Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bishop Hill

(Above: Clock cupola at the Historic Bishop Hill Heritage Museum. Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

When Mathias and I first arrived in Galesburg, the Art Center's main gallery space was showing sculptural work by Steve Carleson of Bishop Hill, Illinois. WE LOVED IT. Steve and his wife Marsha are both artists with their own place called Outsider Art. Some of Steve's pieces had more than one artificial tongue attached to them. His work reminded me of one of my hair-brained ideas that has been bouncing around inside my mind playfully for over two years ... but ... I have never been able to create it. Why? Well, I need a "brain" and a "heart". While looking at Steve Carleson's work, I thought, "I'll bet this guy has both!"

(Above: Weaver in the Prairie Art Center demonstrating how rag rugs were once made. Below: One of the antique looms in the Heritage Museum.)

I emailed Steve Carleson. HE HAD A BRAIN AND A HEART for the right price! He also recommended that I come to collect them in Bishop Hill because it is such a cool, historic place. He was right again. (Sometime this fall I'll reveal the piece I've had in mind ... now that I can actually make it!)

(Above: Post office box in Bishop Hill.)

I fell in love with Bishop Hill immediately ... and took hundreds of photos of which the best 106 are now on a Flickr! set HERE (or as a slideshow HERE). This was a Swedish utopian religious colony established in 1846. It is now on the National Landmark of Historic Places and is simply CHARMING in every detail.

(Above: Back yard of Sweet Annie's Antique Shop in Bishop Hill.)

The town has its own website and a most incredible quilt shop and several truly picturesque antique stores in addition to the historic buildings from the Jassonists and the Henry County Museum.

(Above: Broom making equipment in the Heritage Museum. Below: Broom maker demonstrating in the Prairie Art Center in Bishop Hill.)

I was so completely taken by this place that I instantly said YES when the folks at the Prairie Art Center asked if I'd like to be a guest fiber demonstrator next Saturday, August 18th during the Fiber and Clay Festival! So I'm going back to Bishop Hill next weekend! If you're in the area, please stop by! More "favorite photos" below!

(Love the old television! Even the "junk" is picturesque!)

(Above: Black velvet cape in the clothing display at the Heritage Museum.)

(Above: Antiques from a dental office at the Henry County Museum.)


Wanda said...

I want to learn to weave.

Lori Reed said...

Well you certainly are a go getter!!! When is your reception for the work you're doing in the Box?