Current Exhibitions 

91st Annual Amateur Exhibition
March 2 - April 21, 2018
Awards Ceremony: Sunday, March 4, 2pm


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

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

HIGH SCHOOL                   1st PLACE                                             2nd PLACE

Graphics              Madyson Fosdick                                             Cecilia Fosen

                          Heyworth HS, “Mistress”                                     Lexington HS, “Self-Portrait”      

Painting               Laura Westpfahl                                              Olivia Frank

                    Normal Community HS, “Progression”                     Bloomington HS, “What’s Underneath”

Photography      Hayley Dralle                                                    Colleen Hayes

                    Bloomington HS, “Exertion”                                    Central Catholic HS, “Beyond the Surface”

Sculpture             Ashley Spencer                                                Bree Maze

                   Heyworth HS, “Open Up”                                           Normal West HS, “Steam Punk Box”


UNIVERSITY                       1st PLACE                                                 2nd PLACE

Graphics                     Felicia Cannon                                                  Aianna Zachary

                       Illinois State, “Smoke Blush”                                Heartland Com. College, “Self Portrait”

Painting                     Alissa Palmer                                                    Annie Otto

                   Illinois State, “untitled”                                                         Illinois State, “The Siblings”

Photography             Lucas Stiegman                                            Brianna Lehnen

                    Illinois State, “Boxed In”                                          Heartland Com. College, “la femme d’or”

Sculpture                   Sarah Hurley                                              Mary Beth Breshears

                     Heartland Com. College, “Elevate”                                Illinois State, “Sunny Day Shrivel”

ADULT                                  1st PLACE                                                2nd PLACE

Graphics                   Amber Gravett                                           Sean-Thomas Gunnell

                                  Bloomington, “Cat in Motion”                                  Bloomington, “Herne, the Horned God”

Painting                   Mardell Klasen                                                 Lizzie Lindenbaum

                                 Bloomington, “On a Fall Day”                                                  Chicago, “Good Earth”

Photography            Michael O'Brien                                               Georgi Baird

                                 Downs, “American Citizen”                                              Bloomington, “Magical Morning”

Sculpture               Catherine Haab                                                Eunjung Schantz

                                Hudson, “Cosmic Gyre”                                                 Normal, “Tea Pot”

Entries received:            Entries accepted:

HIGH SCHOOL                    98                                                           26

UNIVERSITY                       75                                                           27

ADULT                              114                                                          40

                           Total      287                        Total      93

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


2018 Award Winners


Armstrong Gallery


Jeff Robinson (Amateur Competition Juror)           

            March 2 – April 21, 2018                 

            Opening Reception: Sunday, March 4, 2 pm

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.

We are very excited to have has expertise and vision in curating the large Brandt Gallery!

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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