Author Archive for Paul Krainak

Inland Art | A poet’s eye

Inland Art

Before Bill Conger became curator of exhibitions and collections at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, his critical capability was honed at the University Galleries at Illinois State University. He worked with Barry Blinderman for more than a decade, a highly productive…

Inland Art | Pillars of Dust

Beige and Black Drawing

Over the past year and a half, I’ve written about art that’s formally and conceptually rigorous but advocates for the rural – work that explores the relationship between the intellect and the advancement of places outside the approved borders of…

Inland Art | Sculpture Walk

Sculpture Walk

This year’s Peoria Sculpture Walk raises a few questions about public art –– for Peoria and for urban settings in general. It’s perennially challenging for any artwork to hold viewers attention in the turmoil of urban settings –– particularly if…

Inland Art | Claire Ashley

Claire Ashley

Chicago artist Claire Ashley’s work – forms floating between image and text, concept and corporeality, is also about reconfiguring space. She is recognized by challenging the didacticism and vanity of mainstream sculpture, along with attendant traditions of welding and stone…

Inland Art | Barry Blinderman

Blinderman

While my column is generally about art in the Midwest, this month’s notes on Barry Blinderman’s retirement from Illinois State University speak to a germane link between coastal and inland art. In the 1980s, Barry was the director and co-owner…

Inland Art: Central Time Ceramics

Dieffenbach

The biennial Central Time Ceramics exhibition will open March 6 at Heuser and Hartmann Galleries, Bradley University. Show founder and Bradley Ceramics Professor Randy Carlson chose Gail Kendall, emeritus professor, University of Nebraska, whose decorative pottery is widely recognized and…

Inland Art: Sarah Smelser

Smelser

I met Sarah Smelser nearly 20 years ago when she was hired to be the new head of West Virginia University’s print program. She arrived from Pasadena, California, with her husband Jonathan Higgins, and they settled in quickly and founded…

Inland Art

Bob Emser’s body of public works are at ease in prescribed settings like urban plazas and sculpture gardens. The contours of his work are clear, adaptive and organic. He’s situated his sculpture on concrete and on soil, riffed on constructivist…