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

Female Identified Artists Part 5

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.

Jaci Willis instructor at Bradley University and metal sculptor. Have you ever been on the Peoria Sculpture Walk? If so, you have seen Jaci’s magnificent metal sculpture work.

Natasha Greene and the art of music. Check out Peoria Drum Circle, Grand Prairie Music Studio, Bradley Community Chorus and Uke Jam Peoria.

Cathy Engberg of Cathy Engberg Fine Art is a painter. She creates marvelous works with her brush strokes.

Angie Walker is a graphic artist and supports local artists. She and her husband own and manage Urban Artifacts. Check out Studios on Sheridan.

Jessica Peterson is a multimedia artist and illustrator. Find her work via Art Pop, at Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Home and Jessica Peterson Art.

Patricia Whalen Keck artist, sculptor. She creates whimsical, beautiful and realistic sculptures. Learn from what she creates and enjoy the journey.

Hollye Green-Cox is an author/writer and Author and Poet.

Janet Keturi artist of J Keturi Art is a multimedia artist with masterful skill.

Amy Villanueva is a painter. She paints both rocks and canvas. Amy has a great sense of humor and creates whimsical pieces.

Nicki Freeman Griner is a multimedia artist. She creates dolls, paintings, cards and more.

Ana Fleming artist, painter. Ana creates dynamic works of art. View her worked at anavfleming.com.

JoAnn Wheeler owner of Coastal Magpie. JoAnn is a sculptor, painter and creator of fantastic works of art. View her work and learn more about her at joann-wheeler.artistwebsites.com and coastalmagpie.com.

We hope you have enjoyed our recognition of Female Identified Artists.

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

The Art of Wandering in Decorah

My Aunt Julie and I practiced the art of wandering this past weekend. We chose a quaint town in Northern Iowa. The two of us checked into our hotel and set out to wander the shops downtown. If you haven’t been to Decorah, Iowa you are missing a quaint town with shops, eateries, hotels and art. Most business in this town are “Mom and Pop” shops, same with the restaurants. No chains located here.

Our first stop was Ruby’s a cafe and catering business. The aromas of fresh baked bread, homemade foods and an atmosphere that feels like home drew us in doors. We found ourselves in a small cafe with residents of the town bringing in family to meet the waitress and the cook. Our waitress greeted us like family and spoke to us throughout our meal about her thoughts, her life and listened when we spoke. We dined on homemade chicken pot pie and brought home a loaf of fresh back chocolate chip zucchini bread.

We then decided to wander through the shops and walk off that scrumptious chicken pot pie. Agora Arts was filled with jewelry, paintings, decorative towels, cards, watercolors and more. My Aunt and I enjoyed the watercolor paintings with poetry and sayings. The jewelry sparkled and was well made. Purses in the window with wire handles wrapped in plastic tubing. The leather-work was masterful.

Sparrows Candles & Gifts was amazing! The scent of fall candles greeted us as we entered the quaint shop. The owner behind the counter with a smile welcoming us in and to feel free to look at and touch the items in the store. Being a tactile person I appreciate being able to touch items before purchase. There were up-cycled purses, candles, scarves and so many items we were surprised each time we looked a new spot in the store.

We wandered and viewed the art on the business walls. The art in the park area. We ended our wander at Blue Herron Knittery. So much yarn! We were in yarn Heaven! The two of us love to crochet and try different yarns with our creations. I believe we could have stayed here happily for days. The owner was friendly and told us about Thursday evening crochet with the ladies from town. Currently, they are working on an afghan.

The downtown area is filled with a plethora of shops and eateries. Driving around town we saw the most beautiful Victorian homes and Bed and breakfast establishments. We were amazed and the 40 some odd places to visit while in Decorah from arts to hiking, kayaking, bookstores, pottery….the list continues.

We enjoyed our afternoon of practicing the wander. There is nothing like time to wander and see what there is to see and experience along the journey.

Until next time, enjoy the journey, create and laugh more than you breathe.

Sincerely,

The Mileurs