A Night of Celebrations

Driving and... the arts?

The great thing about public art is that you can experience it on a walk, while riding your bike, or even from the comfort of your car. (Or, if you're like me, the semi-comfort of a car in need of a mechanic...)

Either way, last night area artists and arts advocates gathered together to celebrate ArtPop Peoria, a program now in its second year. Peoria was only the third city to implement ArtPop... and now you'll find it in cities across the nation! The idea? Put local art on unused billboard space.

Last year, the ArtPop Peoria selections began to rotate around the area on HUGE Adams Outdoor billboards.

2015 ArtPop Peoria: Connie Andrews, Bringing Him To Life (Photo Credit: ArtsPartners)

This year, we have five more outstanding artists... Craig Stocks, Orion Richey, Rick Melby, the People's Choice Award winner Linda Webb, and The Sheared Edge's very own Dana Baldwin!

The evening began with a chance for the artists to meet one another and the ArtPop organizers. Sheared Edge friend, the vinyl record DJ juanGoblin, kept our feet moving with soul, rock, and funk tunes. (If you attended our show Forest LUSH last summer, you'll definitely remember him!)

Later, everyone had a chance to hear from ArtsPartners Executive Driector Jenn Gordon, Councilman Ryan Spain, ArtPop Committee members Doug & Eileen Leunig, ArtPop Committee Member Mae Gilliland, and finally, the guest of honor...

WENDY HICKEY! Wendy is the founder and executive director of ArtPop. You can visit her page here and find out a little bit more about the program (which is a nonprofit and in need of donations!).

Or, if you're lazy like me (hey, at least I'm honest about it!) and sometimes need a bit of convincing, check out this amazing video:

All of the 2015 and 2016 artists received a miniature version of their billboards...

How cool is this?!?

And, of course, Dana received one, too..

Love that smile!

The Sheared Edge crew was there to help celebrate, of course... and we will let you know when her billboard is installed and where you can find it (along with all of the other artists).

We also had a chance to thank the 2016 jury, who had a difficult job this year.. so much great art! 

So, congratulations to the artists... I hope you all celebrated last night. I know that our organizing crew did...! We don't choose the artists, but we all put a great deal of time and effort into facilitating the program along with Adams Outdoor Peoria.

There you go...

Peoria, you've got great artists... and a lot of momentum right now. Keep it up!

You can catch the Sheared Edge tomorrow at TWO major events...

1. Peoria Riverfront Market: 8a-Noon. Look for Mae at the Sheared Edge booth.

2. Fashion @ 101: 101 NE Roanoke, 5-8p. Details here.

And finally, if you aren't following us on Instagram, DO! @shearededge -- tips, interviews, and more.

That's all for today. See you this weekend!

Mae + The Sheared Edge Crew