Smile Politely

Five things in arts this month: June 2022

With commencement season behind us, arts events on both Illinois and Parkland campuses have quieted down a bit (with one notable exception below). Which means its time to turn the focus onto community theatre and art. This month, be sure to check in with the Celebration Company at the Station Theatre, the Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company, the Champaign Movie Makers, and local screenprint studio OHOK! Things, now in its new location. And yes, let’s not forget about that one notable exception at Parkland College’s Giertz Gallery.

Beneath a Summer Sky: Watercolors by Carol Carter 

Watercolor painting of bald figure with hands to chin and jaw.

Image from the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College website.

Giertz Gallery is hosting an exhibition of Carol Carter’s paintings through July. Plus the artist will be offering a two and a half day watercolor workshop, from June 14th through 16th, focusing on her approach to watercolor. For more information here. or to register, visit 

Carter’s work explores the “dualities of clarity and ambiguity, sanctuary and threat, and joy and sorrow. Her preference for saturated color, and often a larger scale, contribute to intensity or tension in the resulting images that can be seductive, powerful, and sometimes strangely disquieting.”

Carter herself observes that her “goal is to create work with intimacy, mysteriousness, and sensuality,” and finds that “at its best, my work also has an edge; something in it that takes a moment, a second look, an effort to comprehend.” 

We are fortunate to have Carter and her work here in town this summer. Her achievements include Master Signature Member status, American Women Artists (2019), Master Signature Member status, Heartland Art Club (2019), and the 2020 Snehil Lifetime Achievement Award, Snehilsrijan, India. In addition, Carol Carter “is an advisory board member of American Watercolor Weekly,” and has had her work featured in International Arts Magazine, Art of Watercolour, Watercolor Artist, and L’Aquarelle Magazine.

Beneath a Summer Sky: Watercolors by Carol Carter
June 6-July 28
Reception: June 16th, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 
Giertz Gallery at Parkland College
2400 W Bradley Avenue

Champaign Movie Makers 48-Hour Film Fest

Image showing two reels of film with the number 4 centered on one, and the number 8 centered on the other.

Image from the Champaign Movie Makers Facebook page.

For those of you who haven’t heard of the Champaign Movie Makers, this two-part project is a fine example of their creativity and community outreach. During the first weekend of the month, CMM invited C-U residents with an interest in short films to sign up, form teams, and in the span of 48 hours, to complete the process of short filmmaking from ideation to editing. Sounds impossible. Perhaps. But with the help of CMM production pros, these shorts were completed and will soon be available for us to view. 

While I typically shy away from promoting events that have yet to dot all their “i”s, this opportunity was unique enough to require an exception. So for now, stay tuned to the CMM Facebook page for more info on the upcoming festival and awards reception.

Champaign Movie Makers 48-Hour Film Fest
June 9th, time TBA
Location TBA
Get the latest updates here.

OHOK Things New Studio Open House

Photo of the inside of the screenprinting studio with paints and screens and screenprinting machinery.

Photo from the OHOK Things Facebook page.

Next weekend, illustrator, painter, and screen printer Madelyn Witruk will be opening the doors to show us where the OHOK! magic gets made. A selection of prints and screenprinted items will be on display at Witruck’s new space. Plus, a special limited print will be produced over the weekend and all proceeds will benefit the UP Center. Happy Pride Month indeed!   
Masks are strongly encouraged and some occupancy limits will be in place as well.  

OHOK! Things New Studio Open House
June 10th, 3 to 7 p.m., June 11th, noon to 5 p.m.
14 E Washington St

Sister Act

Scene from Sister Art with Whoopi Goldberg and others dressed as nuns.

Photo from Broadway Box website.

The Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company’s production of Sister Act marks their 15th Annual Kathy Murphy Student Production. This tradition honors Murphy, one of the CUTC’s founding members who passed away in 2009. Murphy is remembered as a “unifying life force throughout the company’s history. She had a vision of bringing together middle and high school students from all over the area in the spirit of comradery, created through the impact of theater.”

Sister Act
June 16-18, 23-25, 7 p.m.; June 19th + 26nd, 2 p.m.
Parkland College’s Miner Theatre
2400 W Bradley Ave
Get ticket information here.

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

Photo from the Station Theatre’s Facebook page.

If, like me, you were sad to see this production canceled earlier this year, you’ll be happy to see it back at the Station Theatre this month. Directed by Kahlilah Lane and June Clark Eubanks, Lynn Nottage’s play “draws upon the screwball films of the 1930s to take a funny and irreverent look at racial stereotypes in Hollywood.” 

Until further notice, all attendees must be fully vaccinated (or show a negative COVID test from within 72 hours) and wear a mask while in the Station Theatre space.

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
June 16-26
Celebration Company at the Station Theatre
223 N Broadway
Get ticket information here.

Top photo from OHOK! Things Facebook page.

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