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Decatur Area Arts Council celebrates all of Black History month

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Decatur Area Arts Council

The painting "Boston 1969" by Jeff C. Williams will be featured in the Decatur Area Arts Council's February exhibit.

DECATUR — Decatur Area Arts Council will host the exhibit “Storytellers: A celebration of Black Artists” throughout February.

The display will feature Black artists who are making history now, according to gallery coordinator Jami Fawley. The exhibit will explore multiple art forms.

“The gallery exhibit will feature a collection of 2D artwork from artists within the Central Illinois region,” she said.

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The artists were invited to create a piece of art that told a personal story. Each piece of art has a written story to accompany it. 

One of the paintings highlighted will be by the artist Jeff C. Williams. His painting "Boston 1969" focuses on the legs of Bill Russell, who was an active voice for social change, "while leading the Boston Celtics to an almost unimaginable 11 NBA titles," Williams added to his painting. "This was also during the civil right movement of the 1960s. He was the first Black coach in the NBA, and the first player/coach to win an NBA championship. He passed in 2022."

Along with Williams, participating artists include Scotland Brown, Korbin King, Michelle Smith, Trish Williams and Antonio Burton.

The arts council, along with the Community Foundation of Macon County and the African American Cultural and Genealogical Society, organized the month-long exhibit.

An opening reception, featuring live music, refreshments and presentations, will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, during First Friday Gallery Walk.

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One of the presentations will feature the professional Black storyteller, Oba William King. He will perform at 6 pm. After his performance, guests are invited to the third floor for a participatory drum circle.

The month will finish with the art council’s free Mid-Day Music Concert’s “Black Classical Composers,” featuring a demonstration by Illinois Symphony Orchestra violinist Chenoa Murphy, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the Anne Lloyd Gallery.

For more information, visit www.decaturarts.org, the arts council’s Facebook or call 217-423-3189.

February Art Exhibits

BLUE CONNECTION. The Millikin University's student-run art gallery will feature the works of Grace Snively.

CANCER CARE INSTITUTE. The medical facility located on West McKinley Avenue will feature the works of Steve Stoerger in February.

DECATUR AIRPORT GALLERY. The works of Sue Goodpaster will be featured at the Airport Gallery throughout February.

GALLERY 510. The downtown gallery will feature the artwork of Grace Elizabeth in February. The gallery will be included in the First Friday Gallery Walk on Feb. 3.

GIERTZ GALLERY. The Parkland College Gallery will feature “In Blackest Shade, In Darkest Light” until Feb. 18. For more information, visit Giertz Gallery at Parkland College Facebook page or www.artgallery.parkland.edu.

KEEPERS OF THE ARTS AT FLOURISHES GALLERY AND STUDIOS. Organizers of the downtown Shelbyville’s main gallery, located at 140 ½ E. Main St., have begun working on the 2023 exhibits and classes. The exhibit “Shelbyville Sightings,” will open on Saturday, April 22. For an appointment, call 217-827-5690.

LINCOLN ART INSTITUTE. The Logan County Artists’ Lincoln Gallery will be closed for renovations until March. For future visits, call (217) 651-8355 for an appointment.

PERKINSON ART GALLERY. The gallery located in the Kirkland Fine Arts Center will feature pieces from the Millikin University’s Faculty Biennial Exhibition. The exhibit will be on display until March 3. For more information on the gallery, contact the Millikin Art Department at 217-424-6227.

ROCK SPRINGS NATURE CENTER. Rock Springs Nature Center's will feature the photos of Melody Arnold in the South Gallery. The exhibit will be on display throughout February.

TARBLE ARTS CENTER. Beginning Feb. 10, the Eastern Illinois University gallery will feature the exhibit “Art from Here” in the main gallery. The display will be featured until March 11. “Falling into Milk” will be featured in the Commonplace throughout the school year. For further information, call (217) 581-2787 or email tarble@eiu.edu.

UNIVERSITY GALLERIES. The Illinois State University art gallery will feature “simplenothingsimplesomething”, by Avantika Bawa and until March 3 and Anna Von Mertens's exhibit “Glass, Metal, Thread: Building Our Observable World” until April 2. For more information on future exhibits, visit galleries.illinoisstate.edu.

UPSTAIRS GALLERY. Artwork by Annette Russo will be featured at the Decatur Public Library’s second floor gallery in February.