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Dave Daniel’s artwork
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Marker, colored pencil
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Marker and colored pencil, Jean Cousley.
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Artwork of Rodney Leyda
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Hand-carved driftwood walking sticks, canes, mask and more by John M. Donlow, The Stickman.
ALTON — A multi-sensory experience of local art and music will be on display Wednesday, April 1, at the ArtFools Showcase at Shaker’s, 554 E. Broadway. The event is free and open to the public.
Sponsored and promoted by JMC Design and its owner, Jeanie Cousley, the showcase promises a look at the passionate, talented and eclectic mix of local artists the area has to offer. In addition to paintings, drawings and handcrafted pieces of art, the showcase will feature local bands Mars Needs Guitars and The Sandwich Band on stage.
“Artists are the whole world,” Cousley says.
ArtFools will be one of the largest showcases JMC Design has hosted. Prior showcases have taken place at the JMC Design store on Belle Street. Having worked on the building for more than 20 years, Cousley even expanded the location to include more local artists’ work. She first approached Shakers a few months ago to find some of the art from her store “a new home” and was able to put up some pieces as décor for the venue.
“I believe that this showcase will bring more recognition to the art and artists in the region, and teaming up with a venue like Shakers makes sense because whether a painting, drawing or a song, it is all kind of the same thing for me,” Cousley says.
Patrons will be able to view the work of local artists like John M. Donlow, also known as The Stickman. Using pieces of driftwood and bark, he paints a colorful array of faces and bodies onto these often oddly shaped pieces of wood.
“He sees faces on everything,” Cousley says, laughing.
Other artists such as former Alton School District art teacher Linda Barton, Adrianna and Dave Daniel, Ken Church, Diane Herndon, Barry Clayton, Gene Ursprung and Brad DeVors will have their work, which ranges from paintings to detailed animal drawings to photography and even “steam-punky” necklaces, for sale.
For those that would like to attend ArtFools and purchase any of the art but are unable to do so, the pieces will remain on display at Shakers after the showcase for an as yet to be determined period of time, according to Cousley. She also encourages patrons who enjoy the art at the showcase to support local artists by checking out their other projects, many of which are continually on display at JMC Design.
For more information, check out the JMC Design Facebook page at facebook.com/JMCDesignGalleryCoOp.