The Boneyard Arts Festival has so many cool events that I wish I had a few Doppelgangers to take them all in.
The festival opened Thursday evening and runs through this Sunday, featuring art displays and events at more than 100 venues.
So much. So I thought I’d give a few tips, based on info I’ve received and just from my knowledge of the arts scene. I also advise you to take a festival schedule and mark the events that interest you. And wear good walking shoes.
One tip came via email from Emory Luth, whom I don’t know:
"I would like to humbly request that The News-Gazette consider running a story on the impressive array of art that is currently on display at the Lincoln Building for the Boneyard Arts Festival. I had the opportunity to preview the works last night and I immediately wanted to spread the word about such a unique and worthwhile chance to view local art."
Actually, I did a feature a few years ago about the art studios inside the historic Lincoln. But that’s another story.
Many fine artists, among them Robert Chapman, Beth Darling, Lisa Kesler, Ann Coddington-Rast and my good buddy, Melissa Mitchell — have studios in the Lincoln, across from Jupiter’s on Main Street. I plan to visit from 5 to 9 p.m. today, Friday, when the artists will have open houses.
Also, a Facebook friend posted this Boneyard update on the knitted and crocheted blocks to be installed on the chain-link fence at Neil and Church streets, Champaign:
"Attention: because of the pending rain we will be NOT be hanging the blocks for the Boneyard Festival tonight. Instead the blocks will be hung TOMORROW night (April 8) from 6 to 9. If you aren’t able to make it Friday evening, you can drop them off to Klose Knit tomorrow afternoon and we’ll put them up for you!"
I also want to visit the UI MFA students’ studio open houses on Sunday afternoon and to take in some of the free screenings at the New Art Film Festival, starting at 5 p.m. today, Friday.
I like odd musical instruments, so the Theremin Quartet concert at 6:30 p.m. Friday at BLDD Architects on Taylor Street in downtown Champaign intrigues me. So does the Didgeridoo concert at 7 p.m. tonight at Carrie’s, also in downtown Champaign.
Also, I don’t want to miss Singing Cowboy Randy Erwin, who will sing, yodel and do rope tricks starting at 2 p.m. Saturday in downtown Urbana. I’ve never met him but I know his ex-wife; she told me Erwin, who lives in Springfield, played himself in David Byrne’s 1986 movie, "True Stories," and appeared as a yodeler in a Disney movie that stars Dame Judi Dench.
Another place I want to visit is the fly-by-night BeeMi Gallery & The Common Mind at 804 N. Neil St., C, from 4 to 9 p.m. today, Friday. More than 30 artists, mostly younger ones who fight the bland through their work, will display art there. Good, because there’s a lot of bland art out there in the world.
The "AbCU Alphabet Show also sounds worthwhile. It’s from 6 to 9 tonight, Friday, at Cakes on Walnut, 114 N. Walnut St., C. Elsinore, one of the most popular rock bands in C-U, will perform during that show.
Habitat for Humanity will have a "ReArt 2011" show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Friday, at 119 E. University Ave., C. The original works were created using ReStore materials and you can bid on them via a silent auction. The I.D.E.A Store plans a similar show next weekend at the Indi Go Gallery, Champaign.
Talented artist friends of mine have curated a drawing show at the Art Coop inside Lincoln Square Village. The opening reception is tonight, Friday, but the show will be on view for a while.
I’m still looking through the Boneyard schedule. There’s just too much for me to mention here!