Boneyard Arts Festival

2016 Boneyard Signature Image submissions are now being accepted!

Congratulations Kelly Eddington! 

40 North is pleased to announce the Signature Image for the 2015 Boneyard Arts Festival. After evaluating over 120 outstanding submissions, a panel of local arts professionals selected Kelly Eddington’s "Pop" (watercolor, 18”x24”) to be the signature image of the 2015 Boneyard Arts Festival!

“I'm thrilled to be this year's signature artist,” said Eddington. “I graduated from the U of I over twenty years ago, so this honor is extra special to me. And it's nice to see watercolor in general get a little recognition. It's such a uniquely beautiful medium, and I've spent most of my life trying to master it.” 

Kelly 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.” 

Eddington delights in creating a variety of textures and reflective surfaces in her still life paintings. “I find beauty in so many things, from a handful of glass beads to an apple blossom to a vintage guitar,” Eddington says. “As I paint, I always fall further in love with whatever it is that makes my subjects unique. '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.”

Eddington’s paintings have been exhibited in solo and group venues throughout the region such as Quincy University’s Gray Gallery, the David Strawn Art Gallery in Jacksonville, IL, Culver-Stockton College's Mabee Art Gallery in Canton, MO, Champaign’s Indi.Go Art Gallery, and the Decatur Area Arts Council. Her painting “Allure” will be published in Splash 16: Exploring Texture. She is a signature member of the Illinois Watercolor Society.

Eddington has shown work during Boneyard for several years, most recently at the Urbana Business Association. For the festival this year, “Pop” and several other examples of her work will be on display at the Visit Champaign County Welcome Center in downtown Champaign on Friday of the festival. “It's a fun challenge to figure out ways to display paintings in spaces that are unaccustomed to showing art. It forces both the artist and the business out of their comfort zones in the best way possible,” Eddington said.

The judging panel for the Boneyard signature image consisted of Laura Wennstrom, 2014 Boneyard Signature Artist; Jameel Jones, Director of Cultural Arts at Champaign Park District; Christina Wondra, Owner and Curator of Dear Home; Matt Farrell, Designer at McKenzie Wagner; and Ella van Wyk, Executive Director at Champaign Urbana Theater Company.

About Boneyard

Presented annually every spring by 40 North | 88 West, the Boneyard Arts Festival is a four-day event showcasing the broad range of creative activity flourishing in our community. Its goal is to bring together local artists, businesses and organizations for a special event showcasing the art of Champaign County.

More than a traditional arts walk, the Boneyard is a unique countywide celebration that takes place in a wide variety of venues (over 90!) -- both traditional (theaters, cafes, galleries & museums) and non-traditional (salons & retail stores) -- and features the work of literally hundreds of artists. Sculptors, weavers, painters, photographers and other visual artists join musicians, actors, dancers, poets and performers of all kinds in sharing their creativity throughout Champaign, Urbana, U of I Campus, Rantoul, Homer, Mahomet, St. Joseph and Sidney.

The festival stimulates cultural, economic, social and educational growth by providing an opportunity for people of every age, background and interest to participate.

*provide opportunities for artists of all disciplines, media and levels of expertise to share and sell their work with the greater community and its visitors
*demonstrate the value of collaboration among individuals, organizations and businesses
*illuminate the economic impact of the arts on local business
*demonstrate the effectiveness of utilizing art to increase foot traffic in and around participating venues, as well as to enhance the environment in public and private spaces
*promote the cultural vibrancy of our community -- a great place to live and visit * bring students, residents and visitors together through the arts
*provide an occasion, through the arts, to both express and reflect upon who and what we are as individuals and as a community
*celebrate the many unique cultural traditions within Champaign County

Kelly White
Executive Director

Amanda Baker
Programs & Events Coordinator

Cynthia Chandler
Boneyard Arts Festival Committee Chair