Thursday, November 29, 2012

UIS Visual Arts Gallery hosts annual Silent Auction Benefit featuring original works of art

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery will hold its annual Silent Auction Benefit December 10-13, 2012. This year, the auction boasts a wide range of high caliber works by artists from Springfield and throughout Illinois. A closing reception, along with final bidding, will take place on December 13 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Visual Arts Gallery.

This annual fundraising event will feature an extraordinary range of work by artists who are celebrated locally and nationally. Local artists Chris Britt, Mike Miller, Felicia Olin, Thom Whalen, Kevin Veara, and Betsy Dollar are among the list of local artist donors. The list goes on to include Bloomington artists Erin Furimsky and Rob Fifield, Peoria artists Bill Conger and Heather Brammeier, Decatur artists Lyle Salmi and Annette Russo, Chicago-based artist Nick Henning and Betsy Odom, and also Brooklyn-based artist Victoria Calabro. These are but a sampling of artists represented at the auction this year.

This remarkable collection of donated works is accessible to the community through this annual Silent Auction Benefit, which supports gallery programming throughout the year.

“It’s really an incredible outpouring of support from these artists, and the quality of work is better than ever,” said UIS Visual Arts Gallery Director Jeff Robinson. “Now we look to the community for continued support through bidding. It’s likely one of the best opportunities to obtain an original work of art or even a functional, unique holiday gift, and very likely at a significantly reduced price. In turn, because of the support and money raised through this event, we can continue to bring exceptional gallery programming to the community throughout the year.”

The Silent Auction Benefit will launch bidding at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery on Monday, December 10, and bidding will remain open through Thursday, December 13. The Thursday reception, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., will include complimentary refreshments as well as offer final bidding for auction items. Enjoy festive holiday music performed by the UIS Chorus from 5:30-6 p.m. and the Chamber Ensemble from 6:10 to 6:40 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, room 201 (HSB 201). Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on exhibitions, please visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at, or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or email Allison Lacher at

Monday, November 19, 2012

UIS Lunch & Learn Series presents "Gerontological Education: Early Foundations and Future Demands"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Alumni SAGE Society and Illinois State Historical Society presents “Gerontological Education: Early Foundations and Future Demands” as part of the Lunch and Learn Series.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Public Affairs Center (PAC) Conference Room C/D, located on the lower level of the PAC on the UIS campus.

DETAILS: Learn about the early foundations of gerontological education and what specific trends and events contributed to the evolution of the discipline. Also learn from a current and futurist perspective what impact the baby boomer cohort’s life decisions will have on services. Dr. Carolyn Peck, UIS associate professor and chair of the human services gerontology program, and Ruth Bixby, founder and director of Lincoln Land Community College’s occupational therapy assistant program will present.

The cost for the hot buffet lunch and program is $20/per person. Reservations are requested, as seating is limited. Seating is available in the back for those who do not purchase the luncheon buffet.

Visit to register online. For more information, contact the UI Alumni Association at UIS at 217/206-7395 or email

Friday, November 16, 2012

UIS Music Program presents Fall Showcase Concert

WHAT: The music program at the University of Illinois Springfield presents its Fall Showcase Concert entitled “Blow the Candles Out…”. Community members, students, faculty, and staff are invited to enjoy an evening of music filled with love, tragedy, comedy and enchantment.

WHEN: Friday, November 30, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Studio Theatre

DETAILS: The event will feature music highlighting a range of passions from the human experience. Highlights include an Indonesian lullaby, a traditional Greek piece, Themes from Romeo and Juliet, an enchanting new work by Phillipe Sparke, and arrangements of Sleigh Ride and Frosty the Snowman to indulge the holiday spirit.

Studio Theatre doors open at 7 p.m. and the evening music begins at 7:30. The performance is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

The Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Sharon Graf, will open the Showcase with a traditional sea shanty arranged by Gregg Smith: “Blow the Candles Out”. Directed by Dr. Yona Stamatis, the Chamber Orchestra will perform selections including “Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto” by He Zhanhao & Chen Gang and “Themes from Romeo and Juliet” by Tchaikovsky. Finally, Dr. Abigail Walsh will lead the Band through selections including David Maslanka’s “Rollo Takes a Walk,” and Samuel Hazo’s "Enchanted Spaces".

Donations are welcome and will be used to benefit the UIS Music Student Merit Award. This year’s awards will be presented at the Fall Showcase.

The UIS Music program began in 2001 and is comprised of students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as Springfield community members, all with a variety of skill levels. Anyone who is interested in joining the UIS Chorus, Band or Chamber Orchestra may contact Dr. Abigail Walsh by emailing or calling 217/206-7549.

Monday, November 12, 2012

UIS celebrates cultural diversity during 35th annual International Student Festival

The University of Illinois Springfield celebrated its rich international and cultural diversity with an evening of exhibits, artistic performances, food tasting, and more on November 9, 2012.

It was all part of the 35th annual International Student Festival, the longest running student initiated festival on campus.

“It is incredibly important to have a festival like this to increase cultural awareness,” said Elizabeth Richardson, graduate assistant for the UIS Office of International Student Services. “We have a lot of different people living here in America and it’s really great to understand all of these different cultures.”

The festival was not only open to students, faculty, and staff, but members of the Springfield community, who came to enjoy the traditional festival. International students also enjoyed sharing their culture and learning about others.

“I’m so happy because we can introduce our cultures to the UIS community and the public you know, everyone can come,” said Zehra Ozkan Shahidi, a senior UIS international student from Turkey.

Zhe Chen, a UIS junior from China, came to the festival for many reasons, including the food. However, it is the fellowship that he will remember most.

“I (came) here to meet people outside of my race,” said Chen. “I want to be diverse as much as possible. It’s great.”

For more information on services for International Students and programs, please visit

Sunday, November 11, 2012

UIS to celebrate 5th annual Sustainability Days

The University of Illinois Springfield will celebrate Sustainability Days (November 12-15, 2012) with several activities on campus. All events are free and open to the public.

Monday, November 12 

Electronic Waste Collection/Recycling
When: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Brookens Library loading dock

“Art in Nature” Contest Submission Deadline 
Entries must be submitted to Mary Umbarger, SLB 16, by 10 a.m.
Prizes will be awarded for 1st place, 2nd place, & popular vote. All medians of art accepted.

Tuesday, November 13 

Launch of Food Services Clamshell Program 
Participants will have the option of replace there Styrofoam containers and get a clamshell container. This event is limited to the first 50 participants.
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: PAC Food Emporium

Electronic Waste Collection/Recycling 
When: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Brookens Library loading dock

“Art in Nature” Contest Voting Begins 
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Across from the PAC Food Emporium

Wednesday, November 14 

Earth Fair 
Meet local environmental groups at the Earth Fair.
When: 6:45 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Tunnel outside Brookens Auditorium

Foreign Intervention & Domestic Conflict in the Congo featuring Séverine Autesserre 
Séverine Autesserre, will discuss her book, The Trouble with the Congo, which won the Chadwick Alger prize presented by the International Studies Association for the best book on international organizations and multilateralism published in 2010.
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Brookens Auditorium

“Art in Nature” Contest Voting
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Across from the PAC Food Emporium

Thursday, November 15 

“Art in Nature” Contest Voting
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Across from the PAC Food Emporium

Sustainability Open Microphone and “Art in Nature” Reception
When: 4:30 to 6 p.m. (Contest winners announced at 5:30 p.m.)
Where: PAC C/D
Light refreshments will be served.

UIS Sustainability Days are sponsored by the Senate Committee on Sustainability, Lambda Pi Eta, Students Allied for a Greener Earth, Department of Environmental Studies, and BLH Computers of Springfield.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Illinois Innocence Project presents "Life After Exoneration" featuring exonoree Julie Rea

WHAT: The Illinois Innocence Project, based at the University of Illinois Springfield, will explore life after exoneration with special guest Julie Rea. After spending six years in prison, Rea’s murder conviction was overturned with the help of the Illinois Innocence Project.

WHEN: Monday, November 12, 2012 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Public Affairs Center (PAC), Conference Room G

DETAILS: On October 13, 1997, Julie Rea’s 10-year old son, Joel, was brutally stabbed to death in the middle of the night by an intruder. The crime shocked the small town of Lawrenceville, Illinois. Rea, a Ph.D. student at the University of Indiana, became the sole focus of the police investigation. She was convicted of the crime in March 2002 and sentenced to 65 years in prison.

On Oct. 24, 2003, the Illinois Innocence Project presented compelling evidence to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board regarding Texas serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells confession to Joel’s murder.

On June 24, 2004, an Illinois appellate court vacated Rea's conviction and ordered her immediate release. As she was set to take her first step out of prison, prosecutors re-arrested Julie, ignoring overwhelming evidence that she was innocent. However, on July 26, 2006, a jury in Carlyle found Rea not guilty of killing her son, finally setting her free.

Rea will discuss how she coped with her child’s death, years of incarceration, loss of education, career and family life.

This Illinois Innocence Project event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Mandy Altman at 217/206-6569. For more on the project, visit their website at

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

PAPS to screen Fig Trees, a film exploring AIDS in South Africa

WHAT: The Political Art and the Public Sphere (PAPS) series at the University of Illinois Springfield presents a screening and discussion of the documentary Fig Trees. The documentary tells the story of Zackie Achmat, who in 1999 went on a treatment strike, refusing to take AIDS treatment pills until they were widely available to all South Africans.

WHEN: Monday, November 12, 2012 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Brookens Auditorium on the lower level of Brookens Library at UIS

DETAILS: Achmat’s symbolic act helped build his Treatment Action Campaign into a national movement—yet with each passing month, Zackie grew sicker. Fig Trees is a documentary opera that tells the story of Zackie's treatment strike and the larger story of the fight for pills on two continents.

The PAPS series is a monthly event on the UIS campus hosted by Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky, associate professor of Political Philosophy. This fall, Dr. Michael J. Murphy, assistant professor of Women and Gender Studies at UIS will co-host and moderate each PAPS event.

This semester, PAPS marks the 30th anniversary of the discovery and naming of the HIV virus (1982-2012). The fall series is dedicated to raising social, cultural, and political questions related to HIV, particularly how the disease has been treated as an affliction of a “despised sexuality,” as well as how different communities have been impacted by and have addressed the problem. All events are free and open to the public.

This event is co-sponsored by the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series and UIS LGBTQA Resource Office.

For more information, contact Dr. Gilman-Opalsky at 217/206-8328 or email