Month: February 2017

An Interview with Steven Stoll


Steven Stoll: featured artist in The mARkeT Reveal Gala, art education extraordinaire, and best beard running three years in a row! If you don’t know Steven Stoll, our Art Education Coordinator & Exhibition Preparator, then you should! Get to know the legend.

How excited are you to reveal your artwork to it’s new owner at The mARkeT Reveal Gala event this weekend!?

  • So excited! *laughs*


Is this your first time creating a commissioned piece of art?  

  • Yes, in this setting.


As an artist, why is this event so unique?

  • Honestly, this is just a really cool event for Quincy to be doing. It’s an excellent way to support local artists within our community, as well as raise money for the Art Center.


What’s on your artistic bucket list for the year?

  • Short term, I have about five or six giant charcoal drawings that will be on display next month at the St. Patrick’s Day Art Crawl. I’m also working on some large sculptures that intermix ceramic, foam, and fabric.


What makes you feel accomplished?

  • Having a studio practice. It feels like my own adult club house. My formal education was in ceramics and I really enjoy how I feel when I’m in the studio. It’s as if everything else shuts off and I become a different person. It’s where I’m most in my element.


Where did you receive your formal education?

  • I attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for four years.


What did you enjoy most about your time in Chicago?

  • Constantly being pushed, motivated, and surrounded by like-minded individuals. There was a communal aspect to the creative process. A former instructor of mine, William J. O’Brien, encouraged us to think about drawing as a vehicle into other materials. I’m constantly using that advice and thinking about new and interesting ways to expand my art practice.


Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up?

  • I never saw myself working in a museum setting, or a non-profit for that matter. I always pictured myself doing more of the fabrication side of things in a ceramics studio. It’s really cool working here though. I enjoy the exhibition preparator aspect, as well as meeting kids who are highly motivated by the arts. I love constantly meeting new people.


What’s your philosophy in life?

  • To use your time wisely. My dad taught me many things by example. He was a problem solver and would spend his free time in productive ways, usually pursuing his passion. He showed me that you could spend your time during the day to make a living, and your time outside of work to make a life.  


Do you have a quote or mantra that you live by?

  • Yes! It’s by one of my favorite artists, Constantin Brancusi.
    Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave.”


To see Steven’s artwork revealed at The mARkeT Reveal Gala purchase your ticket at:



One Mom, Four Kids, & a House Full of Art!


Shannon Slee of Quincy, IL shares an amazing testimonial of the importance of the Quincy Art Center in her family’s life, and the lasting impact it has left on her children. 

“I’ve always been a crafty person. Whether indulging in photography, scrapbooking, sewing, crafting home décor, or other modes of art, it has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I started having children life changed drastically. Now a mother to four children ages four and under, my days are a blur of diaper changes, sippy cup refills, snack distribution, nose wipes, butt wipes, toddler dispute refereeing, hugs and sloppy wet kisses, nap time battles, and general exhaustion. My ability to pursue my love for art in the ways of the past has become a memory, limited by the intermittently beautiful and ugly chaos of parenthood.

Instead of disappearing from my life, however, art’s importance in it has transformed into something different but even more profound. In many ways I can credit this to the blossoming love my 4-year-old son has for art thanks to the “Pint Sized Picassos” class at the Quincy Art Center. A friend invited him to go to this class with her a year ago. Although he was very shy, he went outside of his comfort zone and attended with her. After the first class it was clear that he had no regrets about that choice! Ever since then, he searches for the artistic possibilities in just about everything he sees and is constantly coming up with ideas for projects. This year, both he and my 3-year-old daughter attend this class at the Art Center together and look forward with great excitement to Fridays each week when they get to go.

The endless possibilities of things they can create brings both of them joy and confidence and is so visibly nourishing to their little souls. And of course my 1½-year-old daughter, who wants to do everything that big brother and sister do, is right there with them in everything. Watching their creativity blossom has been one of the great gifts of this season of life. My oldest, in particular, uses it to express his love for parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends by coloring pictures and creating collages for them on a daily basis. My refrigerator is bursting with art—layers upon layers of pictures, paintings, and projects—on all sides.

As for me, I have mountains of unfinished projects and unscrapbooked memories and artistic dreams that are currently on hold. But I have been able to facilitate more toddler-friendly and preschool-aged arts and crafts projects than I can count. Many of the ideas I come up with for projects have been inspired by works of art the children have brought home from their class at the Art Center.  I have diligently used photography to record the precious and fleeting moments of a time in my and my children’s lives that will be gone in the blink of an eye…and more than a few of those photographed moments include smiling or concentrating faces of children with paintbrushes, markers, crayons, glue, and scissors. What’s more, after a near-tragedy in our family where our son very nearly died, we worked together as a family to use art as an act of worship to proclaim the goodness of God. Art is manifested all over our lives.

While it has taken on a very different role in my life than it played several years ago, art continues to be of exceptional importance to me, and now, to my little flock. I am so grateful to the Quincy Art Center for the way they have rekindled my artistic spirit by inspiring my little ones to see through creative lenses. What a treasure it is not only to pursue art in its many delightful forms, but to do so with the people who are most special to me.”

-Shannon Slee

An Interview with Lana Reed of the Quincy Art Center

img_2913-2When you think Quincy Art Center, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? It may be stunning artwork displayed in brightly lit galleries. It could be a room full of bustling children in paint-covered aprons, blissfully exploring their creative side. If you are fortunate enough to work closely with the Art Center, then our staff might be your first thought.

This is my fourth week interning here and I cannot tell you how amazing these people are! I am nearly one third of the way through my twelve week journey here, and over the coming weeks I will be interviewing the core staff members who help make this organization what it is. I was lucky enough today to walk, talk, and sip a little coffee with our Director of Marketing & Development, Lana Reed.

When did you first get involved with the Quincy Art Center?

Answer: I began as an intern in the summer of 2011.

What were you going to school for at the time?

Answer: Bachelor of Arts, with an emphasis in painting. After two years of completing my general education credits, I decided to go live with my sister in Italy for a few months. Historic and architectural buildings had been turned into apartments. Art was everywhere, and I loved it. It was on this adventure that I realized I was interested in all aspects of art, and that I wanted to get my degree in this field.

Where did you go to college after returning from Italy?

Answer: HLG. Hannibal-Lagrange University made the most sense for me at the time. It was close enough to home, and they had a study abroad program. I joined the honors program so that I could live abroad in a castle in England for a semester. It was pretty cool.

What made you choose the Art Center?

Answer: I didn’t choose the Art Center. The Art Center chose me (laughs). No, but seriously. I was nearing the end of my four week internship here; emptying a trash can in the back room when I was asked if I wanted to work here. I didn’t think it was going to work since I still had a year left of school at HLG, but the Art Center and my school worked together to make it happen! I had a job in my field and hadn’t even graduated yet. I was all high kicks and hoorays!

When you aren’t at the Art Center, what can we find you doing?

Answer: After work on Monday’s I actually stay here for three more hours to lead live figure drawing for fun!

I know it’s fun here, but I said OUTSIDE of the Art Center Lana…

Answer: (laughs) Oh yes! Okay, well on Tuesday’s I usually get really into Volleyball! It’s what I had been doing with my Tuesday evenings, but now my husband and I are actually starting a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Class this week for the next nine weeks! On Wednesday’s our friend group gets together to watch bizarre movies. Thursday’s are for grocery shopping dates. Friday and Saturday are my wild card days, and Sundays are usually spent at church, with family, and relaxing.

Wow! I like how intentional you are with your time.

Response: I try to be. It keeps me balanced, happy, and sane!

Lana Reed is the Director of Marketing and Development for the Quincy Art Center and has been involved in the organization for nearly six years. Reed has been the primary Staff Coordinator for the Beaux Arts Ball for the past five years. She is a Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, as well as a volunteer for The District. Lana helped spearhead the Painting Planters Project this past summer that recently won a Design Award from The District.

Stay tuned for more interviews with our crew!