art

Judith Meyer

Our guest this episode is Judith Meyer, she’s an artist -- a painter, to be exact -- and art professor at Rock Valley College.

Judith talked to host Peter Medlin about how to virtually teach about art, the unexpected places around the world her art has gone to, what she's been working on during the pandemic, creativity as a spiritual exercise and so much more.

Yvonne Boose

The city of Aurora is celebrating a Mexican holiday by displaying sweet skeleton expressions throughout its downtown area.

The Day of the Dead, also known as All Souls' Day, is when Mexican families welcome back the souls of their loved ones who passed away. Sugar skull art is normally made during this time. 

An acrylic artist debuted her work at Aurora’s October First Fridays -- something she never imagined would happen.

Cynthia Wood, executive director of Design 360 Network, said she had surgery over the summer and the time off inspired her to come up with a unique technique where she fuses acrylic paint designs between glass and a stretched canvas.  

Yvonne Boose

A couple of weeks ago, a derogatory word toward Black people was spray-painted on Northern Illinois University’s Center for Black Studies building. This week, the community came together to paint a different message.

In bright red, the words “Black Lives Matter” run along Castle Drive near the university. They were put there Thursday Oct. 1 during the “Art and Soul” social justice event.

Participants with masks on took turns painting the street while listening to live music performed throughout the affair. 

The Next Picture Show

A uniquely Midwestern art exhibit found a way to crown its winners despite the pandemic. 

The 16th annual Farms & Barns exhibit features 82 artists’ original works celebrating country life.  Some include photography, wood carving and mixed media. This year, the art show honored eight local and regional artists.

Michael Glenn, the executive director of The Next Picture Show in Dixon, said the process for awarding the artists is different due to the pandemic. 

https://www.aurora-il.org/

The Aurora City Council recently approved a special sign district that has been under review for the past month. This came after controversy arose over the painting of a proposed mural. 

Some local artists and other residents took to social media to express their disappointment in the process for assigning the artist for the mural.

The work, featuring the word “Aurora” in capital, brightly-colored block letters, is to be located on a wall of Tortas Guadalajara located at 5 S. Lake street. This restaurant is on the western edge of the city’s downtown.

Provided by Rodrigo Ceballos.

A Black Lives Matter mural on Alpine Dam, in Rockford was recently painted over by the city. It was done as part of renovations to the dam in Aldeen Park. The artist of the mural shared his thoughts on the subject. 

Artist - Barbara Lundeen

“Restore Illinois” Phase 4 plan is giving people the opportunity to enjoy their pastimes. A northern Illinois art center is answering the call by continuing one of its annual exhibits.

This is the third year for the Absolutely Abstract Art Exhibition at the Next Picture Show community fine arts center in Dixon.

Michael Glenn is the executive director of the center. He said there are all sorts of media on display. One includes alcohol ink, which he calls a throwback. 

Rockford Art Museum

 

  

Due to the pandemic, the deadline for entries has been extended for a juried art exhibition that takes place every two years in Rockford.

The 76th Rockford Midwestern Biennial’s deadline was originally June 15. It is now June 29.

Carrie Johnson is the executive director and curator of the Rockford Art Museum.

She said the museum understands that many artists are caught up in dealing with the effects of COVID-19.

https://www.facebook.com/rogue1tba

The death of George Floyd ignited protests across the country. But some communities also experienced looting. Aurora was one of them. A local artist used graffiti to help beautify what was destroyed. WNIJ delved into the history of this “City of Lights” artist.

Sam Cervantes was driving through the city’s downtown area on his way to work.

“This is at 8:30 in the morning and there's just droves of people with brooms and dustpans,” he said.

Then he saw them boarding up windows.

She Goes By Devan

Jun 4, 2020
Photo provided by Devan.

Aurora continues to showcast artists during its virtual First Fridays. An artist from Sandwich is making a splash in the city's art scene.

The 27-year old artist simply goes by Devan. She started out doing art when she was six.

Evadne Bowlin

This week, the Teachers’ Lounge is actually a Student Teachers’ Lounge. We have DeKalb Founders Elementary student teacher & Northern Illinois University senior, Evadne Bowlin.

Evadne talked to host Peter Medlin about how coronavirus affects her both as a student-teacher and just as a college student. We also got into her journey to education and how she’s kind of been a student teacher since the 7th grade.

Veronica Storc

Have you seen visualizations of what the COVID-19 virus looks like under a microscope? It looks like a small sphere with little spikes coming off it.

Now picture those tendrils as human fingers clawing out of the center of the sphere. With universities across the state canceling in-person classes, Veronica Storc can't go into campus art studios for the rest of her senior year at Northern Illinois University. She made that sculpture in her apartment, illustrating how the virus and social distancing have changed our lives.

The Rockford Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau (RACVB) wants you to stay home and write songs. 

"Stay Home Songs" is a community song writing contest that is open to all ages and all types of musicians. There is no fee to enter and all genres of music are welcome. Musicians who live in Winnebago County and  may enter one original song that is less than three minutes long.

Rockford is getting not just one, but two poets laureate -- an adult and a youth.

The adult poet laureate position will be a two-year position, and probably one year long for the youth. Rockford Area Arts Council (RAAC) Executive Director Mary McNamara Bernsten said the committee is still working that out. But, she said, people may start nominating poets next week.

Driving into Elmwood on Illinois Route 78, signs of the artist Lorado Taft are everywhere.


Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Governor’s Mansion is recently renovated and has re-opened for tourists, who tend to go for the historical significance. There’s also a new reason for art enthusiasts to check it out.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The location of a parade meant to celebrate arts and culture was moved from a main road to a less busy one in downtown DeKalb. That’s because some businesses were concerned about road blocks interfering with prime Saturday business hours.

ARTigras was held for the first time last year and will be on May 7 and 8 this year. The festival’s 40-minute parade was originally supposed to go from First to Fourth Streets on Lincoln Highway, but it was moved to Locust Street.

Betsy Youngquist / BYArt

It’s a good time to catch up on paperwork for employees of state-run museums in Illinois. They’re closed to the public as the budget impasse continues, but employees are expected to show up for work. The mayor of Lockport is working behind the scenes to try to keep the Illinois State Museum art gallery in his town open. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A 67-million dollar hotel project in downtown Rockford is creating more than jobs for construction workers. Local artists will have a big hand in decorating the Amerock Building’s interior.

The Greenwich Village Art Fair

Sep 5, 2014

WNIJ and the Rockford Art Museum invite you to the Greenwich Village Art Fair on Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14, at the Riverfront Museum Park in Rockford.

Held rain or shine, the Greenwich Village Art Fair is the oldest continuous outdoor fine arts fair in the midwest and features130 juried fine-artists, family-friendly activities, food, refreshments and regional live music. Visit our Events page to find out more.

Jenna Dooley

Graffiti artists often lurk in the dark of night, and work under a cloak of anonymity. They hold their spray cans confidently as they wait to tag their next target, be it an unassuming wall or an abandoned building.   Graffiti also shows up in pop culture and prestigious art galleries. Is it art or anti-social behavior?