Classes at the McLean Arts Center Fuel Creative Hobbies

May 10, 2011 at 9:49 pm EST
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PHOTO CREDIT: Jesse Knish

When Bloomington and Normal residents need an outlet for their creativity, all they have to do is enroll in a class at the McLean County Arts Center.

Its most popular classes are in ceramics, sculpture, photography and watercolor. The center also hosts art camps for kids during the summer that are well attended.

Founded in the 1880s, the McLean County Arts Center is one of the oldest community arts organizations in the Midwest. It was incorporated in 1922 and has been located in a historic 1909 building in downtown Bloomington since 1979.

The facility has a large gallery, a small gallery, three classrooms, offices and a gallery store that offers handmade jewelry, ceramics and other items. It holds 12 exhibitions per year and offers 60 different classes for children and adults.

The McLean County Arts Center also sponsors two large community festivals each year – the Sugar Creek Arts Festival in Normal in July and the Spring Bloom Arts Festival in Bloomington in March, both of which draw hundreds of artists and tens of thousands of attendees.

The McLean County Arts Center also hosts highly anticipated annual events such as Margarita Night in June and the Holiday Treasures Exhibition and Sale in November. Margarita Night is a fund­raiser that raises money for the center’s programs, exhibitions and classes. Admission includes live music, Mexican appetizers and margaritas, and patrons have the opportunity to purchase artwork at the event.

Artist receptions, lectures and work­shops are also regular happenings at the McLean County Arts Center.

A refueling station for creative workers, the arts center is an important resource for workers in the McLean County community. Everyone from doc­tors to insurance agents come to the center to engage in classes and work­shops, which helps them recharge their creativity and incorporate it into their jobs.

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