Studio Visit: Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien, 54, of St. Joseph, who publishes under the pen name James Escher, is a project support specialist for the University of Illinois Office of Business and Financial Services.

When did you have your first poem published and why did you decide to write poetry?

That's entertainment: Spotlighting events throughout the area

Music scene

Champaign-Urbana Jazz Festival

Jazz guitarist John Moulder, Berklee College of Music Professor Jim Stinnett and jazz guitarist, vocalist and composer Michael Blum will be the featured national acts at the second annual Champaign-Urbana Jazz Festival this coming weekend.

Ask 'Mimi,' Oct. 9, 2016

Did UI art Professor Conrad Bakker recently exhibit work in France?

Yes, he constructed "Untitled Project: Cabin (Thoreau)," a replica of Henry David Thoreau's cabin on Walden Pond (pictured above), over 10 days along the Anglet-Basque coast in southwestern France as part of The Coastal 6 International Biennial of Contemporary Art.

That's entertainment: Spotlighting events throughout the area

Music scene

Rick Springfield to visit Watseka

Rick Springfield will bring his "Stripped Down" show to the Watseka Theatre on Friday, with the doors opening at 6 p.m. for patrons purchasing the dinner. The show will start at 7:30 p.m.

The ticket prices start at $75.

Ask 'Mimi,' Oct. 2, 2016

What's going on in photojournalism today?

UI assistant professor of journalism Charles "Stretch" Ledford's project, "The Cultural Geography of Firearms," is indicative of the latest trends, according to Barbara Tannenbaum, curator of photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Studio Visit: Kirk Branch

Kirk Branch, 49, of Monticello is the manager of business affairs at the Illini Union and a 1990 University of Illinois alumnus. His lunchtime sketches and writings were on view in "Coming Home: Kirk Branch" in September at the Illini Union Art Gallery.

What kind of pen do you use for your lunchtime campus sketches?

Golden exhibition at Giertz Gallery

Works by Parkland College Art and Design alumni will be featured in an exhibition in the college's Giertz Gallery beginning Monday and will remain on view through Nov. 5.

The "Parkland College 50th: Art and Design Alumni Exhibition" was curated by Barry Blinderman, director of the University Galleries of Illinois State University.

Tom's #Mailbag, Sept. 23, 2016

Questions for Tom? ASK THEM HERE and he'll chase down your answer.

That's entertainment: Spotlighting events throughout the area

Music scene

Fundraiser for nursing home

Boomerangs Bar & Grill in Urbana will host the "Boom-Bash" concert from 8 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. next Sunday to benefit the Champaign County Nursing Home.