 14th – Saturday, Nov. 17th

Holiday Treasures Reception, Thursday, Nov. 15th from 5-8pm

Heather Evert (temari Japanese embroidery) Wednesday, Nov. 21st – Thursday, Nov. 29th

Krystal Lyon (mixed media sculpture) Friday, Nov. 30th – Saturday, Dec. 8th

Whitney Johnson (mixed media painting/collage) Wednesday, Dec. 12th – Saturday, Dec. 15th



Brandt Gallery

Convo with the Curator: Tuesday, October 16th, 5-6 pm

A Practice in Permanence explores the importance of human interaction in the work of seven artists using a variety of media. All pieces have a life in the gallery allowing viewers to see and explore the growth, decay, or remnants of each work. The works toil with the question of art’s permanence and the metaphor this evolution embodies.

The exhibit includes works from Christopher Cohoon (painter/mixed media), Christopher Hagen (printmaker and bookmaker), Claudia Husband (printmaker and textile designer), Whitney Johnson (plant materials/mixed media), Kira Santiago (organic flower farmer and floral designer), Melanie Scott-Dockery (mixed media), and Chris Wille(New Technology/mixed media artist).


     

Works by Chris Cohoon and Whitney Johnson, two of the seven participating artists.


A Practice in Permanence                                         

September 7 – October 18, 2018 

Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 5 – 7 pm


Armstrong Gallery




    

Alice Lee                                                                   

September 7 – October 18, 2018       

Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 5 – 7 pm

Alice J. Lee is a graphic designer and educator with over 10 years of professional experience across print and digital media. Her research interests include alphabetic systems, namely the Korean alphabet, and concepts of interconnectedness and the dynamic of complementing opposites.

Sales Gallery

Student Artists of the McLean County Arts Center


Jim Arendt                                                                  

August 3 – September 1, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, August 3, 5 – 7 pm

Armstrong Gallery


Nick Satinover                                                          

August 3 – September 1, 2018           

Opening Reception: Friday, August 3, 5 – 7pm



Sales Gallery

 Eric Benson and FreshPress

Brandt Gallery

      

Revisiting Rockwell by Maggie Meiners                 

June 22 – July 28, 2018              

Opening Reception: Friday, June 22, 5 – 7 pm

Sponsored by Yvonne & Brian Hoop

Meiners’ project, Revisiting Rockwell, attempts to contemporize Rockwell’s original works by weaving into each photograph the social issues and elements more suggestive of today. She is examining whether the nostalgia of Rockwell’s work translates into our rapidly changing lifestyles and how his very human tableaux can reflect this moment in time. She is drawn to Rockwell’s work because she has always had a fascination with the past and ends up having a better understanding of the world if she looks at the old in the context of the new. As she continues to examine Rockwell’s work, she has noticed, for better or worse, that while sociological landscape  has changed in many ways, there is much that remains the same.

Armstrong Gallery

 

 






    


Lunacy: A group exhibition                                                       

May 4 – June 16, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, May 4, 5 – 7 pm

The invitational show titled Lunacy emphasizes the drama of light in nocturnal, lunar, space, stars, distance, and occasional madness of artworks from a select group of Illinois artists including:      Ali Akyuz & Kayla Hueneburg Akyuz, Les Allen, Sheila Asbell Allen, Angel Ambrose, Gary Beaumont, Jessica Benjamin, Rick Boschulte, Jan Brandt collaboration with Lucas Stiegman, James Butler, Cathie Crawford, Ian Crawley, Herb Eaton, Cathy Engberg, Gerard Erley, Dennis French, Alfonso Gosalbez, Graehound, Harold Gregor, Claire Hedden, Carole Hennessy, Jonathan Higgins, Gary Justis, Jeff Little, Carmen Lozar, Melissa Oresky, Lyle Salmi, Rosalyn Schwartz, AJ Art Slut, Tim Stone, Torri Thompson, and Janusz Walentynowicz.

       GraehoundPeriphery

       Gary Beaumont , Oceanic, Planet X, Ice Planet

Thank you to Kevin Kuebler for the generous sponsorship!



Armstrong Gallery

         

Peter Bushell 

DECONSTRUCT   I   ACCORD                                                       

May 4 – June 16, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, May 4, 5 – 7 pm

Bushell's current creative efforts challenge the norms of letter forms and letterpress printing. Instead of utilizing type as words and paragraphs to be read, he explores individual letterforms as elements of abstract compositions allowing letters to fall off the page. The visual results are dynamic and colorful abstractions which push the conventional letter forms away from familiarity.




Sales Gallery

Cathie Haab                 

Wingding: Some Small Quilts                                                      

May 4 – June 16, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, May 4, 5 – 7 pm

Cathie Haab is a quilter and artist from Hudson, Illinois. Preferring colorful printed fabric, she makes contemporary quilts which express her thoughtfully humorous take on common human experiences of discovery, doubt, life journey and just plain fun.

The quilts depict some humor, some fun, some encouragement to hope, some different color combinations as something unique to see and think about. The movement conveyed in the quilts is inspired by the fun and freedom birds have in flight, the motion of spinning and twirling, and even the sensation of vertigo which may come in celebration or working through despair.




 

91st Annual Amateur Exhibition

March 2 - April 21, 2018

Merwin Medal – Best of Show – Jeanna Campbell, ISU Graduate School of Social Work, “#sayhername”

Ashley Ritter Most Promising Art Award – Luci Bianco, Heyworth High School, “Grateful”

HIGH SCHOOL                   1st PLACE                                             2nd PLACE

Graphics              Madyson Fosdick                                             Cecilia Fosen

                          Heyworth HS, “Mistress”                                     Lexington HS, “Self-Portrait”      

Painting               Laura Westpfahl                                              Olivia Frank

                    Normal Community HS, “Progression”                     Bloomington HS, “What’s Underneath”

Photography      Hayley Dralle                                                    Colleen Hayes

                    Bloomington HS, “Exertion”                                    Central Catholic HS, “Beyond the Surface”

Sculpture             Ashley Spencer                                                Bree Maze

                   Heyworth HS, “Open Up”                                           Normal West HS, “Steam Punk Box”

 

UNIVERSITY                       1st PLACE                                                 2nd PLACE

Graphics                     Felicia Cannon                                                  Aianna Zachary

                       Illinois State, “Smoke Blush”                                Heartland Com. College, “Self Portrait”

Painting                     Alissa Palmer                                                    Annie Otto

                   Illinois State, “untitled”                                                         Illinois State, “The Siblings”

Photography             Lucas Stiegman                                            Brianna Lehnen

                    Illinois State, “Boxed In”                                          Heartland Com. College, “la femme d’or”

Sculpture                   Sarah Hurley                                              Mary Beth Breshears

                     Heartland Com. College, “Elevate”                                Illinois State, “Sunny Day Shrivel”

ADULT                                  1st PLACE                                                2nd PLACE

Graphics                   Amber Gravett                                           Sean-Thomas Gunnell

                                  Bloomington, “Cat in Motion”                                  Bloomington, “Herne, the Horned God”

Painting                   Mardell Klasen                                                 Lizzie Lindenbaum

                                 Bloomington, “On a Fall Day”                                                  Chicago, “Good Earth”

Photography            Michael O'Brien                                               Georgi Baird

                                 Downs, “American Citizen”                                              Bloomington, “Magical Morning”

Sculpture               Catherine Haab                                                Eunjung Schantz

                                Hudson, “Cosmic Gyre”                                                 Normal, “Tea Pot”


Entries received:            Entries accepted:

HIGH SCHOOL                    98                                                           26

UNIVERSITY                       75                                                           27

ADULT                              114                                                          40

                           Total      287                        Total      93

Juror’s Statement

It was such an honor to jury the 91st Annual McLean County Amateur Art Competition and Exhibition. The work submitted was incredibly strong, and it was a challenge to make final selections. The time I spent with the works was inspiring, and gave me great confidence in the future and reputation of art and artists working in McLean County and Central Illinois. Everyone who submitted should be proud of their accomplishments. Congratulations to those artists included, and I look forward to seeing your continued creative output!                         

                                                                                Jeff Robinson


 

Armstrong Gallery

 Jeff Robinson   March 2 – April 21, 2018

Jeff Robinson is an artist and curator based in both Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. He received his MFA degree from Illinois State University in 2011. Robinson has exhibited at venues that include RomanSusan (Chicago), Ski Club (Milwaukee), Rosalux Gallery (Minneapolis), Outhaus (Urbana), and E. Tay (New York). His work has been published in New American Paintings and Manifest Gallery’s International Painting Annual. His work has been featured on Daily Serving, in NewCity Magazine (Chicago), and in the Riverfront Times (St. Louis), among others. In 2014, he received an Individual Artist Support Grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Robinson has worked as artist-in-residence at Ragdale (2017) and ACRE (2017). In addition to his studio practice, Robinson serves as Instructor of Art at the University of Illinois Springfield, as Director of the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, and as co-director (and co-founder) of DEMO Project.

Sales Gallery

         

Jinghua Zeng

            March 2 – April 21, 2018                 

            Opening Reception: Sunday, March 4, 2 pm

At the age of 92 years old, Ms. Jinghua Zeng continues to be very passionate in her practice of Chinese calligraphy.  Since immigrating to Bloomington twenty years ago, she has sought out many opportunities to promote Chinese culture in the United States.  She has demonstrated her calligraphy skills at various international fairs at Illinois State University, the Heartland Community College Chinese School, a local Chinese martial arts school and McLean County Arts Center Holiday Treasure event.  Her art contains many distinguished characters, including those that are powerful, playful and elegant, as well as several different calligraphy fonts that trace back 2,300 years of Chinese history.  Community members across the area have enjoyed her art on college campuses, in business offices, and in homes.

Ms. Jinghua Zeng is a retired professor and served as the Chair of the Education Department at the Guangxi Teachers’ College in Nanning, China.  She is a well-respected scholar featured in the “Chinese Academic Who’s Who” publication.








Dann Nardi / from the studio

 January 12—February 17, 2018

     Opening Reception: Friday, January 19, 5—7 pm

       Gallery Talk: Thursday, February 15, 6—7 pm

 Generously Sponsored by Julius and Sue Alexander


 

Armstrong Gallery

Boundary Layer

 Photographs by Nancy Fewkes and Sculptures by Laura Primozic

       January 12—February 24, 2018

     Opening Reception: Friday, January 19, 5—7 pm



Sales Gallery

    

Molly Markow

       January 12—February 24, 2018

     Opening Reception: Friday, January 19, 5—7 pm


Rhea Edge


September 8—October 21, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, September 8, 5 – 7 pm

Gallery Tour and Discussion: Saturday, October 14, 1 - 2 pm


Rhea Edge is passionate about art making, activism, and environmental conservation. Through her painting, drawing, and printmaking, she educates as well as inspires. Edge has traveled the world extensively to study natural habitation of species informing her artistic practice. Her stunning, large scale paintings are at once full of life and energy combined with a deeper sense of longing for these depleting habitats.

Edge is a Professor as well as Chair of Fine and Performing Arts at Eureka College. She earned her BS, MS, and MFA from Illinois State University, Normal.

Generously sponsored by Sandra & Paul Harmon, Alexis & Mike Kalish, and Marlene & Harold Gregor.



Harold Boyd



September 8—October 21, 2017

Opening Reception: Friday, September 8, 5 – 7 pm

Gallery Tour and Discussion: Saturday, October 14, 2 - 3 pm

Harold Boyd will be exhibiting current painted drawings and a sculptural tableau installation. A figurative artist, Boyd celebrates narrative through exaggerated gesture and slight abstraction. Pulling from memories of his past youth and observations of children today, the work is playful, imaginative, and intense in shades of black and white.

Harold Boyd is a Professor Emeritus of Illinois State University, Normal.

Generously sponsored by Marlene & Harold Gregor and Sandra & Paul Harmon 


In the Armstrong gallery...

The McLean County Arts Center presents 

MCAC Board Members & Staff Art Exhibition 

in the Armstrong Gallery August 4- September 2, 2017. The free and public Closing Reception will be on Friday, September 1, 5 - 7 pm



This exhibition is current featured on WGLT:



McLean County Arts Center Board Members & Staff, past and present, will exhibit their current artwork. As the non-profit arts agency for McLean County, the arts center has had many talented artists teach, volunteer, and serve our community. This exhibition will include a diversity of work and demonstrate the commitment and professionalism MCAC has to the arts.

Sponsored by 

Linda Willis Fisher and Robert Fisher, Rashod TaylorAlexis and Mike Kalish



In the Brandt Gallery...

The McLean County Arts Center 

presents 

The Bloomington Normal 

KodaRoamers Camera Club exhibition 

From One Group to Another: A Sense of Purpose

in the Brandt Gallery August 4- September 2, 2017. The free and public Opening Reception will be on Friday, August 4, 5 - 7 pm 

Sponsored by Gay Dolan, Yvonne & Brian Hoop, and the Julia Davis Law Firm.


The Bloomington Normal KodaRoamers Camera Club will be exhibiting photographs taken by their members of 10-12 nonprofit, charitable, and community building clubs in McLean County. This demonstration of affiliation between clubs that support and make up our culture will strengthen our common goals as community members. Clubs included may be: American Legion, Boy Scouts, Central Illinois Radio, Habitat for Humanity, International Women’s Club, Lake Run Club, Master Gardeners, McLean County India Association, McLean County Courthouse Quilters, Twin City Cruisers, 4-H, and Young Mens’ Club.







In the Sales Gallery...



The McLean County Arts Center presents Krystal Lyon ’s exhibition Figura Autem A Femina in the Sales Gallery June 16 – July 29, 2017. The free and public Reception will be on Friday, June 23, 5 - 7 pm.

“Four years ago I was introduced to the fiber sculptures of Judith Scott and instantly connected with how she used fiber and string to speak truths hidden away in her mind. As soon as I started making my own sculptures I recognized them as female. 
A strong frame, veins woven together and multi layered, these ladies developed curves and shapes that were so attractive and curious. I’m interested in what makes up a woman, the masculine and the feminine that are woven into us from conception, so there are references to our mothers and fathers in each piece. I also believe that the secrets we hold and hide give us unexpected shapes. I wanted to hide hopes and prayers and even regret and shame in each sculpture, some towards the surface but others at the core of each woman. These are my hidden treasures. You could try to unravel the secret but you would tear the woman apart and she would never be the same after. 

Figura Autem A Femina is latin for “The Shape Of A Woman”. These sculptures are my way of recognizing women, seeing them as layered, beautiful and full of mystery. Contemplating what their lives mean today and the shape they will take as the years pass. Each of these women have given me hope and inspired me. I pray, with these sculptures, I can display their glory and bear witness to their stories”.

Krystal Kay Lyon is a fiber artist from North Augusta, South Carolina currently living in Bloomington/Normal.






The McLean County Arts Center presents Heather Brammeier ’s exhibition Lose the Feeling in the Brandt Gallery June 17 – July 29, 2017. The free and public Reception will be on Friday, June 23, 5 - 7 pm.

Heather Brammeier is a painter and installation artist whose work explores the perception of flat planes versus dimension.  For Lose the Feeling, her solo exhibition at the McLean County Arts Center, Brammeier has built a wood floor that hovers at an angle over the wood floor of the arts center gallery.  The interplay of a tilted wood floor with the level surface of the gallery floor leads viewers to ask themselves questions about their perception of groundedness and spatial relationships.  The title Lose the Feeling refers to the ways in which people suppress emotional experiences to suit the needs of others.  The tilted false floor invites viewers to contrast the raw, splintered underside of the floor with the warm, polished façade.  The floor becomes a metaphor for individuals’ tendencies to present a “front” to others while experiencing more complex, raw emotions within.

heatherbrammeier.com


Cynthia Kukla. To the Sacred Grove.

The McLean County Arts Center presents Cynthia Kukla’s exhibition in the Armstrong Gallery June 16 - July 29, 2017. The free and public Reception will be on Friday, June 23, 5 - 7 pm.

"Before me, artists I admire have revisited famous figures and images in history and the works of art that stabilize their memory:  Grace Hardigan's Great Queen Series, Leon Golub's Greek colossi and sphinxes, Jim Dine’s Glypthotek drawings, James Lee Byars installations and Roy Lichtenstein's rendition of monuments.  My work is a tender rather than an ironic enterprise and the paintings I do bring together the painterly authority of our times, where a full arsenal of contemporary strategies are available for use, with the meditations on the past that this sober moment invites.  From sculptor Giacommeti:  “The entire art of the past, of all periods, of all civilizations rises before my mind, becomes a simultaneous vision, as if time had become space.”

La imagen puede contener: una o varias personas y texto

The McLean County Arts Center presents Krystal Lyon ’s exhibition Figura Autem A Femina in the Sales Gallery June 16 – July 29, 2017. The free and public Reception will be on Friday, June 23, 5 - 7 pm.

“Four years ago I was introduced to the fiber sculptures of Judith Scott and instantly connected with how she used fiber and string to speak truths hidden away in her mind. As soon as I started making my own sculptures I recognized them as female. 
A strong frame, veins woven together and multi layered, these ladies developed curves and shapes that were so attractive and curious. I’m interested in what makes up a woman, the masculine and the feminine that are woven into us from conception, so there are references to our mothers and fathers in each piece. I also believe that the secrets we hold and hide give us unexpected shapes. I wanted to hide hopes and prayers and even regret and shame in each sculpture, some towards the surface but others at the core of each woman. These are my hidden treasures. You could try to unravel the secret but you would tear the woman apart and she would never be the same after. 

Figura Autem A Femina is latin for “The Shape Of A Woman”. These sculptures are my way of recognizing women, seeing them as layered, beautiful and full of mystery. Contemplating what their lives mean today and the shape they will take as the years pass. Each of these women have given me hope and inspired me. I pray, with these sculptures, I can display their glory and bear witness to their stories”.

Krystal Kay Lyon is a fiber artist from North Augusta, South Carolina currently living in Bloomington/Normal.




VAUGHN WASCOVICH. WELCOME TO HARD TIMES-EAST TEXAS PINHOLES.

April 28-June 10. Reception: Friday, June 9, 5 - 7 pm. 

The McLean County Arts Center presents Vaughn Wascovich’s photography exhibition Welcome to Hard Times-East Texas Pinholes in the Brandt Gallery from April 28 through June 10, 2017. The free and public Artist Reception and Art Talk will be on Friday, June 9, 5 - 7 pm. Wascovich will also give a Workshop on Saturday, June 10, 12-3 pm. The artist will show the process of the old process of taking pictures with pinhole cameras.

Vaughn Wascovich’s work is the result of combining the primitive method of a pinhole camera with digital technology. His work and research are full of social content. Man’s relationship to the environment, compromised landscapes, the politics of indigenous peoples and environmental issues are some of the concepts that come to mind while enjoying the artist’s work. The Northeast Texas landscape is depicted with a poetic and unique vision. Mobile homes, collapsed churches and abandoned farms emphasize the ideas of displacement and transience. These concepts transport us to the richness of the area and also its uncertainty. Light and Time (physical and symbolically) are well addressed in Vaughn's work, each becoming co-creators in the artist’s vision and inviting viewers to consider the work beyond temporal means.  

The McLean County Arts Center is located at 601 N. East Street in downtown Bloomington. Arts Center hours are Tuesday, 10am- 7pm; Wednesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; and Saturday, noon-4pm; Sunday and Monday, closed. For more information, please call 309/829-0011, like us on Facebook, or check on our website: www.mcac.org. MCAC is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 


NATE MATHEWS. NUCLEAR TOURISM.

                                                    

April 28-June 17. Reception: Friday, June 9, 5 - 7 pm. 

The McLean County Arts Center presents Nate Mathews photography exhibition Nuclear Tourism in the Armstrong Gallery from April 28 through June 17, 2017. The free and public Artist Reception will be on Friday, May 5, 5 - 7 pm. 

Nate Mathews presents a body of work that documents a state of mind of the American society. During the 1950’s the U.S. government built facilities with the purpose of being prepared for the cold war. These massive bunkers, silos for ballistic missiles, and national communication networks are subjects containing a precise aesthetic worthy of being admired. By allowing his work to highlight both the beauty and the dark potential purposes of his subject matter, Mathews’ photographs step beyond the pure documentation proposing as many questions as answers. 

The McLean County Arts Center is located at 601 N. East Street in downtown Bloomington. Arts Center hours are Tuesday, 10am- 7pm; Wednesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; and Saturday, noon-4pm; Sunday and Monday, closed. For more information, please call 309/829-0011, like us on Facebook, or check on our website: www.mcac.org. MCAC is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 


DEANNA FRAUTSCHI. SPRING IS ON THE WING.

                                                                     

April 28-June 10. Reception: Friday, June 9, 5 - 7 pm. 

The McLean County Arts Center presents Deanna Frautschi’s photography exhibition. Spring brings with it the anticipation of winged beauties returning to our Central Illinois backyard. These photos represent songbirds, butterflies and bees who fly in to enjoy our nature habitat … some for a brief respite on their migration north and some to stay for the summer and raise their young in our backyard. 

Deanna Frautschi is a Master Naturalist who uses her photography skills to document animals, birds and insects visiting her backyard habitat. She and her husband Alan Bedell have turned their five acres of cornfield into a nature retreat over the last 40 years. It is certified by the National Wildlife Federation. They enjoy sharing their restored habitat with other creatures around them including the human species. Deanna uses her wildlife photography for educational and informational presentations and articles.

The McLean County Arts Center is located at 601 N. East Street in downtown Bloomington. Arts Center hours are Tuesday, 10am- 7pm; Wednesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; and Saturday, noon-4pm; Sunday and Monday, closed. For more information, please call 309/829-0011, like us on Facebook, or check on our website: www.mcac.org. MCAC is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 





90th Annual McLean County Amateur Art Exhibition & Competition

90th Annual McLean County Amateur Art Competition/Exhibition Award Winners


Merwin Medal – Best of Show – Jayda Jumper


 

Ashley Ritter Most Promising Art Award – Jeanna Campbell

HIGH SCHOOL                       1st PLACE                                                                    2nd PLACE

Graphics                                 Allison Ganther                                                     Cecilia Fosen    

Painting                                   Mia Harris                                                               Cecilia Fosen

Photography                        Connell Gapinski                                                       Anne Witte

Sculpture                                Ashley Spencer                                                     Spencer Ecton

UNIVERSITY                            1st PLACE                                                                    2nd PLACE

Graphics                                 Rebecca Kordas                                                          Alissa Palmer

Painting                                   Hannah Songer                                                          Keri Leach

              Photography                               Joe Koski                                                                  Christopher Myers

Sculpture                                Hayley Gray                                                              Benjamin Bays

ADULT                                       1st PLACE                                                                    2nd PLACE

Graphics                                 Pam Gates                                                                 Nina Gordon

Painting                                   Robert Faulkner                                                        Shirley Passmore

Photography                        Michael O'Brien                                                              Mark Swanson

Sculpture                                Ali Akyvz                                                                       Jenny Clay

This exhibitions and awards are made possible by the generosity of these sponsors:

Alphagraphics, R. Charles & Laura Baue, The Copy Shop, Gay Dolan, Charlette & Roger Elm, Susan Emmerson, Francois Associates Architects, Dennis French, Linda Willis Fisher & Robert Fisher, Glodo's Original Kettle Korn, Alison & Brian Hatcher, Aaron Henkelman & Lori Baum,  Jan & Ken Holder, Dave & Sandy Holt, Kristen & Doug Johnson, Alexis & Mike Kalish, KodaRoamers Camera Club of Bloomington-Normal, Lucca Grill, Susan & John Mendenhall, Mid-America Insurance, Reid & Cathy Richards, Ashley Ritter Memorial Fund, Jack & Linda Ritter, Diane & Ronald Skidmore, Specs Around Town, Robert & Connie Stefl, Sulaski & Webb CPAs, Barbara & Bill Taft, Mark & Deborah Thurston, Timothy Kent Gallery & Framing, Unique Designs, Steve & Deb Wannemacher, Lynn & Patsy Webber 

90th Annual McLean County Amateur Art Competition/Exhibition

McLean County Arts Center received 282 entries for this year’s competition. The juror, Stephanie Roberts, selected 124 artworks for the exhibition and awarded 26 cash prizes for outstanding works of art by amateur McLean County artists.

Stephanie Roberts earned an MFA in Painting from the University of Iowa. She is an internationally exhibited artist and teaches studio art at the City Colleges of Chicago.  Roberts has been a Visiting Artist at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, at Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, as well as Visiting Critic at North Park University, Chicago.

Entries received:                              Entries accepted:

HIGH SCHOOL                        119                                          32

UNIVERSITY                  83                                            48

ADULT                            80                                            41

                         Total   282                              Total   124

Juror’s Statement

Jurying this year's Amateur Art Exhibition was an honor for me, and a huge challenge.  It was with extreme difficulty that I selected just a portion of the large number of very impressive submissions.  The work in this show is a testament to your strong community of artists and art educators in the level of technical skill, breadth of subject matter, and depth of expression and content.  I found the statement pieces to be thought-provoking, the craftsmanship in others to be elegantly sophisticated, and the personal visual expressions in so many to be resonant with me as an artist and fellow human being.

                                                                    -Stephanie Roberts




In the Armstrong Gallery...

Alighted Stephanie Roberts


The McLean County Arts Center presents Stephanie Roberts’ figurative painting exhibition Alighted in the Armstrong Gallery from March 3 through April 22, 2017. The free and public Artist Reception will be on Friday, March 10, 5 - 7 pm. Roberts served as the juror for the 90th Annual McLean County Amateur Art Competition/Exhibition showing concurrently in the MCAC’s Brandt Gallery.

Stephanie Roberts' oil paintings of figures exhibit a mastery of handling paint and study of metaphor. Roberts’ figures are represented in several ways- exquisitely poised diving through space in swimsuits, paired with birds, or at rest in portraits. Painted in an expressive style they surprise the viewer with the quiet and calm they manifest by allowing the momentum of the subject to be studied. This duality in the artist’s work is intended as she explores the struggles between free will, destiny, the human, and the divine. By painting her subjects suspended in space and time, Roberts’ paintings also propose questions concerning order, meaning, and existence.  

Stephanie Roberts earned an MFA in Painting from the University of Iowa. She is an internationally exhibited artist and teaches studio art at the City Colleges of Chicago. Roberts has been a Visiting Artist at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, at Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, as well as Visiting Critic at North Park University, Chicago.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.


In the Sales Gallery...

Dualities Carolina Rodríguez


The McLean County Art Center presents in the Sales Gallery the exhibition Dualities by Carolina Rodríguez beginning March 3 through April 22. Please join us for the free and public Artist Reception on Friday, March 5, 5-7 PM.

"Carolina is a Costa Rican artist. She has lived in the United States for 6 years. Her life involves constant travel between two countries, Costa Rica and the U.S. On one hand Carolina identifies with her roots in Costa Rica, but on the other she has a new life with her husband Cesar and their daughter Maya here in Bloomington. These trips have allowed her to find certain dualities in the environments in which she lives. Her work tries to show the contrast and similarities between these two countries: one tropical, developing, full of color, and a capital city full of old buildings, people, cars and street sales; the other a great country, a world power, developed and with vibrant cities like Chicago, where she has found inspiration in its urban atmosphere, skyscrapers and constant movement. This exhibition aims to show the dualities present in the two worlds in which the artist lives."

- Carolina Rodríguez



McLean County Arts Center members have access to past exhibition videos.

Thin Deep Ribbon

Scott Rankin


The McLean County Arts Center presents Scott Rankin’s exhibition Thin Deep Ribbon – photography of the sky in the Armstrong Gallery January 6 – February 25, 2017. The free and public Reception will be on Friday, January 20, 5 - 7 pm and the Art Talk will be on Friday, February 3 at 6 pm.

For several years Scott Rankin has been photographing the sky- zooming up from the ground or floating within from an airplane window seat. As a visual artist and pilot drawn to the sky’s constantly changing depths, colors, forms, and sensations, Rankin has taken tens of thousands of still images and videos. In this small selection, he presents clouds creating abstracted space. Exploring flatness and depth, scale and light, ambiguous shape and human recognition, each unique image surprises and inspires awe. Rankin writes:

The sky is the source of air, light, moisture, and energy.

It illuminates and reflects the land.

It is an essential component of the “landscape”.

Although it is very thin, it is deep.

You can lose yourself in it.

The sky is a place with many places within it.

It is always with you and yet far.

It is a place we want to go to.

It is three-dimensional yet two-dimensional.

It is always different and the same.

In the past one hundred years or so,

we have been privileged to dwell there for precious moments,

accumulating, if we are lucky, a few hundred or thousand hours.

Scott Rankin is a Professor of Art at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards and his work has been published and exhibited worldwide. 

Click Here to Listen to WGLT's Sound Ideas interview with Laura Kennedy about the exhibition





The McLean County Arts Center presents the exhibition point|line|shape|form in the Brandt Gallery January 6 – February 18, 2017. The free and public Artist Reception will be on Friday, January 20, 5 - 7 pm with a Gallery Talk at 6:30 pm.

The words point|line|shape|form outline the basic principles of geometry and suggest a commonality among the work of five Illinois artists. Juan Fernandez, Jonathan Higgins, Mark Holmes, Travis Janssen, and John Nelson create non-representational modernist artwork- defining spaces with lines and planes, isolating and unifying composition with color, and creating movement and visual vibrations. The work they create is an exercise of what they believe to be essential, pure, and necessary. What separates their artwork from abstract modernism art is an embracing of postmodernist technologies, traditional art media, hand as tool, layering of media inherent qualities, or juxtaposition of characteristics. The artists’ aesthetic may appear familiar at a glance but is full of surprises.

 Juan Fernandez’ photographic project Façade focuses on the familiar yet strange exterior forms of buildings. He states, “I want the peculiarities to exist as metaphors for uneasiness, rejection, and isolation. These feelings are illustrated as odd photographic moments within a landscape of form, structure, and order. This is accomplished by using the innate qualities of the photographic process, coupled with varying amounts of digital manipulation. Specifically, each image is cleansed of distracting elements.” The overemphasis of their geometry makes the buildings feel solid, opaque, and uninhabitable with few windows and doors, some missing door knobs.

Jonathan Higgins’ metalpoint drawings are created by dragging a fine point of copper, brass, silver, or other metal over a gesso painted paper leaving trace amounts of metal. Using a ruler and compass to create precise lines, Higgins lays out hundreds of lines creating forms, patterns, and tonal areas. The metalpoint technique of drawing dates back to the Renaissance creating permanent images in metal that oxidizes over time transforming in color by tarnishing. Higgins shares, “To be working in metalpoint within the realm of contemporary abstraction adds an additional layer of interest for me as an artist, and suggests the potential of bringing new relevance to a Renaissance technique.”

Exhibiting two distinct sculptural bodies of work, Mark Holmes constant interest of manipulating geometric form, color engagement, and creating movement through drawn lines are apparent. His wall constructions are structures of shaped planes, drawn lines, and shells of forms that seem to be building as well as unbuilding themselves. As much as the wall constructions are seemingly in motion, his large vertical clay objects are static and monumental. He states, “Everything I’d ever made (buildings, furniture, sculpture) had been constructed from hard materials like wood or metal through many binary acts of severing or attaching one thing and another. And, because most of my ‘skills’ with materials were really skills with tools, I wanted to shape things without tools. What finally resulted were vertical objects, six to seven feet tall, made by pinching together small pieces of clay over a period of several months.”

Travis Janssen’s linear prints on stretched book cloth are optically engaging shifting two dimensions to three. The repetition of lines in increasing and decreasing degrees of thickness create shape and form and a vibration that encourages the eye to move back and forth, up and down, in and out, or around and around. He states, “As the lines of these compositions interact with the woven cloth support, interference or moiré patterns frequently result, forming additional line structures. Paradoxically, both quiet and dynamic, these works allow viewers to immerse themselves in contemplative abstraction while also locating familiar ground within the images.”

John Nelson’s stretched linen acrylic paintings explore color relationships through square compositions. Color becomes opaque solid shape when applied strategically on the front of the canvas or ephemeral haze when applied to the back of the linen or the wood of the stretcher bars. Harmony and discord are explored through tone and hue, proportion and composition, opacity and transparency. “I am engaged in the dynamic of taking different things and mashing them together,” states Nelson.

Juan Fernandez is an artist based in the suburbs of Chicago. He earned his BFA from Columbia College, Chicago and his MFA from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. He teaches photography at Elgin and Waubonsee Community Colleges. Fernandez exhibits nationally and is included in many collections.

Jonathan Higgins is the owner and Master Printer at Manneken Press in Bloomington. He earned his BA from Humboldt State University, Arcata, California and his MA from New York University, New York City. He exhibits his own work, has worked at printmaking studios, and collaborated with artists internationally.

Mark Holmes is an Associate Professor and Chair of Art at Knox College, Galesburg Illinois. He earned his BA from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and his MFA from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Holmes exhibits nationally.

Travis Janssen received an MFA degree in Printmaking from Arizona State University and a BFA from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Janssen exhibits internationally and is currently an Assistant Professor and Head of the Printmaking Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

John Nelson earned a BA from North Park University in Chicago and an MFA from Northern Illinois University.  He exhibits primarily in the upper Midwest and has taught studio classes at University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri and Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois. He lives and works in Quincy.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by Susan Emmerson.





The McLean County Arts Center presents the 40th annual art exhibition and sale Holiday Treasures in the Brandt Gallery, November 3 – December 31, 2016. A festive way to begin the holiday gift giving season with friends, the free and public Opening Reception will be held Thursday, November 3, 5 – 8 pm. A free art activity for youth will be held in MCAC’s classroom during the reception.

The Holiday Treasures Exhibition and Sale features over 60 locally and nationally known artists exhibiting paintings, glass, fiber, photography, jewelry, wood, ceramics, as well as handmade seasonal items. The McLean County Arts Center is free and open to the public during regular hours for the holiday shopping season.

Holiday Treasures is generously sponsored by Sue & Julius Alexander- Alexanders Distinctive Autos, Anne & Brian Boyden, The Family of Jackie Dolan, Charlette & Roger Elm, Richard & Diana Finch, Linda Willis Fisher & Robert Fisher, and Jim & Pam Raymond.


Abstracted Landscapes Dick Folse


The McLean County Arts Center presents Dick Folse’s painting exhibition Abstracted Landscapes in the Armstrong Gallery December 2 - 31, 2016. The free and public Opening Reception will be on Friday, December 2, 5 - 7 pm during Downtown Bloomington’s First Friday.

Dick Folse creates Abstracted Landscapes through painting imagined places of essential color, light, and shape. An artist for thirty years, he mixes his artistic skill and intentions with chance by using aerosol paints and wet inks as well as brush painting with oil paint. He states, “Inspiration comes from specific places, but the work does not represent any one place or view; rather, it is a sense of the places the artist knows well, fictitiously portrayed.” Prairie horizons as well as ascending urban mountain views are pieced together in harmonious and contrasting colored shapes. During a six week residency at the Shiro Oni Studio in Japan, Folse was influenced by the mountainous landscape and the different painting materials available. Sections of Japanese newspaper were collaged in the paintings creating blocks of shape and texture of information. The body of work exhibits an ambitious, fluid, and meticulous artist’s path.

Dick Folse earned an MFA in studio art from Illinois State University in 1990. He resides in Bloomington, Illinois, with his family and works as an administrator at Illinois Wesleyan University. He lived in Japan during the summer of 2016 at the Shiro Oni Studio Artist Residency Program.

Click Here to view an online catalog of the exhibition                                                                                                                                    

Abstracted Landscapes is generously sponsored by Mary Anderson, Donna & Darrell Hartweg, and Carolyn & Paul Jarvis.

Click here to listen to WGLT'S Laura Kennedy interview Folse for Sound Ideas



Flora

Colleen McCall Julie Nelson Matt Urban


The McLean County Arts Center presents the art exhibition Flora in the Armstrong Gallery November 3 - 26, 2016. The free and public Opening Reception will be on Thursday, November 3, 5 - 8 pm. A free art activity for youth will be held in MCAC’s classroom during the reception.

Flora features the ceramics of Colleen McCall, paintings of Julie Nelson, and blown glass of Matt Urban. Each artist focuses of different characteristics and proclivities of plant life as subject matter and their unique relationship to their artistic media.

 Colleen McCall creates functional ceramics with colorful floral surface decoration. She states, “Decorated inside and out and from top to bottom, my hand built pottery is inspired by vibrant textile patterns and the unique shapes and textures in vintage glassware.” McCall hand paints layers of colored slips and delicately carves through to create details revealing the dark colored clay of the form. The bold and symmetric floral patterns offer notions of strength and order in nature like William Morris designs and Pennsylvania Dutch folk art.

Julie Nelson paints floral still lifes from flower arrangements she creates. She states, “I work directly with no preliminary drawing.  Paint can be applied thickly or in washes.  Color generally is inspired by what I am observing, but can deviate.  I look for repeated rhythms in shapes and lines and a push and pull in positives and negatives and lines and areas of color.  This begins early on with the selection of elements for the still-life. These works are not meant to be true representations of what I am seeing, but, spontaneous reactions to the beauty found in nature.” Her paintings emphasize the wildness and uncontrollable nature of plants as the stems, leaves and petals tangle together on the paper. Growth and decay, life and death, order and chaos are often the message in still life.

Matt Urban sculpts fruits and vegetables with blown and solid hot glass. His pineapples, pumpkins, and corn in beautiful transparent colors are complex iterations in delicate lines and full volumes. The bounty they symbolize is precious but powerful. Urban is offering his glass work at lowered prices for the Flora exhibition and 40% of each sale will support programming at the McLean County Arts Center.

Colleen McCall is a studio artist and adjunct instructor of ceramics at Corning Community College in Corning, New York. She earned her BFA from Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri, and her MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, New York.

Julie Nelson is an artist and retired art museum professional in Quincy, Illinois. She earned her BFA and MFA from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. Nelson was the Executive Director and Curator at the Quincy Art Center for twenty years.

Matt Urban is the owner and operator of Furnace Urbini Glass Works in Normal, Illinois. He earned his BFA from University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and his MFA from Illinois State University, Normal.

 

Flora is generously sponsored by Julia Davis Law Firm, LLC and Robert McDonald & Company, P.C.




    

Four Decades of Prints from Normal Editions Workshop



The McLean County Arts Center presents the exhibitions 40 Years NEW and Behind Every Print in the Brandt and Armstrong Galleries September 9 – October 22, 2016. The Opening Reception will be on Friday, September 9 from 5 - 7 pm. A Panel Talk will also be held on Friday, September 23 at 6 pm. These events are free and open to the public!

 In celebration of Normal Editions Workshop’s fortieth anniversary, the McLean County Arts Center is pleased to share with the community the wonder and possibilities of printmaking.

40 Years NEW features a selection of forty prints made by professional artists at the Normal Editions Workshop studio in Illinois State University’s School of Art. Since its founding in 1976, the Normal Editions Workshop has been a facility for artists to create limited editions of print work and is equally used as a learning experience for ISU students. Artists work collaboratively with the faculty, staff, and students to create editions of lithography, intaglio, and woodcut prints. One print from every edition created is retained for the NEW print archive- a collection exemplifying a range of printmaking techniques as well as a time line of contemporary art’s development.


Behind Every Print

Normal Editions Workshop Faculty and Staff


Behind Every Print features the artwork of Illinois State University faculty and Normal Editions Workshop staff who have been educators and collaborators during its forty years. The skill and expertise of the artists will be apparent showcasing their own artistic endeavors in the fields of print making, painting, and sculpture.


Lisa Lofgren The Quickening



 



The title for this body of work is "The Quickening," which references the moment in time where baby flutters are felt and is said to have life. Within the 12 x 12 inch format, I looked to explore a wide variety of content derived from the common yet exceptionally strange emotional and physical response to bearing a child. I wanted to unfold the archetype of the mother that is so symbolically rich and universally relatable as I discover this content first hand within myself.

Each piece started with the same three screens printed in different colors that began as a collaboration with students at Middle Tennessee Sate University under the instruction of Nick Satinover. In printmaking we term each printing plate, screen, block, or stone as a matrix. This matrix is the ‘mother’ of the printing process that gives birth to many. To transform these multiples into unique and individual works of art, I painted, printed, and collaged materials onto the images recognizing a spectrum of mediums as different dialects within visual language. I enjoyed the direct relationship of exploring connections between visual, written and spoken languages in my current studies of Japanese.Many pieces reference this in title and imagery.

- Lisa Lofgren



tread lightly my dear, for you tread on my dreams

dawn gettler


The McLean County Arts Center presents the exhibition "tread lightly my dear, for you tread on my dreams" in the Brandt Gallery from August 12 through September 2, 2016. The Artist Reception with Dawn Gettler will be on Friday, August 26 from 5 to 7 pm.

Dawn Gettler creates mixed media installations incorporating sculptural models, video documentation, and concept drawings. She explores the human conditions of longing and desire through her ephemeral installations.

for the longest time my work has been what i would call a journey to find what was missing. the objects i would make would fill the void for mere moments. the places and spaces would provide some comfort for as long as i stayed in them. i always knew these things i made were temporary and wouldn’t exist forever. i make something to fill a void knowing it would only provide comfort for a short amount of time in what seems like an eternity without it. the time and effort in making these objects, rooms, and spaces seems minimal in comparison to the vast amount of time i spend longing.

i am no longer interested in looking for something or trying to figure out what it is that would provide me with a feeling of contentment and most importantly happiness. i have found it. and now i am afraid of what it’s going to be like when i can’t have it. we are ingrained to want, to desire, to need. i am not so good with or interested in the feelings, physically and mentally, that come with the absence of ‘you’.

- dawn gettler


Dawn Gettler is an interdisciplinary artist in Peoria Illinois. She earned her MFA from Ohio University, Athens, and her BFA from University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. She is the Program Manager and Gallery Coordinator at the Prairie Center for the Arts in Peoria.

Generously sponsored by 






The McLean County Arts Center will present Rover: Mobile Arts Program, the culminating exhibition of the MCAC’s rural and urban community outreach arts workshops from the past year. ROVER: Mobile Arts Program is an arts education program for youth that mirrors art education experiences offered at the McLean County Arts Center (MCAC) and is funded in part by the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation- Mirza Arts & Culture Grant and local private donors. Workshops led by local professional artists for youth ages twelve to nineteen were hosted in different community locations in McLean County from March to June 2016. At no cost, youth were taught techniques and created art in various media. The artwork from the ceramics, 2D, 3D, and fibers workshops, as well as the instructors’ artwork, will be installed in the Armstong Gallery to share with the community.


Generously sponsored by Illinois Prairie Community Foundation- Mirza Arts & Culture Grant 

and Linda Fisher Willis & Robert Fisher




Four Photographers from McLean County

Marty Gerwick Mabel Lux Tim Stone Britten Traughber

The McLean County Arts Center presents the art exhibition The View from Here featuring photography by four McLean County residents in the Brandt Gallery June 16 – August 6, 2016. The Opening Reception will be on Thursday, June 16 from 5 - 7 pm.

Marty Gerwick, Mabel Lux, Tim Stone, and Britten Traughber show distinct perspectives of McLean County through their camera lenses in the exhibition The View from Here. Each artist has developed a series of photographs highlighting a significant facet of our community.

Marty Gerwick of Lexington has been interested in rural landscape and social documentary photography for many years. He focuses on the urban details of our towns highlighting the iconic, like the old McLean County Courthouse now McLean County History Museum, as well as the forgotten, like the demolished foundation of an old Lexington storefront. Shooting photographs in night as well as day, Gerwick captures the mood of places revealing their deep history as well as their bright future.

Mabel Lux is an avid nature and rural landscape photographer living in the country near Downs. Her seasonal photographs of wildlife, plants, woodland and prairie views are inspired by her love of creation and nature preservation. Photographing since she was a teenager, it was later in life through taking workshops and classes and an affiliation with camera clubs like the KodaRoamers, We Click, and the State Farm Camera Club that Lux developed her skills and keen eye.  Her photographs offer a wonderland of color and an insight into the often hidden narratives of our natural environment.

Tim Stone has studied the night skies of McLean County since a child and picked up black and white photography in high school. Bringing these two lifelong passions together, he began an interest in astrophotography supported by the digitally advanced equipment of our local astronomy club, the Twin City Amateur Astronomers at the Sugar Grove Nature Center in Funks Grove. Stone presents startlingly detailed images of the stars, constellations, and galaxies light years away. Printed on large scale sheets of aluminum metal, the images glow and reflect light while drawing you into the darkness.

Britten Traughber, born and raised in Central Illinois, has travel and lived in many “exotic places” but has a particular love for home focusing much of her work on the people and places of the Midwest. In her series TEN, Traughber has interviewed and photographed portraits of ten year old youth in McLean County asking them to share their interests, creativity, and thoughts. Each portrait is a window into a fresh ten year old perspective on life.

Generously sponsored by Barbara & Bill Taft




micro<MACRO


The McLean County Arts Center presents the art exhibition micro<MACRO, a mixed media group exhibition, in the Armstrong Gallery June 16 – August 6, 2016. The Opening Reception will be on Thursday, June 16 from 5 - 7 pm.

Over sixty McLean County Arts Center affiliated artists were invited to create an artwork in any media about the conceptual possibilities of scale and perspective. Size is about comparison and perspective– what is considered small or large compared to what and by whom. Some artwork may reference the physical and concrete or the fantastical and conceptual of what is a micro or macro point of view. The survey of different artwork in the exhibition micro<MACRO offers questions about what may be considered precious or expansive and how shifting perspective allows for greater knowledge and understanding of our world.



Emerging Illinois Artists


The McLean County Arts Center presents Emerging Illinois Artists in the Brandt Gallery April 29 – June 11, 2016. The Artists Reception will be on Friday, May 6 from 5 - 7 pm when the Juror’s Choice Award will be announced followed by an art performance– all during Downtown Bloomington’s First Friday.

Emerging Illinois Artists is a triennial juried exhibition featuring artwork by MFA students currently enrolled or recently graduated from an Illinois university. This year 34 pieces from 20 artists were selected by the juror Kelly Shindler, Associate Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Reflecting on and wrestling with contemporary ideas in art making, the painting, sculpture, video, and installation will challenge and expand expectations of a gallery experience.

The selected artists are: Rocio Azarloza – SAIC, Joshua Backus - University of Chicago, Mariko Brown - Illinois State University, Benjamin Cook - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Alexandria Douziech – SAIC, Cathy Hsiao – SAIC, Frances Lightbound – SAIC, April Martin – SAIC, Jaclyn Mednicov – SAIC, Laura Newman - Illinois State University, Ben Nicholson - University of Chicago, Alex Peyton-Levine – SAIC, Kaveri Raina – SAIC, Miguel Sbastida – SAIC, Jenn Smith – SAIC, Stuart Snoddy - Northern Illinois University, Marcy Thomas - Northern Illinois University, Orkideh Torabi – SAIC, Christina Warzecha - Northern Illinois University, Dylan Welch - Illinois State University.


The McLean County Arts Center offers, with its central location, accessibility to those all over the state to visit the exhibition and see the work of the fine artists being educated at Illinois universities.  As ultimate peers, MFA students steer through the rite of passage that is graduate school.  Using the wide range of media offered to them, experimenting with scale and presentation, and probing the intellectual and emotional fabric of their lives, their journey will be evidenced and celebrated in this exhibition. The McLean County Arts Center has been hosting the triennial Emerging Illinois Artists exhibition since 2004.

Emerging Illinois Artists juror Kelly Shindler has worked in the field of contemporary art exhibition and programming for over ten years. She joined the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) in 2011. She holds Master’s degrees in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as a B.A. in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by Linda Willis Fisher & Robert Fisher, Illinois State University School of Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Julius & Sue Alexander- Alexander Distinctive Autos, In Memory of Janet Giugler, and The Art and History Club in Honor of the Life of Darlene Brandt.

Kevin Goodrich Charlie Bravo Alpha


The McLean County Arts Center presents the art exhibition Bravo Charlie Alpha by Kevin Goodrich in the Armstrong Gallery April 22 – June 11, 2016. The Artist Reception will be on Friday, May 6 from 5 - 7 pm during Downtown Bloomington’s First Friday.

Kevin Goodrich pieces together abstract compositions in his paintings that speak of individuality within replication. Photographic screen prints of plywood in black copier toner act as building blocks on the raw canvas. Goodrich sets their rectangular shapes in intuitive patterns to be interrupted with brushy patches of acrylic paint or spare lines of spray paint. This mix of a production of familiar imagery in black and shades of grey with hand applied hints of color speaks of a rhythm adapted to a personal need or expression. Some of the canvases incorporate collaged imagery of urban landscape and objects- chain link fences, kiddie pools, and plants. The imagery continues into small paper collages that are exhibited along with the large canvases. Goodrich creates these with the speed and intensity of sketches. Cut and layered papers with painted marks in a loose geometric style are punctuated with photographic images.  Like the canvases, the structure and symbols of the collages create an even abstract composition and our individual interpretations make the pieces complete.

The exhibition title as well as the titles of the work are in reference to the NATO phonetic alphabet code in which spoken words stand in for letters (A = Alfa). It is within this construct that Goodrich creates his own language of symbolism to be translated- a language of contemporary landscape, order, and chaos. Bravo Charlie Alpha explores the gaps in understanding materiality, language, and equal ground in composition.

Kevin Goodrich’s exhibition follows his development as the Juror’s Choice Award Winner in the McLean County Arts Center’s 2013 Emerging Illinois Artists exhibition for Illinois MFA graduate students. Goodrich earned his MFA and BFA from The School of the Art Institute at Chicago and is currently a Lecturer in the Print Media Department there. 




89th Annual McLean County Amateur Art Competition/Exhibition


The 89th Annual McLean County Amateur Art Competition-Exhibition opening reception is Sunday, February 28, from 1 to 3pm with a public awards ceremony at 2 pm. The exhibition will be on view in MCAC’s Brandt Gallery through April 23, 2016.

MCAC received 235 entries for this year’s competition. The jurors, Dawn Gettler and Joshua Cox, selected 93 artworks for the exhibition and awarded 26 cash prizes for outstanding works of art by amateur McLean County artists.

Jurors for 2016, Dawn Gettler and Joshua Cox are professional artists living in Peoria. Dawn Gettler is an installation artist with her MFA from Ohio University, Athens. She is the Program Manager and Gallery Coordinator of the Prairie Center of the Arts in Peoria. Joshua Cox is an installation artist with his MFA from the Art Institute of Boston. He is an educator and curator.

This exhibition and awards are made possible by the generosity of the following sponsors:

Julius & Sue Alexander – Alexander Distinctive Autos, Ron Bacon & Dee Bohbrink, R. Charles & Laura Baue, The Copy Shop, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, Gay Dolan, Charlette & Roger Elm, Susan Emmerson, Dennis French, Linda Willis Fisher & Robert Fisher, Glodo's Original Kettle Korn, Alison & Brian Hatcher, Aaron Henkelman & Lori Baum, Jan & Ken Holder, Dave & Sandy Holt, Kristen & Doug Johnson, Alexis & Mike Kalish, KodaRoamers Camera Club of Bloomington-Normal, Mid-America Insurance Services, Inc., Reid & Cathy Richards, Ashley Ritter Memorial Fund, Jack & Linda Ritter, Robert & Connie Stefl, Sulaski & Webb CPAs, Barbara & Bill Taft, Mark & Deborah Thurston, Timothy Kent Gallery & Framing, Steve & Deb Wannemacher, Lynn & Patsy Webber, and Debra Wozniak! 


Monica Estabrook Altered Portraits




The McLean County Arts Center presents the exhibition Altered Portraits, artwork by Monica Estabrook in the Armstrong Gallery March 4 – April 16, 2016. The Opening Reception will be on Friday, March 4 from 5 - 7 pm during Downtown Bloomington’s First Friday.


Monica Estabrook, artist and art educator, shifted from teaching elementary students to high school students a few years ago. Her photographic series Altered Portraits became a method for her to create open more communication with her students and break down some barriers. Photographed on a white background, each teenager stands in black and white alone on a blank canvas. Estabrook then presents the student with the printed portrait allowing them a week to alter it in any way they desire and with any media.


The results create a powerful dialog between representation and teenage identity. Estabrook states, “When photographing subjects, photographers typically have the final say on the portrayal of the subject; thus, the subject relinquishes control.  My intent was to have them regain control by being more than just a subject.” Through paint, pen, collage, text, cutting and sewing, each student alters what the camera and Estabrook have seen to how they wish to be perceived. Allowing their intellect, emotion, and psyche to become visible, the subject allows us to see beyond the clothes and skin of a teenager. 


Monica Estabrook teaches art at Bloomington High School. She earned a bachelors degree in art history and a Master of Arts in Teaching, K-12 art education, from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, as well as a MFA in photography from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.


This exhibition was generously sponsored by 




Doug DeWitt Elemental




The McLean County Arts Center presents the exhibition Elemental, artwork by Doug DeWitt in the Armstrong Gallery January 9 – February 27, 2016. The Artist Reception will be on Friday, January 22 from 5 - 7 pm.


There is inherent poetry in Doug DeWitt’s artwork. Sometimes spare, sometimes complex, each piece reflects a unique relationship to the natural and man-made worlds. The reference of Elemental to DeWitt’s work opens thought to the principle forces of nature and how we are both witness and steward to this earth.


DeWitt makes found object constructions- stick, stone, wire, rubber sheeting, and weathered wood. Each element plays its role in creating a composition- an abstracted narrative of the artist’s experience with a landscape. DeWitt also presents in the gallery the artifacts, photographs, and video from temporary outdoor installations and events. A rectangle of canvas, the remnant of a child’s tipi altered by weather, play, and a lawnmower accident, becomes a record of a moment in time and a reference to traditional painting on canvas. Another work, This Is Not a Garden, includes a video of an ecological land restoration in northern Illinois, photographs, writings, and constructed fragments of the process. The transformation of the land is breathtaking.


Doug DeWitt is an artist and restoration ecologist in Lake County, Illinois. He earned his MA from Illinois State University and his BFA from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.


Generously sponsored by the Membership of the McLean County Arts Center


Click here to listen to Doug DeWitt's interview with WGLT's Laura Kennedy