The Paris (Ill.) Bicentennial Art Center & Museum will be opening a new exhibit, “Beware of the Old Woman,” on Friday. This exhibit contains artwork created by artist Jan Kappes of Arcola, Ill.
Kappes was born in Mattoon, Ill., and prepared in high school to attend college with her eye on a career in commercial art. She chose to marry and became a farm wife, residing near Tuscola for more than 30 years. In 1987 she attained a two-year degree in graphic arts from Parkland College. In 2009, she returned to college at Eastern Illinois University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in 2-D art and a master’s degree in sculpture.
Kappes has been many different things over the years: a student, wife, mother, farmhand, horse trainer, student (again), graphic designer, innkeeper, editor, truck salesperson and grandma. No matter what occupation she was involved in, though, she has always defined herself as an artist, using whatever materials she might have available to create something. Kappes is now working full time creating art.
Kappes has shown her work aggressively over the past few years, being accepted into juried exhibitions and receiving awards, including from the Paris Art Center.
She recently won the professional drawing competition at the Illinois State Fair with an Inkling titled “BackYardFlashBack #3.”
Kappes will include intricate ink drawings in her exhibit at the center, as well as sculptures using old farm parts and other items.
A reception is planned from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Kappes will be giving a short talk on her work at 6:30 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through Sept. 27.
At 5:30 p.m., before the reception, the Paris Art Center will host the unveiling of a pastel portrait of Joyce McWilliams created by local artist Kari Rajkumar. McWilliams was a longtime resident of Edgar County. People were attracted to her authenticity, kindness, charm and, most of all, her smile, which Rajkumar has captured in her portrait. McWilliams was a lifelong nurse, both professionally and personally, who touched many lives.
McWilliams loved playing bridge. She played in a social bridge game in Chrisman for more than 40 years. When she was widowed in 2003 she took up duplicate bridge and became a member of the Paris Duplicate Bridge Club, which for many years has played at the Bicentennial Art Center.
She was proud to become an art critic, voting at every opportunity for the Bridge Club Choice Award.
“It is fitting, then, that the portrait of McWilliams be unveiled at the Paris Art Center, where she made so many memories for herself and her friends,” the group said in a press release. Floyd McWilliams, Joyce’s husband, will unveil the portrait.
The art center is at 132 S. Central Ave. Call 217-466-8130.