A few weeks before the 2018 Oak Street Fine Arts Fair, we spent a fun morning talking with reporter Chanda Green as Byron Hetzler snapped photos.
We loved the new feature story, Collective Souls: Oak Street Artists Nurture the Connections between Art and Community. Pick up a copy of the (beautiful, full-color, glossy) magazine where The Southern Illinoisan is sold, and see Chanda's story and Byron's photos online at the Life & Style website here.
Two Oak Street Art artists are showing pieces at the Hartley Gallery's "Botanical" show in Herrin, Illinois.
Rachel Malcolm Ensor (painting; see photo below) and Darby Ortolano (ceramics; see photo below) will have their work on display March 1 through May 5, 2018, along with that of a number of other regional artists. See event flier below for artist roster.
Everyone is welcome at the artist reception on Saturday, March 24 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Hartley Art Gallery and Event Center is located at 100 S. Park Ave., Herrin, Illinois. See map and gallery exterior photo below. You may also phone the gallery for details at (618) 957-8142.
Oak Street Art members Rachel Malcolm Ensor and Darby Ortolano both had art work accepted into the The Shrode Fine Art and Craft Competition and Exhibition at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts.
Rachel’s mixed media piece Alternate Universe #3 (above, left), Darby’s Red Teapot (above, middle), and Darby's Reverie #2 (above, right) were accepted for display in the Regenhardt Gallery.
The annual exhibit was open to all artists 18 years and older living in southern Illinois. Artists could enter a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, clay, fiber, mixed media, wood, fine jewelry, metal, and sculpture. There are five prestigious awards: Best of Show ($400), Best of 2-Dimensional ($250), Best of 3-Dimensional ($250), and 2 Honorable Mentions.
Darby won Honorable Mention for Reverie #2 (above, right).
A couple of years ago I gave one of my handmade bookmarks to a good friend.
I received an email from her a week ago about the bookmark. Her father has been in the hospital and very ill. My friend has been caring for him and feeling extremely lonely. She sat down to read and escape from her daily trials and found my bookmark. Instantly the bookmark reminded her of me and our friendship and quelled her loneliness--so much so that she emailed a thank you.
Grace keeps on giving because the bookmark--my bit of grace--helped me in a time I was reflecting on missing my mother, who had passed the previous year.
So in a sense my gift of art returned grace to me in my time of reflecting on my loss.
I've come to the conclusion that in our creative work we are at our best, and that equates to grace. So when we freely give to others our creativeness, we are sharing our grace.
INVITATION: Do you have a story of art and grace? We'd love to hear, so please share it in the comments below.
Thanks to the Carbondale Times for publishing a piece about our recent fine arts fair, held September 23!
Two of the six founding members of the Oak St. Art Group (Rachel Malcolm Ensor and Sue Gindlesparger) were quoted as they spoke about their vision for the fair. Read the full story here: Oak Street Art Fair: Using Art to Revitalize the Community.
For us, one highlight of the article was the final paragraph:
Photos 1 2, and 4 by Carbondale Community Arts. Photo 3 by Oak St. Art Group. Blog posted by Ann Fischer
We had a blast during this morning's radio interview with Murphsyboro Mayor Will Stephens! Listen to Oak St. Art Group Members Rachel Malcolm Ensor, Sue Gindlesparger, and Ann Fischer talk about the Oak St. Fine Arts Fair, coming up Saturday, September 23.
Painter and Oak St. Art Group member Rachel Malcolm Ensor talks about art in everyday life.
My husband and I support our local community by making purchases in our community. Recently we refined our goal even more by deciding to purchase handmade items for our home, particularly our kitchen, from artists in the area. Also when we go out of town, we seek out galleries and make purchases as we can. Our most recent goal is to collect mugs made by artists, particularly really well-known artists, because this way, we can have something that is a specific work of art that we use every day, So we're integrating art into our daily lives.
This connects to the idea of the Bauhaus in early 20th century Germany, that art should be part of our every day experience: The teapot should be a work of art, the glass we drink out of should be a work of art, and the chair we sit in should be a work of art. We already had an extensive collection of art and artifacts, but they're not utilitarian. So this is a new thing for us, and we are loving it.
As a friend of mine told me about bookmarks that I make, "You know, every time I read that book and use your bookmark, I think of you." And we do the same thing when we drink out of a cup made by [ceramic artists] Darby Ortolano or Rob Lorenz. We think of them and appreciate their artistry.
1. Brick street / historic venue: Both Sue Gindlesparger (metals, jewelry) and Rachel Malcolm Ensor (painting, mixed media) highlighted the location, along a charming brick street (Oak St.) in the historic arts district of Murphysboro. Come see the artists, musicians, and food vendors on Oak Street (south of Walnut) between 15th and 17th. (SEE MAP HERE.)
3. Sense of community: In a similar vein, Ann Fischer (photography) and Rachel are excited about this chance to bring people together. Everyone is welcome! Artists, musicians, food vendors, and community members can meet and enjoy each other's company.
4. Front-porch live music all day: Sue is especially excited for the full lineup of local music, starting at 10am. Bring lawn chairs so you can sit and enjoy the music, live from the porch of the Jones House in the arts district.
5. Eats: Come for both breakfast-y and lunch/dinner deliciousness from Muglee's Brew (coffee and pastries) and Pat's BBQ.
P.S. Bring your chairs! We'd love to see people relaxing with coffee and BBQ and taking in the music.
Hope to see you there!
Five members of the Oak Street Art Group are currently showing their work in the Carbondale Community Arts exhibition " LOCALITY."
Their pieces, along with works by a number of other artists in the southern Illinois region, are on display at Artspace 304 (304 W. Walnut St., Carbondale) from July 5 to September 1.
Click below for larger images (hover for captions) from printmaker Luca Cruzat, ceramic artist Darby Ortolano, painter/mixed media artist Rachel Malcolm Ensor, fiber/mixed media artist Shirley Krienert, and photographer Ann R. Fischer.
Oak Street Art