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May First Friday / Area Artist Invitational

May 5, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Map and business listing 2017-2a

That’s right – on the FIRST FRIDAY of EVERY month, our businesses stay open later, to give a chance to come down for shopping, dining, browsing and end enjoying the wonderful hub of arts and entertainment located in the heart of our city!

These participating businesses are looking forward to helping you find just the right gift for MOM or your favorite graduate! Both Mother’s Day and Graduation are just around the corner! Check out this > Map and business listing 

In addition – Six Downtown Bloomington Galleries are participating in the May Artists Invitational as part of the Downtown Bloomington’s May 5th First Friday! The purpose of the Invitational is to introduce new artists currently not represented in the Downtown art scene to local art lovers and collectors.

Main Gallery 404

Rachel Cofer.  Rachel Cofer works in ink and watercolor drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as Japanese Woodblocks, turn of the century illustration, and American folkart. Her work presents objects of nature in simple vignettes capturing their elegance.

“I’m a Bloomington native and an ISU alumni who has recently returned to making art. I tend to draw inspiration from my immediate surroundings, the natural world, and simple objects or images rather than a full scene.”

“Nature is a pervasive theme in my work and I tend to showcase a single aspect-the moment of inspiration. I draw from a combination of influences, the most obvious of which are Japanese woodblock printing and turn of the century watercolor and ink illustrations. These culminate into simple vignettes in which I try to capture the elegance of the subject. I work mostly in ink and watercolor, but am currently dabbling in oil while trying my hand at the American Folk Art style, which is another source of inspiration. It’s my hope that the viewer sees something familiar and timeless in my humble work.”


The Amber Bee Pottery and Tile Co. is owned and operated by Tom and Judy Elston and is located just south of Bloomington, IL in the country.  An old horse barn in their backyard was converted into a pottery studio in 2010  and production is in full swing.
Tom received his ceramic degree form ISU in 1972, studying under Tom and Nancy Malone, Tim Mather and Joel Meyers.  After graduation, Tom worked at the Morton Pottery in Morton, IL. as the glaze department manger.  At that time, Rival Mfg. Co. had just bought the Morton Pottery.  Do you remember the original Rival Crock Pot?  The ceramic insert was thrown, glazed and fired in Morton.  If you still have one of those old crock pots, you may have one of Tom’s “early pieces”.  After the Morton Pottery closed, Tom and a few other potters joined together and started The Prairie Peoples Pottery in Peoria, IL.  Tom had shown his pieces at the Peoria Art Guild and traveled doing the art fair circuit.
Judy also graduated from ISU with a communication degree.  She was taught painting by her grandfather who also taught at the Art Institute in Chicago.  She is instrumental in design, glazing and marketing.  Tom and Judy have turned their inner passions into beautiful pieces of functional pottery and decorative art.  The pottery is hand-crafted and representative of their need to express themselves through their hands which is an extension of their drive to create functional pieces that will enhance a dinner table, wall, mantle or just feel good to hold.  They combine their artist’s eye and understanding of pottery history into each pot, from mixing clays, creating custom glazes, to firing and discovering  the treasures upon opening the kiln.

 Inside Out

Jane West and Mary O’Brian – A Cooperative Art Venture

Jane is a photographer who has been taking pictures for decades, featuring local scenes as well as iconic Midwest landscapes. Mary creates hand-made paper from recycled materials. The two long-time friends have teamed up and offer Jane’s stunning photographs, complimented by Mary’s original handmade paper.

 Joann Goetzinger Gallery

Vince Bobrosky:
Studied art at Illinois State University in the mid 70’s focusing on modern glass scupture.  He worked under professor Joel Philip Myers and David Huchthausin.  One of his sculptures was selected by the Corning Museum of Art to be included as outstanding glass artist of the time.
Studied art at Illinois State University in the mid 70’s focusing on modern glass scupture.  He worked under professor Joel Philip Myers and David Huchthausin.  One of his sculptures was selected by the Corning Museum of Art to be included as outstanding glass artist of the time. The pieces on display
at the Joann Goetzinger  gallery are an example of some of his work.  These futuristic glass and metal sculptures hold a mysterious meaning to the artist.  Drop by the gallery on Friday to meet Vince and hear his story.

After college Vince started a career as an industrial designer for the Eureka company.  In his retirement he been involved with the mural team in Bloomington and has painted several murals.  The most recent mural was a collaborative effort with  Mclean County Diversity Project scholars.  This work can be seen in front of the Bloomington Public Library


At Three Square Studio

Jared Lacy is a mixed-media painter from Knoxville, Illinois.  He has shown his work regionally and on the national level; winning several awards. Jared offers non-objective paintings, emphasizing form and design.  Framed 5”x7” or 8”x 10” accent pieces along with 16”x 20” paintings will be available.


Herb Eaton Gallery

Eaton Gallery will present photographs and paintings of ParkLands, the Mackinaw River, and Merwin Preserve.  Mary Jo Adams will be our guest artist.  Herb will also have his paintings and prints.  I have attached Mary Jo’s bio and a photograph of one of her images that will be in the front gallery.  ParkLands is celebrating their 50th anniversary and Eaton Gallery is celebrating with a May exhibit of work by two local artists who appreciate and capture the beauty of the area in their photographs, paintings, sculpture, and published books and journals.


Angel Ambrose Studio

Denise Cardinal of Revivify Arts: Denise Cardinal is a mosaic tile artist from Bloomington recycling broken china into useful and beautiful works of art.

Each artist will display a selection of their work and be available for questions and conversation. In addition all galleries will be open for viewing as well.


May 5, 2017
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:

Contact Us

Downtown Development Division

115 E. Washington
Bloomington, Illinois 61701