Summer Arts & Culture Exhibit to Celebrate Irish Culture and Heritage

May 19, 2023

IIncludes gallery exhibit, opening cultural event, field trips, art camp, and adult music sessions.

Each year Decatur Area Arts Council presents a summer-long exhibit and related events which feature a specific culture or country. These educational opportunities are provided free of charge, with the goal of fostering an awareness and appreciation of other people and cultures.

The 2023 Summer Arts & Culture Exhibit is entitled Ireland: Celtic Nation.

The program includes:

  • A cultural exhibit (June 2-July 26) featuring a variety of Irish-themed and Irish-made items. The items on exhibit are on loan from private collections, as well as from the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures at the University of Illinois. Some of the items exhibited will be available for sale. Our exhibits are no-touch exhibits and children must be supervised. New this year, will be a sensory table, where touching is allowed!
  • An opening cultural event (Friday, June 2 from 5:00-7:30 pm) featuring the cultural exhibit in the 1st floor Anne Lloyd Gallery and hands-on artmaking in the 2nd floor Barnett Art Studio. Performances by Celtic Whistle and Shamrock Academy of Irish Dancers will begin at 5:30 pm on the 3rd floor Loft and continue through 7 pm. Guests may enjoy a complimentary taste of Irish cuisine and beverages.
  • Group field trips (June/July) are available to schedule throughout the summer. A field trip features a guided tour of the exhibit, followed by a hands-on art project based on Celtic Art. Please call 2147-423-3189 for more information.
  • The Emerald Isle Summer Camp (June 6-8 from 9:30 am-12 pm. Fee: $75) Recommended for ages 6-12 Join us for a whirlwind tour of Ireland through the arts. Tour the gallery, explore and create illuminated letters and Celtic knots, learn to play tin whistle, dance an Irish jig, and more! All art materials and tin whistle included. Instructors: Jenny Cowgill, Connie Brewster, and Jennifer Stout
  • Adults Only: Irish Sessions at Decatur Brew Works (July 12, 19 & 26 from 6-7:30 pm) Wednesday nights at Decatur Brew Works for an introduction to Irish music and song using various instruments (whistle, bodhran, guitar, etc.). This three-week class will follow the long-standing tradition of the “Irish Session” and culminate July 26, when we’ll be joined by Broken Brogue, Decatur’s own Celtic folk band. Irish whistle included. Instructor: Dr. Neal Smith, Millikin University professor and founding member of Broken Brogue.
  • July First Friday Gallery Walk (July 7 from 5-7 pm) explore the gallery in the community-friendly open house, featuring the music of Broken Brogue! Light refreshments will be provided.

Visit other downtown galleries that will be open during the June 2 and July 7 gallery walks.

  • Blue Connection, 117 N. Water St.
  • Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St. - Artist Talk @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Art+Market, 236 N. Water St.

We would like to thank our major sponsors:

Harp Level

  • Alan & Beth Frigy
  • Charlotte Hanks & Tom Malenchek
  • Nims Foundation

Lucky Horseshoe Level

  • Matt & Natalie Beck

Shamrock Level

  • Mr. & Mrs. Ritchie Barnett
  • John & Cheryl Bradley
  • Lucien & Brigitta Kapp
  • Doug & Leslie Hein
  • Ardith Hubbard
  • Jennifer Toney & Cullen Whicker

This program is funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.


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