Husband-wife jewelers are 2015 ‘Hatch’ headliners

Contact:  Gail Rost, Co-Chair, Hatch Creative Reuse Art Festival, Hatch@the-idea-store.org  

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Jewelry artists David and Roberta Williamson of Berea, Ohio, believe everyone has a story to tell. And when they visit Champaign-Urbana next February as the Hatch Visiting Artists-in-Residence, the Williamsons will share their own life story — a creative partnership built on a dual foundation: their love for each other and their passion for beautiful objects with a history.

While in residence in Champaign-Urbana, the couple — who met while both were students at Northern Illinois University, then crafted an artful life and career together — also will provide opportunities for school children and community members to create and share their own personal stories with found objects and repurposed items and artifacts.

The Williamsons’ residency is part of the multifaceted Hatch Creative-Reuse Art Festival, an annual celebration of resourcefulness and reinvention produced by The I.D.E.A. Store. The store is billed as the area’s premier creative-reuse marketplace and an earned-income social enterprise of the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation. The 2015 festival will take place Feb. 26 through March 14 in various venues throughout Champaign County.

In addition to hosting the Williamsons’ residency, Hatch includes a juried art exhibition, on view throughout most of the festival (Feb. 28 through March 14) at Indi Go Artist Co-op in downtown Champaign; a trash-fashion, or “trashion” show at Lincoln Square on Feb. 27; a juried art fair March 14 at the Savoy Recreational Center; and a number of other auxiliary activities.

“The festival celebrates the creative spirit of local, regional and even nationally known artists who work in the creative-reuse genre, using cast-off materials that might otherwise end up in the landfill,” said Gail Rost, co-chair of the Hatch organizing team and co-founder of The I.D.E.A. Store with Carol Jo Morgan.

“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to bring the Williamsons to our community, as they have been blazing the trail in the field of repurposed and recycled art for many years,” Rost said. “Their whimsical brooches, necklaces and other works of art typically marry ephemera and three-dimensional artifacts from the past — passed down in their families or acquired from antiques stores, flea markets and other sources — with fine jewelry-making techniques and craftsmanship.”

The Williamsons teach at Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. Roberta Williamson, a lecturer in the university’s studio art department, received her bachelor’s degree in education from NIU and a master of fine arts degree in jewelry and metalsmithing from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. David Williamson is professor of studio art at Baldwin-Wallace and has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from NIU in DeKalb and an MFA from VCU.

They have collaborated as partners in their metals studio for nearly 45 years, each contributing individual strengths to their collective enterprise. Roberta brings her intuitive sense for creating design combinations to the table, while David contributes his top-notch technical skills.

The jewelry artists’ fascination with nature often surfaces in their work. They also are inspired by their lives together and their individual histories and memories. Their work can be found in a number of international collections, including the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2009, the pair was featured in the popular two-part PBS series “Craft in America.”

As Hatch visiting artists-in-residence, they will kick off the festival at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the Champaign Public Library with a free public talk titled “Garden of Dreams: The Work of Artists David and Roberta Williamson.” The next day (Feb. 27), they will work with local middle school and high school art students. On Feb. 28, they will present an all-day, advanced-level jewelry workshop for adults (age 18+) in the University of Illinois campus studio of Billie Theide, a professor of art and design and the James Avery Endowed Chair of the College of Fine and Applied Arts.

Through their workshops, the Williamsons encourage students to “find their own stories” by incorporating meaningful, memory-inducing objects into the jewelry they create. In the Hatch workshop, geared toward college-level students and members of the public with some experience and skills in jewelry-making or other hands-on visual arts or fine craft, the Williamsons will teach participants how to transform found objects into “reservoirs” for preserving ephemera or other small items, and how to preserve the materials using resin. They’ll also demonstrate how to create a bezel and use cold connections to join elements of the pieces they create.

More information on the workshop, which will cost $100 per person, and how to register will be available soon on the Hatch website, here.

The Williamsons’ work also will be featured in the Hatch Art Exhibition at Indi Go as well, and they will appear at the show’s free public opening reception from 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 28.

Rost said frequent updates on all Hatch-related activities will continue to be added to the festival website. She encourages those interested in attending, participating in or even volunteering to help with the festival to consult the Hatch website and Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/AboutHatch often for the latest news.

 

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(REPORTERS, EDITORS, NEWS DIRECTORS: High-resolution images of the Williamsons’ work are available by contacting Gail Rost at gail.glende.rost@gmail.com.)

2015 ‘Hatch’ festival seeks creative-reuse artists

Contact: Gail Rost, Hatch Steering Committee
gail.glende.rost@gmail.com

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. —Volunteer event organizers from the The I.D.E.A. Store in Champaign once again are talking trash. And art. They’re also making plans to bring both together in fun and innovative ways Feb. 27-March 14 during the third annual “Hatch” Creative-Reuse Art Festival.

Applications are now available online for artists seeking entry into Hatch’s juried art exhibition Feb. 28-March 14 at Indi Go Artist Co-op in downtown Champaign and/or the juried art fair March 14 at the Savoy Recreational Center.

Art juried into the exhibition must consist of at least 75 percent reused, recycled or repurposed materials. For the art fair, the requirement has been revised from past years’ 75 percent “re-” materials to at least half in 2015. Artist information and applications are available on the festival website, www.AboutHatch.org.

Produced by The I.D.E.A. Store, Champaign, Illinois’ premier creative-reuse marketplace and an earned-income enterprise of the CU Schools Foundation, Hatch draws artists, art appreciators, shoppers and co-sponsors from throughout Central Illinois and beyond to the Champaign-Urbana community. The festival features some of the most imaginative and resourceful local, regional and national artists known for their abilities to create whimsical and sometimes functional work from discarded materials that might otherwise end up in a landfill.

“We’ve been pleased, but not surprised, by the community’s enthusiastic response to Hatch as it has evolved since its inaugural year in 2013,” said Gail Rost, co-founder of The I.D.E.A. Store and one of the festival’s lead organizers. “Since we opened our doors in 2010, the people of Central Illinois have demonstrated their devotion to The I.D.E.A. Store, to creative reuse and to becoming more aware of their role in preserving our natural environment and reducing the waste stream.

Rost said the Hatch festival’s programming has become more extensive each year since it began in 2013 as a three-day event. Last year the festival grew to its current two-week length, with multiple venues spread throughout Champaign and Urbana.

“In 2014,” she noted, “we added a trash-fashion show to the festival line-up, which also included a residency by Santa Fe, N.M.-based guest artist Nancy Judd, who led a one-day project with children from Garden Hills Elementary School in Champaign. Judd also gave a free public talk at the Champaign Library and presented community workshops at The I.D.E.A. Store.”

Rost said the popular “trashion” show will return in 2015 to kick off the festival on Feb. 27 in the center courtyard of Urbana’s Lincoln Square Mall.

A notable change this year will be a slightly delayed opening of the art exhibition at Indi Go Artist Co-op. The show will open on Feb. 28 and run through March 14, with an opening reception planned from 6-8 p.m. on Feb. 28.

The art fair, which in the past has featured fun and functional art, home and garden décor, jewelry and accessories and upcycled clothing by creative-reused artists from three Midwestern states, will again take place at the Savoy Recreation Center from 10 a.m.-6 p.m on March 14.

The 2015 artist-in-residence and additional Hatch programming will be announced in the coming months, Rost said. Updates on these and other Hatch-related happenings — including volunteer opportunities —will be posted on the festival website.

Rost, along with co-founder Carol Jo Morgan, launched The I.D.E.A. Store in 2010 as an earned-income enterprise of CUSF. Surplus revenue generated from store sales and other programs — more than $30,000 to date — directly benefits teachers and students in the Champaign and Urbana public schools.

In addition to providing local businesses and individuals with an alternative means of discarding unwanted but reusable materials and making them available at affordable costs to teachers, students, artists, crafters, hobbyists and others, The I.D.E.A. Store staff and volunteers offer workshops and other educational programs, and engage in community outreach activities that emphasize ways to protect the environment, conserve energy and other resources, and reduce the local waste stream.

For more information about “Hatch,” contact festival organizers at hatch@the-idea-store.org or call The I.D.E.A. Store, 217-352-7878.

‘Hatch’ festival to highlight repurposed art, ‘trashion,’ music and more Feb. 28-March 15

Contact: Gail Rost, General Manager, The I.D.E.A. Store
217-352-7878; generalmanager@the-idea-store.org

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The prefix of choice in Central Illinois Feb. 28-March 15 will be “re” as The I.D.E.A. Store — Champaign-Urbana’s premier eco-edu-art creative-reuse marketplace and earned-income enterprise of the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation — shines a bright, hot spotlight on recycled, repurposed and reuse art during its second annual “Hatch” festival.

The 2014 creative-reuse art festival, which expands to two weeks this year, takes place in a variety of venues throughout Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy (See the complete festival final schedule).

Once again this year, the public will be able to view and purchase work by dozens of talented and resourceful local and regional Hatch artists and designers. Their work will be featured in a juried art exhibition (Feb. 28-March 15 at Champaign’s Indi Go Artist Co-op) and at a one-day art fair (March 15 at the Savoy Recreation Center).

A number of new auxiliary activities and events have been added to the 2014 Hatch line-up as well. Notable among them is a runway-style “trashion” show (think trash plus fashion) featuring designs made from materials that might otherwise end up in a landfill. Participation in the show, set for 6 p.m. at Urbana’s Lincoln Square on March 7, is open to all community members. Online registration for the Hatch Trashion Show continues through Feb. 14.

Also new this year will be a music lecture-demo at 7 p.m. March 8 at Indi Go by percussionist Chad Dunn; cigar-box guitar maker Tony Taylor; and Ben Juday, owner of Analog Outfitters in Champaign. All three make musical instruments and/or equipment created from repurposed materials.

Another integral component of Hatch is its Visiting Artist-in Residence program. The 2014 visiting artist is Nancy Judd, an internationally recognized public artist, environmental educator and founder of Recycle Runway based in Santa Fe, N.M. Judd creates awareness of environmental issues through her inventive “trashion” designs, which have been exhibited in high-traffic venues throughout the world — from museums to airports, including the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Several major corporations, such as Coca Cola and Target, have commissioned Judd to create eco-fashions as well. Her “Obamanos Coat,” created from Obama campaign “door-hangers” is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Judd, who also is founder of the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival — which recently celebrated its 15th year — will be in residence at Hatch Feb. 28-March 1. Although she will not be in Champaign-Urbana during the Hatch Trashion Show, she will serve as a consultant to show organizers.

“Over the years I have found trashion to be a surprisingly useful way of engaging people in thinking about sustainability,” Judd said. “Fashion attracts our attention because of the connection that clothing has to our bodies; this allows me to connect with people on a more personal level.”

Judd hopes to keep making connections as she prepares — over the course of the next three years — for a second exhibition of her work in the Atlanta airport.

During two-day residency in Champaign-Urbana, Feb. 28-March 1, Judd will lead an all-school assembly and hands-on repurposing project with third- through fifth-graders at Champaign’s Garden Hills Elementary School on Feb. 28. She also will present two workshops (one for youth and one for adults) at The I.D.E.A. Store on March 1, and will give a free public lecture at 4:30 p.m. on March 1 at the Champaign Public Library. Two of her trash-fashions will be exhibited in the Hatch Art Exhibition at Indi Go through March 15.

Judd said the take-home message she emphasizes in her public talks is personal empowerment.

“I think it’s really important to focus on personal power and hope,” she said. “We are facing huge challenges as our climate is changing, and it is essential that we find the places in our lives where we can be eco-leaders, inspiring others to recycle more, drive less, eat local, etc.

“Students will include their own eco pledges as part of this collaborative reuse art installation,” Barber said.

“We are very excited to be able to host someone with Nancy Judd’s reputation for making environmental education fun and engaging by how she incorporates the creative art-making process in her work with kids,” Barber added. “Her elegant fashion sculptures are sure to leave a lasting impression on our students, especially considering that she creates them using trash. ”  

A number of Hatch events are free and open to the public; others have entry fees (to participate in the Trashion Show or attend workshops at The I.D.E.A. Store an advance registration and payment is required). A “Hatch Passport,” which admits holders to most other events, may be purchased in advance at The I.D.E.A. Store for $5 before the festival starts on the 28th.  Come to the opening of the art exhibition, which costs $5, and get a passport for an additional $1.

For more information about Hatch, including a complete listing of festival events and visit the Hatch website.

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(REPORTERS, EDITORS, NEWS DIRECTORS: Photos of Nancy Judd are available in the press section of Judd’s Recycle Runway website. Contact Gail Rost at The I.D.E.A. Store for representative photos of art included in the Hatch Art Fair and Exhibition.)