The relatively new kid on the visual arts block, DIM Art House, has pushed through this rough year and come out strong. Its three creative founders, Joey Wallace, Christy Freeman Stark and Jeff Williams, have been making things happen and they have some lively plans for the summer. The studio is open each week for the Friday Create Nights when you are welcome to bring in your own materials and create some art. You can also bring in some of your work for critiquing or just talk with other artists about their works and creative processes. In July, the gallery will feature the exhibition "Robots, UFOs, Off-Planet Aliens," which should prove to be more than a bit out of the ordinary. The show opening is July 2-3. Most noteworthy is the art house's upcoming collaboration with the Garvey Tubman Arts and Cultural Research Center to host the Black Artists Matter Month in August. John Crisp will be the featured artist and throughout the month the art house will host poetry readings, live music and more.
The Second Saturday Open Studio is still going strong at The Pharmacy Gallery and Art Space. Artists set up temporary studios to create art and visit with guests. You can watch them work and discuss with them their inspirations and processes. Live music is sometimes provided along with other artistic entertainment. If you want other reasons to visit The Pharmacy's art space, you won't be disappointed. If you hurry in soon, you can still view "Life in the Abstract," to which new and continuing members have contributed. The newest exhibit, "Tranquility in Flight: A Multisensory Installation" is now open. Organized by Diane Schleyhahn, Jason LaBonte and A.J. Fyfe, it is a display of more than 2,000 white origami doves suspended from the ceiling and woven through the air, over the studio space and artwork. The doves were folded by many in our community, from school children to senior citizens. Make plans to view the installation during The Pharmacy's 10th anniversary on June 11-12. Yes, it really has been 10 years of the group's contemporary art exhibits, collaborative art events, art education and outreach. The event will include live music, refreshments and a sample of artwork from Mark Mangiaracina, the first artist from The Pharmacy's new Emerging Artist Program.
The Springfield Art Association always seems to know how to entertain us and keep our creative juices flowing, and this year is proving no different. You can stop by the new SAA Collective Gallery at 105 N. Fifth St. to see the freshly produced artwork by local juried artists in the exhibition "Fresh Produce." If that weren't enough, the gallery has not one, but two opening receptions planned for June 10 for the exhibitions "Sizzlin' at 105°" and "Wabi-Sabi" – a juried artist exhibition and a show of the work of local visual and bonsai tree artists. Several artists will be on hand to discuss their collaborations. In addition to the many classes the SAA offers for everything from ceramics to mixed media and drawing to fiber arts, it is also offering opportunities to get down and dirty with your art. That's right, Paint the Street is back this year, albeit with a little more spacing. However you still have the option to Paint the Driveway, which was a huge success last year. Visit the website and reserve your street space before it fills up.
Although world-renowned for its natural history exhibits and a wonderful view of the arts within and beyond Illinois' borders, the Illinois State Museum also offers some awesome evolving art exhibitions. Through July 6, you can visit the exhibition "Noir," featuring talented artists of color in celebration of Black lives – past, present and future. The Illinois State Museum is presenting the exhibition in collaboration with Springfield's Juneteenth, Inc.
It's still early in the season and many more exhibitions, pop-ups and art education opportunities are going to come along throughout the year. Keep your eye on the Illinois Times calendar for new events and get ready to experience Springfield's evolving art scene.