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Category: Photo

Dimensions show to open at 217Gallery on Thursday

217Gallery will be hosting a new art show this weekend, a showcase of the works of one particular studio group of Illinois senior BFA students. I've had the chance to see works by some of these artists at other shows, and am intrigued by the prospect of exploring their work in other media. 

And what better way to spend downtown time with mom this weekend than a stroll through an art gallery? 

Stop by 217Gallery during normal business hours, May 5th - 8th, or come to the opening reception Friday night from 6-9 p.m. 

From the artists' statement: 

"Dimensions brings together the work of eight artists nearing the completion of their BFA degrees in Painting and Sculpture at the University of Illinois. Each artist explores medium without inhibition, integrating painting and sculptural elements to express themes inherent to different aspects of our living. We experience the world through various perspectives and on all sorts of levels of understanding. This show explores those levels through an array of interacting dimensions."


First Federal offering free tomato plants to anyone today

I made my way over to First Federal Savings Bank on Neil St. this morning because I heard that they were giving away free tomato plants to anyone who walked in the door. At first, it sounded too good to be true, but upon investigation, it turned out to be awesome. You walk in. You get a tomato plant. Simple as that.

It's rare that such generous promotions exist, and it's super cool that First Federal is both supporting sustainable food practices and contributing that to the general well-being of the community -- all free of charge.

The giveaway is happening today at either the Champaign or Urbana First Federal locations, and only runs until the lobby closes at 5 p.m., so get moving. Free tomatoes await.

Here's a picture of mine. I've named him Winston, and he will grow to be big and strong. 


Take a look at Urbana’s old school Sea Merchant menu

Of course, everyone knows that Facebook is the worst place on the internet. But its saving grace are pages like Champaign-Urbana History, which is really just an endless river of memories and discussion about our beloved little twin cities.  

Recently, one of the more active participants, Mary Beberman Heine, a former employee of Urbana's Sea Merchant, posted into the group with photos of the menu circa early 1980s. 

If you remember the joint, you'll feel the way the rest of us did upon checking it out again. 

Situated on Perkins and Cunningham, currently, the building is an El Toro Bravo Loco of some sort. Before that, it was Montana Mike's (or something) and before that, it was a pretty decent chain steakhouse called Ned Kelly's. 



Pizzeria Antica is the downtown pizza we didn’t know we needed

Nestled right next to the contiguous Neil St. beer garden in downtown is a relatively new establishment: Pizzeria Antica. I've seen Pizzeria Antica around for quite some time, but until last night, had never had a chance to stop in and test their pie. After this new-found hunger that only pizza could solve, I was both impressed and surprised. My girlfriend and I split a pepperoni pizza (pictured below), and were thoroughly enthralled by the distinctly European ambiance that surrounds the restaurant.

Also featured at Antica are sodas exclusively in glass bottles (with real sugar!) and a gelato bar in a delightfully modern and cosmopolitan environment. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised, and will think of the pizzeria and their brick/wood-fired pies on Chester St. more often. Check out some of my photos below:


NTFC is on strike

NTFC Local #6546 is on strike today and tomorrow. This group of roughly 500 non-tenure-track faculty are requesting multi-year contracts for long-serving members. They have been negotiating since October 2014 with the University of Illinois administration, with no substantial movement from the University Administration on any core issues.

Picketing will take place outside the English Building (608 S. Wright, on the Quad) today until 5 p.m. and tomorrow between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

NTFC Local #6546 member Christina De Angelo addresses picketers.
Campus Faculty Association President Bruce Rosenstock urges the University Admin to negotiate with NTFC Local #6546.

Habitat for Humanity hosts Women Build Clinic

Habitat for Humanity recently hosted successful Women Build Clinic last Thursday, in partnership with Lowe's, to educate 100+ female volunteers. The women learned construction skills such as how to safely use power tools and how to frame walls.

The next free Women Build Clinics will be on May 6 & May 7. Check out these sweet pictures from the latest Women Build Clinic to preview what it's like, and what you could learn.

Photos by Stephen Kemp - for more photos, visit his Facebook Page.


Winner of this year’s Golden Bedpan Award

Last weekend the Champaign County Healthcare Consumer's hosted their annual benefit dinner during which they awarded the "Golden Bedpan" annual award. Award dinner guests donate money to vote on who wins the bedpan award. Here's the description of the award:

The Golden Bedpan is a very special award. While the rest of the award recipients this evening set out to work to improve the lives of others and to advance social justice, and distinguished themselves in doing so, the Golden Bedpan was created to honor those who followed a different path. These trailblazers deserve a truly unique form of recognition.

The Health Care Consumers Board of Directors awards the Golden Bedpan to the individual, or group of individuals, corporation, or political body that has distinguished itself, above all others, during the preceding year by its attack on the health and welfare of the people of its community.


This year's contestants were Rauner and Shkreli. Can you guess who won?

CCHCC volunteers taking votes.

Past winners of the Golden Bedpan award.

CCHCC's mission:

Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) believes that health care is a basic human right, and is dedicated to the mission of working for quality affordable health care for all. CCHCC organizes individuals and communities to have a voice in the health care system and to affect social change. CCHCC carries out its mission through consumer education, advocacy, and community organizing.


Local State Farm agent Brian Hanson debuts updated space in Urbana

Sure, by the looks of this — State Farm is State Farm. But this is a bit different, as Brian Hanson's agency is franchised to Urbana, and should be treated as a local business. We were over there for a bit last week visiting, and caught a glimpse at the new space.

They're located on Race Street, just North of Downtown Urbana — and area of town that is ever-changing when it comes to local businesses. Hanson and his group are invested in the community of Urbana, and have a space to prove it. 

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Photos by Sam Logan.