Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Artist's memorial

I paid respects Monday evening to artist R.J. Karlstrom, who died May 7 in his downtown Champaign studio, by stopping by a memorial for him at McGown Photography in west Champaign. There, nearly a dozen artists were absorbed in drawing from a live model during the Monday Evening Life Drawing (MELD) session. Karlstrom had helped organize MELD for years. He was present Monday evening in a way: His box of ashes were inside the studio, Lawrence McGown told me. Carry on!

New frontman

I kicked off my staycation in late May by going to the new band Bailalai's first gig, at The Iron Post. With Gordon Kay at the drums, Bailalai plays Brazilian reggae, funk and dance tunes. Brazilian Robert Silva de Sena (left) as lead vocalist sings in Portuguese and keeps things moving. It's about time someone put him up front. He's handsome, charismatic and friendly, with personality to spare. This band drew a great crowd the first time out. Check them out!

Exhibits at Eastern

The week before last, I went to EIU's Tarble Arts Center to see "Off the Wall: Works in Three-Dimensions from the Collections," featuring folk art, abstract sculptures and carvings of dragons from Oaxaca, Mexico. Also, "Text & Textiles: Crafting the Lives of Guy and Irene Buzzard." Guy is a former EIU president who shared with his wife a passion for textile arts. The latter show is sort of like a snapshot of your grandma's house circa mid-20th century.

Topics (3):Art, Music, People

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