Each year the cover of Capital City Visitor, published by Illinois Times, features a portrait of Abraham Lincoln by a central Illinois artist. This time we decided to hold a contest as a way of finding the best, freshest Abe possible, while offering exposure to local talent. The first place winner was Kevin Atterberry but there were so many great entries it seemed a shame to keep them to ourselves. That’s why on Friday, April 1, at The Pharmacy Gallery and Art Space, 711 S. Fifth St., IT will host a reception for an ongoing exhibit featuring some of the very best entries we received.
Jane Bucci, second prize, describes her works as being “inspired by design, color, composition, dignity, beauty and innocence. Also, all of the arts, family, animals, people watching.” She works in watercolor, acrylic, gouache, pencil, ink, charcoal and mixed media. She also occasionally produces “realistic, one-of-a-kind, clay bas-relief sculptures.” A small selection of her graphic designs (“just for fun”) can be viewed at www.zazzle.com/janebucciartist.
Springfield Native Jeff C. Williams, third place, is a graduate of Lanphier High School and Illinois State University. He began taking art lessons at the Springfield Art Association at the age of 6, thanks to his mother, Alvina. He is a graphic designer at University Illinois Springfield. Along with his brother, Bruce, Jeff is a founding member of popular Springfield punk band NIL8. He has shown his artwork at the National Art Museum of Sport (“Bicycle Racer w/Split Pea Soup”) and has a painting on long-term loan at the NCAA Headquarters in Indianapolis (“Boston 1969”). He has been commissioned to do paintings for Bicycle Times Magazine and the 2013 Philadelphia Bicycle Expo. View more of Jeff’s paintings at www.Jeffveloart.com.
Felicia Olin’s art has been featured on the cover of the Capital City Visitor twice in the past. She was born in Kell, Illinois, and has lived in Springfield since 1980. She studied art at Springfield College and ISU and has worked in Jeffrey Alans’ frame shop for the last 16 years. Her art can be seen in person at Wild Rose and Murphy’s Loft as well as at the Old State Capitol Art Fair and The Pharmacy, where she is a longtime member. One of her favorite projects is the 2015 book, A Net to Snare the Moonlight, which features her illustrations of a selection of Vachel Lindsay’s poems for children. The book is available for sale at the Vachel Lindsay home in Springfield. Her favorite pastimes are petting cats and watching documentaries, sometimes simultaneously.
Dominic Cellini specializes in freelance illustration and design. Cellini graduated from Sacred Heart-Griffin and is currently a senior at Savannah College of Art and Design where he majors in Sequential Art. “I mostly work in character design and storyboarding for animation, so my work has very much that sensibility,” he says. To see more of his work, visit www.dominiccelliniart.com.
Artist Catherine “Cat” Clausen refers to her entry as “Lavender Lincoln.” Three of Clausen’s Lincoln paintings were recently on display at the Triennale Bovisa Museum in Milan, Italy. Another of her Lincoln portraits was on the cover of the 2009 edition of Capital City Visitor. She lives and paints in Dwight, Illinois. Her entire collection is available to view at www.CatClausen.com.
At 15, Teyha McDonald is the youngest artist here. She started getting serious about drawing at age 12, originally working in an anime-influenced style before moving into doing portraits. She describes herself as a self-taught artist who loves to skateboard. “I’ve only been doing it since May,” she says of skateboarding, “but it’s pretty awesome.”
Tim Magill grew up in Belleville, but has been a Springfield resident for years. He studied art in high school and received a degree in visual communication from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Later he found work “designing Happy Meal toys and stuff like that” while interning at a Chicago company before returning to Springfield to start a family. He is currently a single dad and is employed by the Secretary of State’s office managing construction projects. “I don’t do Facebook or online stuff or anything but I do have a ton of artwork and it’s really just for pleasure and for fun,” he says. In addition to enjoying spending time with his two daughters, he is also a self-described computer geek and loves to get outside for a round or two of disc golf.
James Brady lives in Chatham and has been in this area all his life. His formal art training consisted of just a few art classes at Lincoln Land Community College but that came to an end when he got married and joined the workforce. He currently works as a custodian for District 186 and credits the work environment for rekindling his interest in art. “One of the rooms that I cleaned out at Grant Middle School was the art room and I was inspired by the teacher and all the students,” he says. A trip to Hobby Lobby to buy supplies was all it took to get him painting again. In addition to his entry in this contest, Brady has another Lincoln portrait which hangs in the mayor’s office. “There have been a few that sold but I really don’t push it,” he says. “This is my passion.”
Greg Walbert is a lifelong resident of Springfield. A Visual Communications graduate of Eastern Illinois University, he works as a graphic designer, specializing in corporate identity, as well as an illustrator, with a passion for colored pencils and expressive, loose line interpretations. “Pencils allow me to be spontaneous, expressive and loose,” he says. “There is a life to every image, and I want the image I create to have a texture and a depth that goes beyond an accurate representation, and draws the viewer in.”