Friday, May 25, 2012

Last Friday was our last Spurlock Museum school tour of the spring.  It's always both a celebration and a sadness every May, as you now can concentrate on summer projects, but you also don't get the almost daily "kid fix."  There's nothing like having an excited group of schoolchildren looking at your artifacts for the first time.  It really recharges my battery to see familiar objects through new eyes.

My summer Museum projects this year include completing my part of our fall exhibit on shoes around the world, continuing work on a fall, 2013, collaborative exhibit project with the C-U Spinners and Weavers Guild, creating a new teacher loan kit on ancient Greek coins, and finishing all of the preparation for the next year's special events.  Every summer we say we are going to complete a huge number of projects, because summer is so slow.  We never get them all done, but it's a fun and different way to recharge the batteries before the fall school groups come in, groups who have already begun to set their dates.  Whew!  What a whirlwind!  Come visit us soon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Monday, June 25 – Thursday, August 2
Reception: Thursday, June 28, 6–8 p.m.; Gallery Talk at 7 p.m.
Music by The Prairie Syncopators
Lecture: Wednesday, June 27 at 11 a.m., S building

Recognizable mass-produced objects take on new meaning in Illinois artist Tammie Rubin’s ceramic sculptures, to be featured in a Parkland Art Gallery exhibit opening Monday, June 25.

Rubin’s sculptural ceramics borrow from pre-existing mass-produced objects. Seeing an inherent beauty in these consumer products, she transforms these easily recognizable items into mythical and absurd objects. “My sculptures are assemblages of collected objects, the primary interest is transforming the familiar, disposable, and trivial into the mythic and fantastical,” Rubin said in an artist’s statement. “Utilizing the amorphous properties of clay while exploring its inherent materiality, I create fanciful sculptures that feel both familiar and alien.”

Rubin is an assistant professor in Ceramics and Foundations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned the UIUC’s College of Fine and Applied Arts Creative Research Award in 2011. She received her MFA in ceramics at the University of Washington in Seattle after receiving a BFA in art history and a BFA in ceramics at the University of Illinois.

To find the gallery when classes are in session, we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through any door and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor fountain area. For more information please call the gallery office at 217/351-2485 or visit our website at

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Parkland is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/351-2505.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


The Chanute Air Museum (CAM) was  awarded a $324.99 technology grant from the Illinois Association of Museums (IAM). The purpose of these funds is to purchase a quality digital camera to maximize the quality of artifact photo documentation and digitization at the Chanute Air Museum. The grant application was written and submitted late last year, the museum was notified of the award in April, and the funds dispersed in May.

Opened in 1994, CAM  is a long standing IAM member. Following a recommendation in a Conservation Assessment Program (CAP ) report, and faced with poor photographic equipment on hand. CAM sought funds through an IAM grant to purchase equipment to upgrade its photographic and digitization capabilities to more professionally and successfully preserve its historically irreplaceable collections. The new digital camera will be used to photograph three-dimensional artifacts  in detail, as well as large format archival material, such as maps and blueprints, too large to be scanned.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Plan a summer visit! See Lincoln in Champaign County

While you are at home lamenting that you aren't going to get much of a vacation this year, think about all the things you can do in Champaign County! You can meet our local friend, Abraham Lincoln in two venues. Check out the exhibit about Lincoln's lawyering  in Champaign County, "Abraham Lincoln, Large Presence in a Small Town," at the Courthouse in Urbana (open courthouse hours, most weekdays 8-4:30) or drive  to the Museum of the Grand Prairie in the Champaign County Forest Preserve. There you'll see "Champaign County's Lincoln" and learn about his personal and political life in our neck of the woods.  Here you will hear the voices of his friends, take a photograph in Alschuler's photograph studio and enter the county--as Lincoln did--in a buggy. Museum hours: 1:00 to  5:00 everyday, with 10-5 weekdays and Saturdays in June, July and August.
Don't miss it!