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Studio Visit: Charlie Charlyn Hester

Studio Visit is a Q&A with an area artist. Here, a chat with Charlie Charlyn Hester, 36, of Danville, a comedienne, singer, visual artist and mother of three children.

Q: I didn't know you made visual art too.

UI, Chicago theater groups join forces for show, festival

URBANA — Illinois Theatre, the producing arm of the University of Illinois Department of Theatre, and a Chicago theater group founded by UI alumni are joining forces to present a play and a short-play festival at the end of May and in June.

Melissa Merli: UI's Wise shows off her art chops

Phyllis Wise was raised by two scientists, immigrants from China, who taught her both verbally and non-verbally that she would become a biologist.

"I didn't come to realize until later the importance of the arts," she said.

One thing that led to that realization:

64 mothers share their stories in fun book

Today, we celebrate our mothers, whether we're 50 or 2.

Mothering has always been one of the most important jobs on the planet, and "Not Your Mother's Book On Being a Mom" is a tribute to these important ladies.

Sixty-four mothers share their stories of parenting from babies to young adults.

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

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

Ask 'Mimi' May 11, 2014

What's this about Roger Ebert receiving another award?

Parkland graphic design student work goes on display

CHAMPAIGN — The Parkland College Graphic Design Student Juried Exhibition will be on display in the Parkland Art Gallery from Monday through June 7.

A reception for the students will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, with the awards ceremony at 7 p.m. As with all events in the handicapped-accessible gallery, the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The Henningsens strumming along

ATWOOD — Since signing a recording contract in early 2012 with Arista Nashville, The Henningsens have done some exciting things:

The family trio from rural Atwood has performed 10 times — and counting — at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

They've met and/or hung out with the likes of Charlie Daniels, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Robert Plant and other stars.

Jim Dey: Book about LBJ a revelation

Jim's Pseudo-Intellectual Book Club — Volume LX

Step aside fellow pseudo-intellectuals. "Landslide Lyndon" rides again, and he'll crush anyone who gets in the way.

The late President Lyndon Johnson was one tough hombre, a man who knew what he wanted and how to get it — by any means necessary.

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

One free event I look forward to this week is the Urbana Park District's first Roots Walk in Crystal Lake Park. From 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, local acoustic groups will be stationed at various places along the pathways, performing roots music. This is modeled after Jazz Walk in September at Meadowbrook Park.