December art

Springfield artist Judy Gjersvik will feature her custom bracelets and necklaces.

DECATUR — Gift-givers seeking just the right unique present for that special someone have no need to worry. Throughout December, the Decatur Area Arts Council will host the Xmas ARTicles gift shop, allowing the public opportunities to purchase one-of-a-kind creations from local artists. 

The grand opening will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, in the Madden Art Center's Anne Lloyd Gallery. Christmas shopping hours will be 8:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. 

The shop will include jewelry, decorative items, scarves, specialty soaps, sports items, paintings, lamps, furniture, notecards, woodworking, photography, ornaments and stocking stuffers.

Items have been created by 50 local artists including Jerry Johnson, executive director of the Decatur Area Arts Council. He has matted old 45 rpm records with their cover sleeves. Ideal for music lovers, the framed original pieces cost approximately $50.

December art

Jerry Johnson's framed artwork will be on sale at the Madden Arts Center throughout December.

Johnson searches vinyl record stores and thrift shops for the singles and the matching covers.

“I have a juke box and routinely buy them with the sleeves,” he said. “Sometimes the sleeve costs more than the record.”

The the Xmas ARTicles shop will feature 10 framed pieces. A few Christmas tunes are in the collection mixed with songs from the 1980s and older.

Don Gruber is another artist creating something new from something old. His clocks are made from retired Erector Sets, metal construction sets were a popular toy when Gruber was a child.

He uses pieces from the original sets he finds to make his "Erecto-clocks."

“I dug out my old set and said 'I got to use this for something,'” he said. “As an artist I don't throw anything away.”

December art

Don Gruber's Erecto-clocks will be available for purchase.

The sets often consisted of simple nuts, bolts and metal plates. As a child, Gruber threw away the instructions in favor of making his own creations. He still uses his own technique in creating something of his own.

“It is an exercise in recycling,” he said. “People that have had (erector sets), the clocks are a reminder of the past.”

Similar to many of the items at the Xmas ARTicles, the clocks are functional pieces of art.

“They work; they don't just set there and collect dust,” Gruber said.

December Art Exhibits

BICENTENNIAL ART CENTER. The Paris art center will display “Works by Paris Artist Millie Arp.” The work will be displayed until Dec. 29.

BLUE CONNECTION. The Millikin University's student-run art gallery will also contribute to the Xmas ARTicles shop. Items created by Millikin students and community members will be featured in the shop.

DECATUR AIRPORT GALLERY. The artwork of Nicole Christison will be displayed at the Airport Gallery throughout December.

FLOURISHES GALLERY AND STUDIOS. The downtown Shelbyville gallery will feature exhibits from artist Annette Russo titled “Reigning Cats and Dogs” in the gallery. Studio D will display the “A Tribute to Sue McConnell.” The artwork Carol Kessler will be featured in the Beaux Arts Ballroom along with the Illinois Student Art Association. The exhibits will be displayed until Jan. 13.

For an appointment, call (217) 827-5690.

GALLERY 510. Watercolors paintings of Judy Kimmons will be featured at the Gallery 510 throughout December. She will be available during First Friday Gallery Walk, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec 1. An artist's talk will be at 6:30 p.m.

GIERTZ GALLERY. Parkland College Gallery will feature the sculpture exhibit “2017 State of the Art: Ceramics Invitational.”

The exhibit will be displayed until Feb. 3.

For more information, visit

KRANNERT ART MUSEUM. The University of Illinois art museum will display the main level Contemporary Gallery the exhibit “Coveting Nature.” Nature works of early European countries will be the focus. The display will be open until Dec. 22.

The east gallery will feature the exhibit “World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean” until March 24, 2018.

The exhibit “Propositions On Revolution” will be featured throughout the main level's west gallery as well as in the Gelvin Noel Annex and Light Court. The exhibit will be displayed until Dec. 22.

LINCOLN ART INSTITUTE. The Lincoln Art Institute will display the the Holiday Show and Sale at the Lincoln Art Institute, 112 S. Mclean St. The exhibit will be available until Dec. 17.

Call (217) 651-8355 for an appointment.

PERKINSON ART GALLERY. Kirkland Fine Arts Center's art gallery will feature the paintings and ceramics of Art Therapy student Taryn Pepping until Dec. 10.

ROCK SPRINGS NATURE CENTER. Rock Springs Nature Center's north wing art gallery will display the work of the Barn Colony Artists.

Photography of David Castor will be featured in the south gallery of the nature center.

TARBLE ARTS CENTER. The Eastern Illinois University will feature the exhibits by Jiha Moon “Double Welcome,” “Most Everyone’s Mad Here,” “Living Room” and “In All Around I See” in the main gallery. The exhibit will be displayed until Feb. 4.

Other exhibits include “In All Around I See,” this year’s Artist in Education Residency in the Brainard Gallery.

Tours are available by appointment only. To schedule a tour, call (217) 581-2787 or email

UNIVERSITY GALLERIES. Illinois State University art gallery will feature Dianna Frid's exhibit “It Takes Time” and Erin Washington's “Light Touch.” The exhibits will be featured in the gallery until Dec. 17.

UPSTAIRS GALLERY. The artwork of Leta Burch will be displayed at the Decatur Public Library’s second floor gallery throughout December.

WILDFLOUR ARTISAN BAKERY AND CAFE. Greg Fombelle's artwork will be featured at the artisan cafe throughout the month.


Staff Writer

“Together Decatur” columnist, food and entertainment reporter for the Herald & Review.

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