Created Beings Clara Hoag’s Ceramic Exhibition at Cinema Gallery by Daryl McCurdy
n Saturday, August 8, Clara Hoag’s ceramic exhibition entitled “Fetish” opened at Urbana’s Cinema Gallery. In this show, Hoag, a recent graduate of UIUC, provides ceramic sculptures that are rich both visually and conceptually. Hoag works with relatively abstracted human forms that are often “damaged” and pieced together. The pieces in “Fetish” build conceptually and formally on Hoag’s previous work. “They deal with the nature of the human condition and how we interact with our environment,” says Hoag. “I am really interested in how we explain our world with oral history, tradition, and stories and how that ties into religion,” Hoag further explains. Religion and spirituality play a major role in Hoag’s working process as she attempts to grasp the organizing forces of the human condition.
In a series of wall pieces, Hoag has reassembled ceramic pieces to shape very rough human figures. These fairly small figures, in succession, begin to manifest a sort of obsession or fetish. The show’s title becomes apparent as Hoag offers us ceramic figures that borrow, both explicitly and more indirectly, from religious imagery and dogma. The wall pieces, as well as some of Hoag’s other sculptures, contain images of religious and spiritual icons and archetypes. Working with an image transfer process, Hoag positions pictures of Catholic saints and martyrs, as well as non-Christian gods and goddesses onto her pieces. As Hoag places these images on fractured and assembled portions of clay that converge into the human form, she hopes
to question the social constructions that make up the human experience. “I don’t know if these are fetishized creatures themselves,” posits Hoag. “I’m just trying to get at the universal condition and how explore how history shapes us and we shape history, how religion shapes us and how we shape religion.” Hoag’s work neither condemns organized religion nor supports it. Rather, she is trying to work out the same impulse humankind has been attempting to fulfill for ages. “Why do we consistently feel the need to explain the world around us?” questions Hoag. “It’s a type of survival tactic,” she later adds. Hoag’s work in many ways falls into the longstanding human drive to make things to prove devotion and/or become stand-ins that provide a tangible way to understand abstract ideas. The
Local Artists, Performers Round-up
history of visual culture has provided a whole library of images and forms to borrow and subvert as art and religion are, “two aspects of society that have been so closely tied for so long,” said Hoag. Make sure to check out this show. It will be up at Cinema Gallery until August 15. Who: Artist Clara Hoag What: Her new ceramics exhibit, “Fetish,” at Urbana’s Cinema Gallery When: Running now until Aug. 15 Where: Urbana’s Cinema Gallery, 120 W. Main St., Urbana Why: Check out how Hoag explores the way humans explain the world we live in.
Downtown Festival of the Arts celebrates community
Local shops offer pieces to use between seasons
by Syd Slobodnik
by Mary Russell
The 6th Annual Champaign Park District’s Downtown Festival of the Arts is just around the corner on Aug. 15, in the heart of downtown Champaign at Neil and Main Streets from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Champaign Park District’s Special Events manager Katie Flint says the festival will “emphasize the different types of arts local and regional … for the music lover, dance lover, jewelry lover, etc.” for people of all ages. Over 70 artists will be featured in this day long celebration of the area’s myriad of creative fine artists from music, photography, watercolor, jewelry, glass work, sculpture and much more. This family event will offer a variety of foods from the immediate local eateries (like Aroma Cafe, Jim Gould, Café Kopi) and enrich the hearts and souls of local art lovers. The fest will feature three venues: a main stage of local musicians, a performing arts stage, highlighting theatre and dance and a family entertainment stage with music, storytelling and a magician. Featured performer Darden Purcell is thrilled at the opportunity to perform at this year’s fest: “I think it is fantastic that downtown Champaign hosts a day for artists and performers to showcase their talent. There are so many gifted people in this town and it is wonderful that this community supports these local artists”. Among the many musical artists featured in this year’s fest include local acoustic and folk group, The Hathaways. The Darden Purcell Quartet, a jazz group lead by Purcell, a renown jazz vocalist, will also perform. According to Purcell, “The audience can expect to hear classics from the Great American Songbook as well as Jazz Standards and some Brazilian music.” Kennedy’s Kitchen, a group of five that feature Irish/Celtic music, Tree Thump, an experimental group that features a uniquely AUG 13 – AUG 19 09
Austrailian sound described on their website as “Didgeridu driven music with a penetrating, psychedelic vibe and funky drum and bass grooves, topped off with sweet fiery explosions of electronic violins,” Desafinado, a local Samba/Brazilian group and Paul Imholte, “the Musical Stringman”, who plays everything from fiddle, guitar, banjo, dulcimer, mandolin are also scheduled to perform. For more information about any of these exciting events and for a complete schedule of the day’s events of the Downtown Festival of the Arts go online at http://www. champaignparkdistrict.com/events/dtfoa/music.htm.
Schedule FOR AUGUST 15 Main Entertainment Tent 10-11 a.m. Hathaways 11:30-1 p.m. Darden Purcell Quartet 1:30-3 p.m. Kennedy’s Kitchen 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tree Thump 5-7 p.m. Desafinado Roaming act 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Paul Imholte Performing Arts Stage 11-12 noon CPD Dance Arts, Djibril Camara and Ballet Allah 2-3 p.m. The CoMMoN Theatre Project 3:30-4:30 p.m. Gypsy Hips 5-6 p.m. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare 6:30-7:30 p.m. Brittany Johnson Fiddle Family Entertainment Stage 11 a.m.-12 noon Kennedy’s Kitchen 12:30-1:30 p.m. Andrew Anderson (magician) 2-2:30 p.m. Parkland Props 3-3:30 p.m. Prompting Theatre 4-5 p.m. Patricia Hruby-Powell (Storyteller) 5:30-6:30 p.m. Andrew Anderson (magician) Who: Champaign Park District and local artists, performers
Mid-August is stuck somewhere between summer and fall, putting many shoppers in an uncertain position as they try to balance fall trends with the weather. Many hot days still remain, but that floral halter dress might feel out of place come September. To get the most for your buck, invest in pieces that can be worn now and in October. Look for tops and dresses in darker transitional colors and prints, and which can be easily layered over with a fall jacket or sweater during cooler evenings. Circles (Moves to 114 N. Neil on August 14) Circles stocks an incredibly versatile long-sleeved menswear style shirt dress by Free People that sells for $101. A plaid pattern of peach and red, the shirt hits mid-thigh and can be worn alone with sandals during hotter days. When the weather cools off it will look great with leggings or skinny jeans. Dandelion Vintage Clothing Most everything in here is one of a kind, but there is a great selection of lightweight jackets and blazers, most of which run around $30. Pair these jackets with shorts and a tank right now, and later with skinny jeans and flats. My favorite was a short black leather jacket of the brand “Classic Leather.” The jacket is collarless and complete with snap decals on the bottom and retro pleating on the back and shoulders.
What: The Downtown Festival of the Arts When: Saturday, Aug. 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Where: Downtown Champaign, at Neil and Main Streets Why: Celebrate our local artists and performers! Photo by James Kyung
Pitaya Pitaya has a great selection of dresses, many of which can be worn into the fall. “a 3+1” makes a beige dress with short sleeves and a sheer overlay of small blue and red flowers for $36. Extend the life of the dress by wearing it with a bomber jacket and riding boots in the fall. come and get it