Friday, January 13, 2023

Inside Out Gallery announces 2023 plans

Inside Out Gallery gears up for 2023

BLOOMINGTON — The Inside Out Accessible Art Gallery will begin a rotation of themed shows this year.

The shows will highlight art that might not be seen in the gallery. 

Scheduled shows are: Mid January and February, “Winter”; March and April, “Flowers & Faces”; May and June, “Steampunk”; July and August, “Trees and Harvest”; September and October, “Abstracts and Mysteries”; November and December, “The Holidays.”

IOAA is also looking for new artists to display art in the gallery. The cost to display art is $50 a month and is used to pay facility rent. One-hundred percent of the sales go to the artist. There is a jurying processing in place. They recently welcomed two new artists to the gallery, Debora Helgeson and Isaac Galewsky.

In 2022, 4,970 people were served by IOAA through a variety of classes, special events, information booths in the community, art sales at the gallery and in other venues. This was made possible by a grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.

The IOAA education committee and IOAA instructors worked with other not-for-profit agencies such as the McLean County Pride Coalition, Bloomington Parks and Recreation, Special Opportunities in Recreation, Adult Recreation Center, Cogs & Corsets and Sugar Grove Nature Center. 

IOAA will continue to offer free and low-cost art activities in 2023 on a regular basis in the IOAA classroom, during First Friday events and on the sidewalk during the Farmers’ Market.

Visit or contact for more information.

Jan Brandt announces new opportunity

NORMAL — Local artist and gallery owner Jan Brandt has been granted the opportunity to choose artists to exhibit concurrently with her at Water Street Studios in Batavia, IL.

Brandt alongside WSS Executive Director Sydney Pacha and Gallery Exhibitions Director Steve Sherrell, aims to bring more exposure to Central Illinois artists.

Water Street Studios is located in a historic limestone building dating back to 1886. It was originally used as a windmill factory as Batavia was once known as “The Windmill Capital of the World.” During WWII, the building was used as a munitions factory. In 2009, Water Street Studios was founded and opened to the public.

Brandt selected inspiring local artists whose work would provide a lively conversation with her exhibition, “Botanica Imaginaria,” and would provide a punch of color, pattern and texture to contrast with the January and February Illinois weather.

Artists David Dow and Jim Neeley of Wisecracker Studio and Jan Brandt of Jan Brandt Gallery have committed to donate pieces from the Bontanica Imaginaria exhibit to Bloomington-Normal nonprofits working with marginalized women and youth.

The goal is to inspire women and young adults to pursue the arts as part of their healing, growth and paths forward, and to honor the important community work and staff of these nonprofits with original art displayed in their offices.

There will be an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13 with a champagne toast and artist remarks at 7:30 p.m. The exhibit “Botanica Imaginaria,” will run starting Jan. 3 through Feb. 5 in The Dempsey Family Gallery of Water Street Studios. Water Street Studios is located at 160 S. Water St. in Batavia and is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. 

Other exhibits will include “Flower Bomb,” by Jim Neeley; “Perennial Optimism,” by David Dow;  and “Layers,” by Krystal Kay Lyon and K. Hieronymus W.

Contact Brandt at or at 309-287-4700. Contact Water Street Studios at or at 630-761-9977 for more information. 

Inside Out Gallery announces classes

BLOOMINGTON — Inside Out Accessible Art Gallery announced their current/upcoming class offerings.

The gallery is located at 200 W. Monroe St., Suite 102, in Bloomington. They are open 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday through Friday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday; and closed Sunday through Tuesday or open by appointment. 

The classes being offered are as follows:

Cool Colored Winter Painting; 1-4 p.m., Jan. 16; ages 8+; $15/$13 for members; acrylic snowman 11×14 canvas; Peggy Dunlap.

Monochromatic Winter Landscape; 1-3 p.m., Jan. 28; ages 8+; $15/$13 for members; acrylic, one color, black and white 11×14 canvas; Peggy Dunlap.

IOAA Art Classes offered through Bloomington Parks & Recreation:

Monochromatic Winter Landscape; 1-3 p.m., Jan. 21; 10+.

Paint with Me – Winter; 1:30-3:30 p.m., Jan. 29; ages 5-12 with parent.

Pen & Ink Landscape; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Feb. 9; ages 10+.

Paint with Mary Jo; 1:30-3:30 p.m., Feb. 19; ages 8+.

Paint with Me – Fish; 1:30-3:30 p.m., April 16; ages 5-12 with parent.

Visit or to register for classes. Registration is recommended at least one week before the start of a class.

Those who are interested can also contact Mary Jo at to schedule a private class or for more information.

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