DECATUR — Shortly after the success of last year’s International Arts Experience  at the Madden Arts Center, Decatur Area Arts Council  staff began working on the next annual exhibit.

Dr. Ian Wang brought unique and rare Chinese pieces to the 2017 exhibit, so he was invited him back. The new exhibit will focus on the New Wave art movement in China during the 1980s referred to as Neo Realism.

The Neo Realism exhibit will feature work from Xu Zijun. SUBMITTED PHOTO

For the last 20 years, Wang has been collecting artwork created in the wake of the New Wave movement. He will be sharing his collection from this movement. “His collection is a fascinating representation of art birthed from that movement,” said Sue Powell, Gallery Director for Decatur Area Arts Council. “He has also arranged for some artists in China to ship paintings over for the exhibit.”

Wang is the president of the U.S.-China Cultural Arts Exchange Association in Rantoul. He will be available during the First Friday Gallery Walk open reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, in the Anne Lloyd Gallery. An artist’s talk will be at 6 p.m.

“This exhibition is one of the most ambitious projects of my art career,” he said. “It is a result of my more than 20 years study, direct participation and interactions with this group artists and this art movement.”

Artwork from Sha Zhibin will be seen at the Anne Lloyd Gallery throughout September. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

The exhibit’s focus is on Western or American contemporary or modern artist from the East. Approximately 18 artists will be featured with various pieces. Styles will include impressionist, abstracts, expressionists and conceptional arts. “It is a very rare chance to view the pieces from this time until now,” Wang said.

According to Powell, the exhibit features excellent examples of the time. “The western artistic styles and trends melded with Chinese traditions, subjects, social commentary and aesthetics,” she said.

Kun Bulei is one of the featured artists during the Anne Lloyd Gallery September exhibits. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The display will focus on how Neo Realism developed in China in the late 1980’s, when China accepted an opened door reform. According to Wang, painters were now unconstrained and no longer ashamed to tell stories in a readily understandable idiom. “Paintings were frequently executed from photographs of scenes from everyday American life,” Wang said. “Some works, however, were highly critical of social conditions, with subjects such as genetic engineering, vivisection, torture and cruelty.”

Topics were being addressed that were once forbidden such as religion, ethics and political issues. The artists also utilized various techniques, styles, and art forms.

“New image painting was an attempt to use art to begin communicating once again and to exert an effect on society,” Wang said.

September Art Exhibits

ANNE LLOYD GALLERY. The Decatur Area Arts Council exhibit will feature the new wave art from China entitled “The Neo Realism.”

A free reception during the First Friday Gallery Walk will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at the Madden Arts Center. Millikin University student and pianist Leon Lewis-Nicol will provide live music. Dr. Ian Wang will speak during an artist talk at 6 p.m.

ART FARM. The downtown art store will feature the metal sculptures of Roger Petro.

BICENTENNIAL ART CENTER. The Paris art center will feature “Life as I see it,” with works by Frank Bell.

BLUE CONNECTION. The Millikin University's student-run art gallery will again feature the mixed media figural art of Brooke Brasile, Millikin University’s 2018 Robert Crowder Artist-in-Residence.

DECATUR AIRPORT GALLERY. Carol Kessler’s artwork will be displayed at the Airport Gallery throughout September.

FLOURISHES GALLERY AND STUDIOS. The downtown Shelbyville gallery will focus on the pastel work of Carol Kessler. For an appointment, call (217) 827-5690.

GALLERY 510. The artwork of Sue Goodpaster will be featured at the Gallery 510 throughout September. During First Friday Gallery Walk, a reception honoring her work will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7.

GIERTZ GALLERY. Parkland College Gallery will feature the exhibit 2018 Parkland College Art & Design Faculty Exhibition until Sept. 22. For more information, visit

HISTORY ROOM. Decatur Public Library local history room will feature historical pictures and memorabilia on local subjects, including Decatur Parks 1960 to 1980, Bicentennial Celebration, History of Tolly's Markets in Decatur - Part 1, Trampoline Centers and random photos from the local history archives.

KRANNERT ART MUSEUM. The University of Illinois art museum gallery will display “Capturing Landscape” will feature a selection of 20th and 21st century black-and-white photographs from the collection by artists working in the United States. The exhibit will be on display until Oct. 20.

LINCOLN ART INSTITUTE. The exhibit will feature vintage Western imagery by early railroad photographer Howard C. Tibbits. An opening reception will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 13. Call (217) 651-8355 for an appointment.

PERKINSON ART GALLERY. Kirkland Fine Arts Center's art gallery will feature “Smalls” an exhibit by Ben Cohan. An artist reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6.

ROCK SPRINGS NATURE CENTER. Rock Springs Nature Center's north wing art gallery will display the photography of Curt Knapp.

Barb Stogaugh’s photography will be featured in the south gallery of the nature center.

Both exhibits will be on display until the end of the October.

TARBLE ARTS CENTER. The Eastern Illinois University gallery will feature “The Eye of the Beholder,” an exhibition featuring the diverse artistic practices of women artists from 1968 to present. The exhibit will be on display until Dec. 16.

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

UNIVERSITY GALLERIES. The Illinois State University art gallery will feature William Cordova’s “Kuntur: Sacred Geometries.”

“In the Company of Black” an exhibit by Cecil McDonald Jr. will also be featured.

Both exhibits will be displayed until Oct. 14.

UPSTAIRS GALLERY. The artwork of Annette Russo will be featured at the Decatur Public Library’s second floor gallery throughout September.

WILDFLOUR ARTISAN BAKERY AND CAFE. The artwork of Dan Modzelewski will be featured at the artisan cafe throughout the month.

Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR