Sunday, May 21, 2017

Colorful Kites Over Bishop Hill

It was a cold, gray day in Bishop Hill this Sunday, but never has there been so much color brightening its northeast corner!
Because of Saturday’s persistent rain, the Kite Show was held Sunday. The star of the event - a 40 foot, purple octopus - needed a little coaxing to lift off.
But once the winds rose, it "swam" through sky above the open field between the Outsider Gallery and the Summer Cottage.
The giant moved through the air just like a real octopus moves in water - swirling and twirling its long legs on the currents.
Meanwhile, next door at Outsider Gallery, the colorful spectacle continued inside. A school of snake gourds hanging from the rafters greeted guests.
Each gourd was grown in a patch behind the Gallery and later transformed into colorful creatures by artist Steven Carleson.
Several new mixed media works by Marsha Carleson are currently featured. She was inspired by the people and places she encountered on a recent cross-country tour. In her latest piece, Marsha combined snippets of life and culture she found along her way with bits of iconic imagery to create a sculptural representation of her spree entitled Western Vision Quest. In fact, though many works by Marsha and Steve might be simply appreciated as quirky, playful objects, most have great personal and social significance - discovered when you take a second, longer look. Outsider Gallery is a "must stop" for folks who enjoy fanciful artistic expression that packs a thought-provoking message!
Outsider Gallery will be open during some Bishop Hill special events throughout the season. Please watch the Bishop Hill calendar for dates and check Facebook for details. If you would like to schedule a visit, email Steve or call 309-371-0775 for an appointment.
Thanks to Arlene Rigg of the Summer Cottage for organizing and hosting the Kite Show. I hope I can add this as an annual event to the Bishop Hill calendar!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cats, Calico, and Cross Stitch:Bishop Hill Quilt Show 2017

Quilt Show May 19th - 21st
Friday and Saturday 10-5 pm
Sunday 10-4 pm

I am always astounded at the variety, creativity and skill presented at the annual Prairie Queen Quilt Club Show. After sampling the entries this year, I have an urge to "stitch together" a new phrase to convey the artistry exhibited... but the perfect superlative to express such excellence escapes me! Come and see for yourself; the show will surely delight all.

The photos here give a sneak peek at just a few of the 100+ quilts on display in the Colony School at the 2017 themed show, Cats, Calico, and Cross Stitch. Included in the show are antique, miniature, patchwork, applique, and embroidered works.

Admission is $5.00. Proceeds from the show will be used for various charity quilts distributed to local hospitals, homes for the elderly, veterans, and children in need. The Prairie Queen Quilt Club Theme Challenge quilts will be on display in the Steeple Building Museum.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New camera, new views of old Bishop Hill

It was quiet this morning when I walked around town. There were very few folks out and about. The sky was gray and the clouds were low. But spring has taken hold and everywhere I looked I saw the promise of beautiful summer blooms. I'm getting acquainted with a new camera and, as I walked, I snapped a few photos along the way to share with you here because I think you'll agree...
...Bishop Hill is so lovely in soft, early light!

Steeple Clock ticks on under a gray sky
Old potting shed

Every garden sports an ornament or two

Spring tulips giving way to summer herbs

Containers overflow with blooms

A herd of straw goats guards the Poppy Barn

Garden ornaments galore!

Beautiful bike basket planter

Spectacular symmetry of the Steeple Building   

Garden shed red

A fragrant sea of lily of the valley