Melissa Merli: We could use more shows at research park

Can't we have more concerts at the University of Illinois Research Park?

The natural amphitheater, nestled between red-brick buildings, is just perfect for sound and atmosphere, and the two Outside at the Research Park concerts there this summer have drawn record crowds.

The scene is so mellow, and concertgoers all seem to be in a good collective mood and enjoying themselves.

Monticello graduate's sculpture selected for display at downstate arts center

Making a living as an artist can be difficult.

"It's brutal," said Rusty Freeman, who has been the director of visual arts for four years at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in downstate Mount Vernon. "It's competitive. It's very much a rigorous choice to get into. It's much harder than the average person realizes."

Photographer captures tiny subjects

URBANA — As one of the world's foremost insect photographers, Alex Wild tries to avoid easy shots of bugs feeding on nectar.

Instead, he might travel to remote locations in Uganda, Brazil, Australia and Colombia. Once there, he lies on the ground to shoot from low angles — or crawls into caves to hunt down his subjects.

Entertainment listings, July 18-25, 2013

A listing of events, provided by the venues. In case of an error, please click here to email online editor Mike Howie.

Special events

This weekend

Art Institute of Chicago's 'Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity' a hit

It might come as no surprise to many, but the Art Institute of Chicago has a hit on its hands with "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity."

The exhibition, which opened to the public June 26, features 75 or so large-scale Impressionist figure paintings shown alongside 19 period costumes, and lots of accessories.

Studio Visit: Caroline Goldsmith

Studio visit is a Q&A with a local artist. Here, Melissa Merli chats with painter Caroline Goldsmith.

New works scheduled at Indi Go

CHAMPAIGN — The Indi Go Artist Co-Op will present, starting Wednesday, "Cut and Paste," an exhibition featuring new works by Alan Pocaro and Michael Willett.

Both explore, through the curious juxtapositions in their mixed-media images, the pastiche nature of contemporary life.

Melissa Merli: C-U native, now 9, acts in Sundance winner

Former Champaign County Board Chairwoman Patricia Avery has reason to be proud.

Her 9-year-old granddaughter, Ariana Neal, has a role in "Fruitvale Station," a movie that opened Friday in select theaters and is scheduled to open nationwide July 26.

In it, Ariana portrays Tatiana, or "T," daughter of the lead character, Oscar Grant, played by Michael B. Jordan.

Entertainment listings, July 11-18

A listing of events, provided by the venues. In case of an error, please click here to email online editor Mike Howie.

Special events

This weekend

Gem show to support Public Art League

CHAMPAIGN — To help support the Public Art League, Christopher's Fine Jewelry Design will donate to the league $15 for every league supporter who attends its Gemshow Roundtable at 6 p.m. Thursday or Friday or1 p.m. Saturday.

At a roundtable, gem dealers show off their collections in a cocktail-party setting at Christopher's, 124 N. Neil St. C.