Frank's Weekend Faves, May 27, 2018

Frank's Weekend Faves, May 27, 2018

I got an email from reader Ann McDowell this past week pointedly observing that over the past several months in The News-Gazette, 'there is hardly ever a mention of visual arts — local art exhibits, art galleries, art museums. In "On the Go" listings, 99% of the time, there is no information on anything to do with visual arts. Why is that?'

As always, I very much appreciate the feedback — it's one of my favorite things, after all! — so much so that I'm opting to respond to Ann's comments here for the whole Faves world to see. As I do, it occurs to me, I could respond in a couple very different ways.

If I were the quibbling type, I could point out that her "99%" figure isn't literally true (by my unofficial count, it's more like "only" 63 percent), or that we've featured local galleries or exhibits in cover stories in On the Go at least four times in this past, first year of its existence by this name (the most recent about four months ago now) and in this very column at least half a dozen times in just the past six months, which is an average of once a month — not great, but not a total visual-arts blackout either.

And yet — all that such nitpicking would accomplish is to help make Ann's point. The lion's share of A&E coverage these days swings decidedly to the E side. Not just in the mass media at large, but right here. Which isn't right. We should do better. So I opt for responding like so: As far as our "On the Go" listings, admittedly, the art exhibits, galleries and museum categories fall after the theaters, music and performing arts, so are often cut from the bottom for space limitations — although our entire 'On the Go' calendar listings can be found anytime, 24/7, at our website (here's the most recent entry).

But we'll make an effort to see that those visual art listings make the cut more often, especially in the coming months. More immediately, I'm including a couple of visually artistic-related items in this week's column, and will continue to keep my eye out for more on a regular basis — with an accompanying open invitation to those in the local visual arts community to keep me posted on what's happening, what's hot, what's exciting and what I and all the rest of us should be feasting our eyes upon this week. In that vein, here's a couple suggestions ...

Interested in checking out the growing body of work by a talented area artist and designer? Allow me to introduce Sarah Marjanovic, graduate of Eastern Illinois University's art and biology departments and a featured artist in the 'Natural Confluence' art exhibit running June 11-Aug. 10 at Forum Gallery of Brookhaven College in Dallas. As well as in a lot more venues closer to home.

OK, so maybe you can't make it to Texas this summer, but you can still view Marjanovic's art in Champaign this week through Thursday at Parkland College's Giertz Gallery. Or in downtown Champaign's Illinois Terminal through July 31, where her digitally printed silk organza "Innocuous Stimulus" is on display.

Locally, Marjanovic serves as secretary for the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization and is a member of the Comrades in Art group, the Spinners and Weavers Guild (both in C-U), and the Effingham Art Guild. She also works as a graphic designer and illustrator. Her illustration, "The Flint-Knapper," appears in the Illinois State Archaeological Survey's recently released "Projectile Points And The Illinois Landscape: People, Time and Place." Yup, talented AND versatile.

Whether artist or consumer, if you prefer your creativity inside the box, rather than out of it, here's just the thing — fittingly enough going on inside The Vault in Tuscola all during June. And yeah, since manager Kirby Pringle said it in a Facebook post, so can I: Be there or be square — as in a 12-by-12-inch square.

The Vault Art Gallery in downtown Tuscola will be hosting its first 12 X 12 Art Exhibit and Sale from June 1 to June 30. The juried event offers monetary awards and is open to all age levels and skills. The entry fee is $20 for up to three pieces of artwork. All mediums, except photography, are welcome (a photo-only 12 X 12 show will be held at a later date).

The deadline for entering is this Thursday. Also, artists may have their work available for sale at the gallery. Entry forms are available at the Vault, 100 N. Main St., Tuscola, or via email. Awards will be handed out from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 12. For more information or an entry form, call 217-599-1215 or email

And if all this talk about visual art only makes the rest of your senses hungry, don't worry — Weekend Faves hasn't forgotten about you. There's live music and good eating to be had for those out and about midweek in Vermilion County.

The Marvin Lee Band will perform at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, in Collison Park, located north of Oakwood and just east of Illinois 49 on E 2500 North Road.

All those interested in an evening of country music and food presented by the Masonic Lodge are invited to bring their lawnchairs and pull up a seat as Marvin's band is joined by Logan Kirby, Mareia Rademacher and Ed Clem for the first in a series of summer concerts in the park.

Have a question, suggestion or fave nomination for Frank? We'd love to hear from you. Please email it to