A Tribute to James Jenkins – The Man, The Artist

With a heavy heart we share the loss of a great man and great artist, James Jenkins. James passed away unexpectedly on April 1, 2020 and has left a great void in the lives of family and friends. We send our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to all of you.

James always said hello to all he saw out and about and had a smile for everyone. His creative mind was outstanding. He will be missed by many.

Below are pictures of artwork created by James and links to articles about him and his voice in the world of art.

Artist

https://www.pjstar.com/article/20091208/NEWS/312089944

https://www.peoriamagazines.com/as/2010/mar-apr/space-is-breath-art

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you as you go through this emotional journey.

The Mileurs

Combined Opening Reception CAC/CIAO

This year over 50 artists exhibit together in the CAC/CIAO Exhibition. Last night was the Combined Opening Reception held on the 2nd Floor at the Contemporary Art Center in the Preston Jackson Gallery! On the 3rd floor Janis Mars Wunderlich has her remarkable work on exhibit. The crowd was smaller than normal but all artists celebrated the collaboration of work on display through the month of April.

The room was filled with excitement as we walked through viewing the workd of art on display. Family, friends and artists visiting and sharing in the marvel of more than 50 artists coming together in one elaborate exhibit.

Live music performed by John Miller and Preston Jackson filled the room.

Many genres of art are on display in the gallery. Our group mingled and shared each other’s work, each artist supporting the next. A positive environment filled with energy. We were able to view current works of Preston Jackson which is always a thrill. Three of us crossed the threshold together into his space, his working studio. One stated, “This is where the magic happens, feel the energy.”

Back to the gallery we wandered in small groups through the exhibit sharing our thoughts and feelings regarding the artwork. A unique moment each time we are together. The community comes to share in the moment which adds yet another layer of excitement and conversation. We are all thankful for this gift, our work being shared with our world. Each wall is covered in works of art.

Janis Mars Wonderlich is remarkable, her work is innovative and fantastic for lack of a better word. We had the opportunity to listen to Janis speak of her work, thoughts and emotions behind each piece and to experience her elaborate exhibit!

Contemporary Art Center is open to the public and welcomes the community to share in the love of art! Come see what CAC/CIAO and Janis Mars Wunderlich have on display through the month of April.

Until next time, keep creating and working toward your dreams. Dreams really do come true. We are living ours.

Sincerely,

The Mileurs

First Friday in March

It is hard to believe we have already experienced First Friday in March. This month was “Girls Night” for my sister, our mutual friend and myself. We decided to take a relaxed pace for the evening.

Our first stop was Atelier 5835 to experience Judith Koren-Shanahan’s artwork. Judith is a very talented artist and a sweetheart. She welcomed us in, we signed her guest book and toured her studio. Her creations are vast, each tells a story and are thought provoking. The guest artists filled the second room with beautiful and unique creations. Each artist sharing stories about her work. Exhilarating!

Our next stop was the Peoria Art Guild. Shannon welcomed us when we stepped in from the wind. The artwork drew us in, the colors, texture and liveliness of each piece. This months exhibit is “My Midwest: A Closer Look” with Steph Van Doren. Steph your work is amazing! Thank you for an awesome exhibit!

We moved on to the Contemporary Art Center and visited several artists. It was good to see everyone and share current work. A casual experience with fantastic artists and works of art. Tanya has a new series that is fantastic! Duffy showed us her finished piece we viewed while in progress last month. Kagan is hard to work on her series of women in light bulbs! Gorgeous pieces ladies!

Our last stop, which has become a tradition, was Casa de Arte. We love this place! The owners are fabulous, the food, the drinks, the art….LOVE! Hattie Lee is the March artist. She creates unique pieces that are calming and colorful. We had the opportunity to be there when she sold her first piece of the night and watched her sign. The moment, happiness on her face and the collector’s was priceless. Thank you for such a great moment!

If you haven’t had a chance to experience First Friday in Peoria, Illinois give it a try. Check out ArtsPartners online or simply Google “First Friday Peoria Illinois”. It is worth the trip! Stop by Casa de Arte and try the tacos and a margarita.

Until next time, keep creating and working towards your dreams.

Sincerely,

The Mileurs

Female Identified Artists Part 4

We are continuing our celebration of Women Artists, we are highlighting these artists for the month of November into December. We have highlighted events experienced with a few of the artists and now a compiled list of each artist, genre and website.

Mae Gilliland Wright is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. She fulfills this role fantastically and is an eloquent writer. Mae has introduced talent to the community that we may not have experienced without her gift.

Leslie Pugh Schenkel of Twisted Chicken creates marvelous beads and jewelry. She also knits! Check out Leslie’s work at Twisted Chicken Beads on Facebook.

Eileen Leunig artist, support for the arts and artists and more. Eileen is aphotographic artists that works collaboratively with her husband Doug. Their collaborative work is amazing! Check out Big Picture Peoria, Purpose Driven Art and Backyardian.

Erin Duvall Dykstra is a painter extraordinaire. She paints glass and scarves plus more. Erin was previously located at Studios on Sheridan and now works independently from her home.

Brandie Fislar is an artist glass blower at J Draper Glass. Her work is outstanding. Check them out at J Draper Glass, take a class, meet the artists, shop their gift shop.

Kelly Rowden painter extraordinaire. She creates from the heart and the beauty is astounding.

Jeremie Draper of J Draper Glass is a fantastic artist glass blower. She is living her passion and shares this passion through classes, exhibits and gift shop. J Draper Glass is located at Studios on Sheridan.

Debbie Tucker Gaught practices the art of bringing the community together to help Veterans. She is the Co-Founder of Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing. Sign up to receive emails for opportunities to volunteer in your community and help others.

Erin Buczynski is the Director of Galleries at Bradley University. She organizes exhibits and brings art to a new level. Visit the galleries and see what Erin and Bradley University have to share with you!

Ashley Kennedy of La Vie Cosplay is a costume designer. Her talents are both inspiring and endless. She travels the world and is at the top of the Cosplay List for costume design.

Rebecca Draland Doyle is a visual artist at StudioDoyle.com. She creates incredible artwork and is a sweet soul. Check out her work at StudioDoyle.com.

Until next time, keep creating and working towards your dreams.

Sincerely,

The Mileurs

Female Identified Artists Part 1

This month we are celebrating Women Artists and as promised we are highlighting these artists for the month of November. We have highlighted events experienced with a few of the artists and now a compiled list of each artist, genre and website.

Trish Williams is a fiber artist, a quilter and hand dyes fabrics for her beautiful creations. She creates masterful coats and warrior dolls. https://handworksbytrishwilliams.weebly.com/

Suzette Boulais creates art that is uplifting and inspirational. Paintings, cards, inspirational posts and more. Her sense of humor shows in her new line of cards. Contact her for a peak of what she has to offer. https://www.suzetteboulais.com

Jessica Ball is an artist and painter of Jessica Ball Art located at the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois. Jessica’s paintings are bright and cheery. Her creations are both calming and joyful. https://jessicaballart.com/

Duffy Armstrong is a multi media artist and has a studio at the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois. She likes “landscapes, the figure and abstract or intuitive images.” Her work is incredible, provokes thought and conversation.  https://www.facebook.com/duffy.armstrong

Beau Hart of Just Beau Studio paints whimsical characters and scenes. Her studio at Studios on Sheridan is a day brighter with all the lovely paintngs she has created. https://www.facebook.com/JustBeauStudio/

Jennifer Short (Wagner) is a jewelry designer and creates fantastic pieces using metal, stone and beads. Her work is available at Studios on Sheridan in Two Arrows Studio and at Northwoods Mall at The Canvas Project. https://www.facebook.com/jennifershortdesigns/

Janet Hill and Bronwyn Hill Parker of Two Arrows Studio at Studios on Sheridan create handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewelry for any occasion. Janet teaches classes on jewelry making and weaves incredible pieces. Bronwym works in silver, beads and gems with precision and ease. https://www.facebook.com/twoarrowsstudio/

Michelle Steffen-Rouland actress, singer, dancer and entrepreneur. She and her husband Steve Rouland enjoy Escape 60, their new escape rooms at Studios on Sheridan. Up for a challenge or enjoy solving puzzles? Michelle and Steve are your go to, find them on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/escape60peoria/

Dana Baldwin of The Sheared Edge at Studios on Sheridan creates luxurious coats, sweaters, texting gloves and more. She is a truly gifted designer and puts her heart into her creations. https://www.facebook.com/TheShearedEdge/

Nikole Cooney is a sculptor now located in Florida. She creates from the heart and produces the most amazing sculptures of nature. Nikole has a way of capturing the spirit and essence of the animals she creates. https://www.facebook.com/NikoleCooneyArt/

Tanya Flesburg Bayer is an artist that creates both depth and whimsy in her drawings. Tanya creates from her heart and soul and brings these thoughts to life on her canvas. Her studio is located at the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois.

Cathie Crawford of Printing Prism is an artist and print maker that creates color reduction woodcuts. Cathie has been working in this genre for over 30 years. Her work is incredible and welcoming. https://www.cathiecrawford.com.

We will share a compiled list of artists throughout the rest of November and hope you stay tuned to learn more about female identified artists in our area.

Until next time, keep creating and working toward your dreams.

Sincerely,

The Mileurs

Recognition

We want to recognize everyone in the world of art here in our community. Thank you for sharing your passion with us and allowing us the privelege to experience your artwork. Next month is National Women Artists Month and we will be highlighting female artists throughout the month of November. Our hats off to all of you!

Doug and Eileen Leunig thank you for your support of the art community. “Big Picture Film Festival” was amazing and brought the community together. You two are selfless in your work to promote artists and art. We all appreciate you greatly and are proud to know you. Your love for each other and those around you shines. Thank you.

Alecia Collins your play about your life “Don’t Judge Me I’m Only Human” was amazing. My sister, a friend and I attended your play and we were involved and felt many emotions during your performance. You have come a long way and are brave to share your story. Thank you for allowing us to see your journey on stage. You are blessed to know your purpose through your relationship with God. We look forward to what you will do next.

Peoria Public Library contains a bright and lovely gallery on Lower Level 1. The artwork this month is composed of several unique artists of different genres. We found the work both intriguing and brilliant. It is a gift to be able to visit and experience the work in a quiet space. I found myself lost in several pieces wondering about the artists inspiration and technique. Thank you Alexander Martin for the invitation to such a unique exhibit.

Tuesday night “Jazz Night” at Broken Tree is always a hit. We thoroughly enjoyed the live music and the beverages. The group is like family. We enjoy seeing everyone, visiting and listening to the music. Thank you to everyone for a night full of life, laughter and sounds that give you goosebumps.

Next month we will share Women Artists from the Peoria Area in celebration of National Women Artist Month.

Until next time keep creating and dreaming.

Blessings,

The Mileurs