International Arts Experience 2019

May 22, 2019

EASTERN EUROPE: Kindred Cultures Exhibit and Opening Event

The Decatur Area Arts Council is presenting the annual International Arts Experience featuring an exhibit entitled EASTERN EUROPE: Kindred Cultures from June 7-July 29 in the Anne Lloyd Gallery at the Madden Arts Center, 125 N. Water Street in downtown Decatur. The exhibit includes a wide array of authentic Eastern European folk art, fine art and artifacts - Ukrainian painted eggs, Russian Matryoshka (nesting) dolls and lacquer boxes, Polish papercuts, ceramics, paintings on glass, woodwork, Czech marionettes, religious icons, textiles, political art and more. The items on display tell the story of eight countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine) that share histories and cultures shaped by migration, conflict and shifting borders. The exhibit demonstrates how their interweaving cultures have resulted in some similarities in art, customs and traditions yet strong individualism and pride in their unique heritages.

Items are on loan from private collectors in the area as well as the Spurlock Museum and the Russian, East European, Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois and the Giertz Education Center at Krannert Art Museum.

An opening cultural event on Friday evening, June 7 from 5:00-7:30 pm celebrates the liveliness of Eastern European arts – a “don’t miss” opportunity for the entire family! There will be authentic ethnic guest performances and audience participation throughout the evening, including:

On 3rd floor -

  • Chicago Cossacks performing music with authentic instruments and folk dance in ethnic costumes. There will be an opportunity for audience to learn a few easy dance steps!
  • 6 pm Storytelling of East European folktales by Dr. Mike Lockett
  • A taste of authentic Eastern Europe cuisine by Chef Nick, Bizou

In 2nd floor Barnett Art Studio–

  • Art-making for all ages: Russian-inspired paper nesting dolls and Ukrainian wax resist egg designs

Field trips which include a discussion of the exhibit and a hands-on Eastern Europe art project can be arranged for youth or adult groups. Decatur Rotary Club #180 has provided scholarships to help cover costs of field trips.

Thanks to generous contributors, the exhibit and cultural event are open free to the public. This program is being sponsored by Busey with additional funding by private contributors. It is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 8:30-4:30 and Saturdays 10-2. For further information or to request field trips, please contact the Decatur Area Arts Council, 217-423-3189,


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