First Friday and Solo and Ensemble – A Weekend of Enjoying the Arts

First Friday in Peoria is one of our favorites. We wander from studio to studio to see and speak with artists and view their works of art. This First Friday was the first time in a year and a half our youngest daughter and I were able to travel around to studios. The venue is marvelous and worth taking the time to check out all the locations. We began our journey at our “home” studio, where we had a shared studio, Studios on Sheridan.

We enjoyed the musical performance by Strat & Strad.

Beautiful showcase of works created by Bradley students and my favorite photographer capturing events if the evening.

Tom Pries and his beautiful sparkly earrings were in house. Tom is a very talented jeweler. His earrings are handcrafted and the crystals are fabulous!

Beau Hart of “Just Beau” studios gave us a warm welcome into the lovely world if her art. We were given a sneak peak at the piece on the table in front of her ready for framing. Her studio is warm and welcoming, the spectrum of colors she paints and draws with are calming and whimsical.

Jennifer Short of “JLS Designs” showed us around her studio full of beautiful jewelry. Jennifer has metal, stones, crystals, pendants, wire wrapped stones and more. Always a pleasure to visit with Jennifer.

Brandie Fislar of J Draper Glass LLC posed for us next to her remarkable glass creations. Brandie is a glass blower and incredible artist. J Draper Glass has a gift shop and offers classes taught by the team.

Jessica Ball and her daughter welcomes us in to view her current works of art at her studio Jessica Ball Art. Jessica paints imaginative and remarkable abstract paintings. Her studio brings a smile to my face each time I enter.

Our next stop was Glazed and Confused Pottery and Gifts. We toured the studio and we were gifted with watching the artists at work. Cyndi and Jeff have extraordinary works of art in their shop. I cannot wait to come in and work clay with these two masters.

Our last stop was The Mill, to see our old friend Gene Mialkowski. Gene and I shared a Studio at Studios on Sheridan and have collaborated on work. Here he is standing next to his current work in progress. Beautiful texture going in here. Gene-o bends his steel cold with a mechanism he created.

Tori, our daughter, and I had a fabulous journey. We visited with several artists and viewed their works of art. The two of us headed for dinner to share our favorite parts of the evening.

Saturday we headed to Bloomington-Normal for the Solo and Ensemble competition. Imagine a building the size of a small college filled with choir and band students, parents and teachers. The halls were bringing with people. Music and voice could be heard in every hall. The practice rooms filled with vocalists and instrumentalists.

Our daughter sang a solo and a duet. Two of her close friends performed in an instrumental duet. It was a remarkable day to share. Our last one as it is her senior year. Emotions were high for the group of friends. The performances stellar!

Thank you all for sharing your talents with us! We truly love the arts and it brings our hearts joy to see and hear the beauty of the world around us.

God bless.

The Happy Mileurs

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