Happy holidays from Oak Street Art! 2019 has been a big year for us. In addition to holding our annual Oak Street Art Fair (with 30+ artists, 7 live musical acts, and children's art projects) in April, we also held two First Friday Art Walk open houses in September and October. Then in November was our Holiday Art Sale with our own members and a few friends.
We also continued our work in the community by creating art lessons and working with second-grade children at the Gen. John A. Logan Attendance Center. Beyond that, we coordinated children's art projects for Father's Day gift making at the Murphysboro Youth and Recreation Center and a winter holiday ornament-making project as part of the Murphysboro Hometown Christmas celebration.
In a happy surprise, Oak Street Art was given a WSIU “Good Neighbor” award for June 2019! According to WSIU, this award “recognizes those who make a positive impact in the community.” We are grateful for second-grade teacher Tabitha Harris for nominating us.
Another big deal was officially moving our headquarters to the old Jones House (401 S. 16th St., Murphysboro, Illinois) in the Logan Historic Arts Neighborhood, thanks to generous space-sharing by the Gen. John A. Logan Museum and director Michael Jones. People-wise, we said goodbye to a few old member/friends moving on to other projects (thank you, Shirley Krienert and Rachel Malcolm Ensor) and welcomed a new one (welcome, Stephanie Dillard).
Below is a photo of our December holiday get-together with the six current members. FRONT row, left to right: Darby Ortolano (ceramics), Sue Gindlesparger (metals, jewelry), Luca Cruzat (printmaking), Cathy Schmidt (leather), Stephanie Dillard (stained glass). BACK row, all alone: Ann R. Fischer (photography).
Thanks to everyone who came out for Murphysboro’s (first of 2019) First Friday Art Walk / Open Studios & Museum night! In the new Oak Street Art headquarters (photo below), we had a steady stream of visitors all evening. We love our great southern Illinois community and are proud to be a part of the Logan Historic Arts Neighborhood.
Visitors came just to look, talk, make new friends, enjoy munchies, and even to buy some local art by our members (jewelry from Sue Gindlesparger, ceramics from Darby Ortolano, weaving/textiles from Shirley Krienert, leather from Cathy Schmidt, and photography from Ann R. Fischer).
See map below for additional sites of September's First Friday, including the individual studios of Oak Street Art members Luca Cruzat and Rachel Malcolm Ensor, as well as the General John A. Logan Museum, Pat's Prairie Garden, and GeekBetty Vintage and More.
Onward to next month! Hope to see you for the second First Friday on Friday, October 4, from 5 to 8 p.m.
If you have been keeping up with Oak Street Art, you know that this year we have been involved with an educational outreach program in Murphysboro.
Metalsmith artist Sue Gindlesparger presented a lesson to three second grades at General John A. Logan Attendance Center on Wednesday, February 20th. The focus of the lesson was Adinkra Cloth (with roots in Ghana), and the personal symbols found on the traditional cloth.
Students created their own symbols using a base of styrofoam, and then printed their creations on cloth squares. The squares will be displayed together creating classroom quilts.
You can see from the pictures that the students are enjoying the art lessons - lots of learning and creativity involved!
Teachers participating in the outreach program will be heading up our Children’s Art Tent at the annual Oak Street Art Fair on Saturday, April 27th.
Oak Street Artist Darby Ortolano Shares Her Love of Clay in Pottery Project for Local Second Graders
The children learned a bit of Murphysboro history by viewing an Egyptian brick, as well as by creating individual pinch pots. Darby was assisted by Oak Street Artist Shirley Krienert (fibers, mixed media).
The Oak Street artists continue with outreach to their Murphysboro community. See more photos below.
As part of Oak Street Art's mission to nurture connections between art and our community, two artists from the group participated in the recent STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) event at the Murphysboro Youth and Recreation Center.
Cathy Schmidt (leatherwork) and Shirley Krienert (fiber and mixed media) led participants in the creation of their own dream catchers. The event was well attended. Check out some sample work below!
Oak Street Art member Ann R. Fischer brought home First Place at the 2018 Shrode Photography Competition. Awards were presented by Shrode Art Center Director Carrie Gibbs at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, during an October 20 reception.
Two other OSA members, Darby Ortolano (ceramics) and Shirley Krienert (fiber, mixed media), accompanied Ann and are shown in the last photo below.
With veteran photographer Ray Marklin as the judge, 39 out of 212 pieces were included in the final exhibit, which is on display at the Regenhardt Gallery at Cedarhurst through December 30, 2018. See the full set of exhibit photos here.
Two of Ann's pieces were selected for the final exhibit, but First Place went to "Abstract, Colored Straws," shown below, which Ann says is one of her favorites.
Ann's First Place image (Abstract, Colored Straws) in the 2018 Shrode Photography Competition. To make this image, she placed four colored drinking straws on a water glass and aligned them to be precisely parallel. Then, using a large aperture, she aimed her camera directly into the straw openings, so only the outer edges were in focus.
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.
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.
Posted by Ann Fischer
Oak Street Art