We may be well into July, but the remainder of this month's arts calendar is packed with opportunities to enjoy in-person art exhibitions, community theatre, and the growing number of new C-U murals. 


Take a DIY mural crawl 

Photo of
Photo from the Urbana Arts and Culture Program Facebook page.

Thanks to the recent explosion of new murals, Champaign-Urbana has been enjoying a truly artful makeover. Thanks to support from the City of Urbana's Arts and Culture Program, as well as a number of private donors, our community's public art offerings have never looked better. Most recently, the Urbana Adult Education building has been transformed by the bold and bright Urbana Enlightened multi-panel mural by Rafael Blanco. Lisa Kesler, who completed a mural in Downtown Champaign earlier this summer, is finishing one in Urbana. If you've been following the Urbana Arts and Culture Program on social media, you've probably see the process pics. But nothing compares to experiencing the work on-site. So create your own map, grab some sunscreen, and do your own C-U mural crawl.

For mural locations visit the Urbana Arts and Culture Program on Facebook or Instagram

Beneath a Summer Sky: Watercolors by Carol Carter

Blistering Effect of Hearing the News watercolor by Carol Carter. Woman with red hands touching her face against a skyscape background.
Carol Carter, Blistering Effect of Hearing the News, watercolor, 2020,. Image from the Giertz Gallery website.

Beneath a Summer Sky: Watercolors by Carol Carter is closing at the end of the month. And if you haven't had the chance to see it, plan to soon.Carter, who led a two-day workshop in June, has transformed my understanding of what watercolors can be and do in this powerful and timely exhibition. Carter "creates work with intimacy, mysteriousness, and sensuality." And, admits that "at its best, [her] work also has an edge," as is evident in the evocative Blistering Effect of Hearing the News, shown above.

Beneath a Summer Sky: Watercolors by Carol Carter
Through June 28th
Giertz Gallery at Parkland College
2400 W Bradley Ave
Champaign
M-W 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Th 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bad Jews

Photo of rehearsal for Bad Jews at the Station Theatre two women, one on left, one on right, talking to two men who are seated on a couch across the room.
Rehearsal photo from The Celebration Company at the Station Theatre's Instagram.

When it first opened in 2013, The New York Times called Joshua Harmon's Bad Jews "the best comedy of the season." Created out of the "unhappy truth" that "there's nothing like a death in the family to bring out the worst in people," Bad Jews was hailed for its "delectably savage humor." The Celebration Company at the Station Theatre's production, directed by Yahli Barkan and Samantha Shaw, features Zoe Nemetz as Daphna, Joshua Altshuler as Liam, Gina Maggio as Melody, and William Curtis as Jonah. A biting intra-framily battle of observant versus secular Jews, Bad Jews explores what it means to have faith.

See The Celebration Company at the Station Theatre's website for updated COVID protocols.

Bad Jews
July 21-23, 7:30 p.m.
July 24, 3 + 7:30 p.m.
The Celebration Company at the Station Theatre
223 N Broadway Ave
Urbana
Get ticket information here.

Uncle Allen: Works By Allen Stringfellow From The Family Collection

Image featuring Black musicians in bright and texture clothing against a multi-textured background.
Image from the Art at the Y website.

Born in Champaign, the late Allen Stringfellow "was known for his colorful collages and strong imagery, celebrating life in the African American community as well as religious, musical, and familial themes." Working to "break down barriers of all kinds... while acknowledging life’s difficulties," Stringfellow's watercolors, sculptures, and collages focus on joy and hope.  

A companion exhibition, Vibrant Lives: Allen Stringfellow, runs through August 5th at Krannert Art Museum. Raised in Champaign by his grandmother, Stringfellow would frequently travel to visit his parents in Chicago, where his father managed the jazz nightclub the Club De Lisa. A rarity at the time, the Club De Lisa "was inclusive of non-binary and queer performers and patrons and was one of the only clubs in the city where Blacks were allowed to sit."

Uncle Allen: Works By Allen Stringfellow From The Family Collection
Through August 1st
University YMCA
Murphy Gallery
1001 S Wright St
Champaign
M-F: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bracing for the Future: Sculpture by Nathaniel Foley + Paintings by Robert Mullenix

Photo of metal and wood sculpture on top of a wood pedestal.
Nathaniel Foley, Yak-28P Firebar, Aluminum, Safety Wire, Field Rivets, Poplar, Cork, 2013. Photo from Nathaniel Foley's website.

Indiana-based sculpture artist Nathaniel Foley grew up in a family of pilots, a fact that ispired both his connection to travel and the trajectory of his sculptures. In his artist statement Foley observes that "the boundaries of our existence on this planet have been significantly transformed in the last century as our yearning to defy earthly limitations via manned flight became a reality." His work explores "concepts rooted in aviation history through a visual language that references both travel and warfare by hand fabricating dynamic and iconic forms of flight. These sculptures consist of cones that are integrated with spires and held together under tension."

Ohio-based painter Robert Mullenix is "interested in the relationship between photographic and hand-painted imagery in the perception of visual information." Together, their work challenges us to investigate our assumptions about what we do and can perceive.

Bracing for the Future: Sculpture by Nathaniel Foley + Paintings by Robert Mullenix 
Through August 6th
Springer Cultural Center
301 N Randolph St
Champaign
M-Th 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
F 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sa 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Top image from the Art at the Y website.