Smile Politely

State Town & Country Amateur Art Show returns to Champaign

From a press release:

Visit the historic Springer Cultural Center in downtown Champaign to see award-winning art on display at the State Town & Country Amateur Art Show, now in its 58th year! The free, public exhibit runs September 13-27, with a public Juror’s Critique happening on Saturday, September 27 at 10:30am. Exhibit times are Monday-Thursday, 8am-8pm, Friday 8am-5pm, and Saturday 9am-2pm.

This show highlights Best of Show and blue ribbon winners from the county shows held in spring. Amateur artists from towns throughout Illinois, including some from our own Champaign County, will display their unique pieces at the show.  Original works from nearly 100 artists are on display for public viewing.

The artists compete against each other in two divisions: youth and adult, and three categories for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.  Both youth and adult divisions are awarded a Best of Show.  View a wide range of talented artists with varying mediums on display including eye-catching photography, drawings, paintings and 3-dimensional pieces.

Originally sponsored by the University of Illinois, it began in 1956 as a rural art show held in conjunction with the 55th Farm and Home week.  In the early years of the show, it was limited to residents of rural Illinois and towns with less than 10,000 residents.  It was then broadened to include all interested Illinois amateur artists.  In 1962, the program continued under the combined direction of the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service and Colleges of Agriculture and Fine & Applied Life Studies.  In 1998, the program was sponsored by the Illinois Parks & Recreation Association (IPRA).  Around 2001, the Champaign Park District began hosting the State Town & Country Amateur Art Show.  Local shows are supported by park districts, recreation departments, art centers, art leagues and volunteers.

This program is supported by the Illinois Arts Council. More information on the State Town & Country Amateur Art Show held September 13-27 at the Springer Cultural Center can be found at

More Articles