Artists at Work Video Series
Artists at Work is a video series developed by 40 North to feature Champaign County artists, in partnership with SmilePolitely.com.
Charles Wisseman, now retired, practiced pathology and taught medical students at Carle Hospital. Hands-on art activities now fill his time including repairing books at the U of I library, making handmade papers for the Rare Book Library’s Soybean Press, and taking workshops at CU Woodshop, U of I, Parkland College, and several craft schools. Charles has shown his work in several galleries including exhibitions at Giertz Gallery at Parkland College, Springer Cultural Center, as well as regionally.
Charles combines wood, steel forgings, ceramics, handmade papers, alternative photo processes, and other materials into mixed media sculptures, books, and boxes. He greatly enjoys the variety of mixed media art and completely fills his home with tools and collected materials, except for space claimed by his wife, Sarah, for painting and writing.
More of Wisseman’s work can be seen at CharlesWisseman.com
Hua Nian, originally from China, gained her bachelor’s degree in journalism and taught photo-journalism in Jinan University, Guangzhou, prior to her move to the USA. She earned a Master’s degree in Art Education from Pittsburg State University, Kansas, in 1996, and is an active exhibiting artist and art instructor in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Her artwork is widely collected through US.
Ms. Nian is a signature artist of the International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP) and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS). Her paintings appear in international and national art exhibitions, winning awards at local, state, and national shows. Her works have been featured in American Artist Magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, Dialogue: An Art Journal, and in numerous local and Chinese newspaper and magazines, as well as cover art for books, music CDs, and posters produced by Stanford University and others.
Each year, a panel of arts professional select a signature image to be used as the predominate look of the 40 North’s Boneyard Arts Festival marketing. This year the panel selected Kelly Eddington’s "Pop" (watercolor, 18”x24”) to be the signature image of the 2015 Boneyard Arts Festival!Eddington’s passion for watercolor began when she was a teenager in La Harpe, a small town in west-central Illinois. Currently living in St. Joseph, Eddington is a former art teacher with seventeen years of experience in Illinois’ public high schools, including Unity High School in Tolono. She has spent the past five years pursuing a career as a full-time artist. Roger Ebert struck up a Twitter friendship with Eddington, and the two even managed to collaborate on a painting called Abandoned Knowledge. “He pointed my eyes in the direction of a photograph taken by one of his colleagues at the Chicago Sun-Times and told me I should paint it, so I did. You don’t say no to Roger Ebert,” says Eddington. “It ended up winning honorable mentions at a national watercolor competition and the 2013 Quad State Biennial in Quincy.” “’Pop’ is one of my most cheerful watercolors. I painted it during a stressful period where I found myself reaching for bright colors again and again. The pinks and reds were almost medicinal. The repetition of the round shapes comforted me, and it was soothing to be in control of these colorful little worlds during a chaotic period that was thankfully brief.” For the festival this year “Pop” and several other works by Eddington will be on display at the Visit Champaign County Welcome Center in downtown Champaign on Friday from 4-6pm of the festival. For more infomation about Kelly, please visit KellyEddington.com and www.youtube.com/user/pupedd
Amira M. Davis
July, 2014 - Amira M. Davis is a mother, grandmother, artist, scholar, and educator. She's provided arts-in-education programs in schools and community sites for 30 years. She's worked for Chicago Urban Gateways and Kansas City Young Audiences and has received monetary awards from the Illinois Arts Council as a master artist on shekere and was a IAC fellowship finalist for her work in making shekeres. She's also received funding from Chicago Office of Fine Arts, the University of Illinois Office of Public Engagement, the Illinois Humanities Council, and the Urbana Arts Commission. Her most recent community-based initiative, The Community Saturday School is an arts and literacy program for youth and mothers. Amira Davis holds a EdM in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illlinois-Urbana as well as a PhD in Educational Policy Studies with a concentration in African American Studies. She conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of African American Studies in Chicago and London on Saturday supplementary schools. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Amira Davis moved to Champaign-Urbana 17 years ago after living and working in Chicago for over a decade.
April, 2014 - Laura Wennstrom is the 2014 Boneyard Signature Artist. The signature image, Reticulation, is a network, a web, and lace, all at once. Reticulation is environmental, cellular, and architectural. Laura is MFA candidate in New Media at UIUC. She received her undergraduate degree in Studio Art from North Park University in Chicago in 2009. Laura has worked with children in underserved neighborhoods across the Midwest and in rural Ecuador teaching art, reading, and special education. She has developed and implemented art curriculum for after school programs for students in pre-kindergarten through high school seniors. In addition, Laura has created several public murals in collaboration with children and adults from local communities. "In the process of making art, I am interested in gathering those materials and objects -- the cast off, the forgotten, the incidental, the profound -- and through combining and layering, I find new ways to tell stories. My art represents the intersection of my life with the people I have worked with while honoring their experiences and trying to make sense of my own." The 2014 Boneyard Arts Festival (April 10-13) is presented annually by 40 North, Champaign County Arts Council. For more infomation, visit 40north.org
February, 2014 - Jason Patterson is a Midwestern American history artist located in Urbana. Working predominately in portraiture, his work objectively reviews The American Narrative.
His upcoming show "New Americans - Our Mutual Improment & Social Elevation" opens at Northwestern University's Dittmar Gallery April 4 - May 11. Through slavery, Black people were forced to play an integral role in the birth and cultivation of the United States. After the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments or 'Reconstruction Amendments,' and the end of the American Civil War in 1865, the condition of slavery was replaced with cultural, economical, moral and legal oppression. One hundred and two years passed before significant, culturally-changing action was again exercised on the behalf of African Americans by the United States Federal Government — the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yet at the beginning of that century of struggle, there was a spark. A progression had started. A comprehension of personhood, citizenship, self worth and self respect had begun.
This series is a stylized, contemporary examination of images emerging from a specific period in American history — a collection of portraits rendered after 19th century tintypes, Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes. It intends to glorify that new age, focusing on the hope, and potential freedom and happiness many former slaves and previously freed Black citizens saw ahead of themselves after The Civil War. This work is not meant to tell a comprehensive history. It is an idealized history. A life that should have been opportune to all, but was only seen by few.
Novemeber, 2013 - Robert Chapman began his lifelong career as an artist as the age of 12. Through a series of what Chapman calls "miracles" (though not in a religious sense) of one opportunity after another, he now owns his own successful commercial fine art business. His lifetime of work includes book making, embroidery, print making, relief and intaglio, quilt making, cast paper making, drawing, and painting. Despite spending most of his time completing commercial landscapes, he still finds time to work on his personal work.