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Williams Art Show opens at Common Grounds


Arland D. Williams Jr. Elementary School Art Teacher Joyce Jackson said the artistic talents of her many students makes it difficult each year to select about 24 projects for the annual Williams Art Show at Common Grounds.

Even though the art show isn’t until February, she begins selecting art projects at the beginning of the school year.


“I love to show off the artwork of my students,” said Jackson. “It’s very hard to pick for the show.”


The art show, sponsored by Mattoon Arts Council and Common Grounds, officially opened Feb. 11 with an open house. The students and their families were invited to Common Grounds to view the art which will decorate the walls through March.


The artwork featured includes Picasso inspired works, surrealism, aboriginal art and artwork based off a children’s story.


Scott Gradle of the Mattoon Arts Council said the Williams Art Show is one of their most popular shows because it brings in so many students and their families.


“I like the colors the kids use,” said Gradle. “Kids know how to use colors. They know how to have fun with art. They aren’t inhibited. They don’t know the rules of art.”


Beth Hettinger and her daughter Chloe attended the event. Chloe’s artwork was featured in the show.


“She loves to express herself through her artwork,” said Beth Hettinger.


Chloe creates all kinds of art on her easel using pastels, paints and markers.


“She loves to draw and has always enjoyed art,” said Beth Hettinger. “She started with crayons.”


Beth Hettinger believes that Chloe’s interest in art has helped her with reading and writing. Her art background helps her envision what she is reading and helps her create when she is writing, she added.


Currently, Chloe likes to draw pictures of roses and she has been drawing lots of pictures of wedding dresses.


When asked what she would say to encourage others who are interested in art but don’t know how to begin, Chloe said they should draw their favorite movie characters.


“They don’t have to be perfect,” said Chloe. Practice is important, she added.


The Mattoon Arts Council hosts a variety of events throughout the year geared for artists, those who appreciate art and those who want to learn more about art. For more information, log onto to their website at www.mattoonartscouncil.org and their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mattoon-Arts-Council/100719236649723

To view more photos, click on each of the thumbnails.


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Williams Elementary1709 S. 9th St.Mattoon, IL  61938


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