91st Annual Amateur Exhibition
March 2 - April 21, 2018
ARTWORK PICKUP: Saturday, April 21 from 12-4pm or Tuesday, April 24 from 12-7pm

Merwin Medal – Best of Show – Jeanna Campbell, ISU Graduate School of Social Work, “#sayhername”

Ashley Ritter Most Promising Art Award – Luci BiancoHeyworth High School, “Grateful”

Juror’s Statement

It was such an honor to jury the 91st Annual McLean County Amateur Art Competition and Exhibition. The work submitted was incredibly strong, and it was a challenge to make final selections. The time I spent with the works was inspiring, and gave me great confidence in the future and reputation of art and artists working in McLean County and Central Illinois. Everyone who submitted should be proud of their accomplishments. Congratulations to those artists included, and I look forward to seeing your continued creative output!                 - Jeff Robinson

Armstrong Gallery


Jeff Robinson (Amateur Competition Juror)           

            March 2 – April 21, 2018                 

Jeff Robinson is an artist and curator based in both Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. He received his MFA degree from Illinois State University in 2011. Robinson has exhibited at venues that include RomanSusan (Chicago), Ski Club (Milwaukee), Rosalux Gallery (Minneapolis), Outhaus (Urbana), and E. Tay (New York). His work has been published in New American Paintings and Manifest Gallery’s International Painting Annual. His work has been featured on Daily Serving, in NewCity Magazine (Chicago), and in the Riverfront Times (St. Louis), among others. In 2014, he received an Individual Artist Support Grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Robinson has worked as artist-in-residence at Ragdale (2017) and ACRE (2017). In addition to his studio practice, Robinson serves as Instructor of Art at the University of Illinois Springfield, as Director of the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, and as co-director (and co-founder) of DEMO Project.

Sales Gallery


Jinghua Zeng

            March 2 – April 21, 2018                 

            Opening Reception: Sunday, March 4, 2 pm

At the age of 92 years old, Ms. Jinghua Zeng continues to be very passionate in her practice of Chinese calligraphy.  Since immigrating to Bloomington twenty years ago, she has sought out many opportunities to promote Chinese culture in the United States.  She has demonstrated her calligraphy skills at various international fairs at Illinois State University, the Heartland Community College Chinese School, a local Chinese martial arts school and McLean County Arts Center Holiday Treasure event.  Her art contains many distinguished characters, including those that are powerful, playful and elegant, as well as several different calligraphy fonts that trace back 2,300 years of Chinese history.  Community members across the area have enjoyed her art on college campuses, in business offices, and in homes.

Ms. Jinghua Zeng is a retired professor and served as the Chair of the Education Department at the Guangxi Teachers’ College in Nanning, China.  She is a well-respected scholar featured in the “Chinese Academic Who’s Who” publication.


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