Update (3/13): Boneyard has been postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.
The 18th edition of the Boneyard Arts Festival is less than two months away. It goes without saying that it takes an awful lot of work to put together a four-day long fest with events in over 90 venues all over Champaign County, so here’s a look at what’s been going on behind the scenes.
Boneyard is spearheaded by 40 North, the Champaign County Arts Council. The first step to get the festival into the public’s consciousness was the selection of the signature image that plays a key role in the festival’s branding across a variety of media.
A panel of local arts professionals evaluated over 110 submissions by area artists before selecting Gregory Stallmeyer’s Nexus, resin and automotive paint on plexiglass, to be the signature image.
Stallmayer is a Champaign native who ran the nationally-renowned G.S. Customs Studio body shop in Seymour for over 20 years before going on to teach at Parkland College. His artistic practice is currently focused on two-dimensional art and three-dimensional sculpture combining metal and automotive paint.
Nexus “has been in process for over three years and comes from the search for the connection between the spontaneity of the fluid process and the deliberate fine line work reminiscent of my automotive graphics,” Stallmayer said. “The lines create structure amongst the chaos. The many coats of resin and paint combined with the fine line work create a depth in the painting that makes it feel like you could almost step into it.”
40 North will use the image to promote Boneyard on posters, postcards, billboards, print and online advertising, and more. But organizing individual Boneyard exhibitions and events is up to artists and venue owners, and this upcoming 40 North event is a good opportunity to make connections.
Boneyard Mingle & Double Take Opening Reception
Boneyard Mingle is free and open to anyone interested in participating in or learning more about the Boneyard Arts Festival; no registration necessary. The event is being held in conjunction with the opening reception for “Double Take,” a special exhibition inspired by the surrealist Exquisite Corpse drawing game, in which artists collaborate to assemble a collection of images and/or words.
But there’s no need to wait until then to make something happen, because a closed Facebook group is already allowing people to connect. A peek at the group shows several artists (including Mandy Roeing, who we profiled last year) looking for spaces to show their work. It also offers hints of intriguing events in the planning, such as the abstract art exploration “Bloom” at Carol Farnum Art and a Boneyard Makers Market in downtown Champaign.
We’ll keep you posted as the festival draws near, but for now we can confirm the dates for two popular Boneyard events!
15th Champaign-Urbana Edible Book Festival
The Champaign-Urbana Edible Book Festival is held annually on or around April Fool’s Day. The 15th edition of the festival will once again celebrate the book arts and the literal ingestion of culture with edible works that can be inspired by a favorite book, involve a pun on a famous title, or simply be in the shape of a book. Awards will be given in several categories, including Best Depiction of a Classic, Best Visual Representation and Funniest/Puniest. Here’s the event’s tentative schedule:
9:30-11:00 am – Participants drop off edible entries Common Ground Coop, Lincoln Square Mall (we’ll be in the hallway just outside the store)
11:00-11:30 am – Judging
11:30 am – Public viewing begins
12:10 pm – Welcome, judges’ commentary, and awards
12:45 pm – Eating of books
16th Cunningham Festival of Quilts
A suggested donation of $5 gets you access to the 16th Annual Cunningham Festival of Quilts and helps support Cunningham Children’s Home mission to serve at-risk youth. The centerpiece of the event is a dazzling show with hundreds of hand- and machine-quilted pieces including contemporary designs and antique quilts on loan. Also included are featured artists detailing their quilting expertise, a quilt auction and quilt boutique, walking tours of Cunningham Children’s Home and more.