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!

Meet Our New Marketing Intern, Sara Lockett!


Sara hails from the Quincy area. Growing up in the small town of Liberty, IL community involvement has been interwoven into her value system. Spending most of her time outside as a child she has always had an appreciation for nature, art, and all things lovely. She’s spent nearly eighteen years involved in the performing arts, through various dance styles, at Heinze Dance Academy.

Currently Sara is finishing up her bachelor’s degree at Western Illinois University. She is majoring in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration, with a double minor in Marketing and Art. After completing her Associate’s Degree at John Wood Community College, she took some time off from school to exercise her management skills in the world of retail. Sara currently delights in working part-time with the creative individuals at 2thirty4 Restaurant & Lounge in Quincy, IL. In addition, she has fun being involved in various special events in the local area.

In her free time, Sara loves being with her six-year-old daughter Amaria and their tribe of friends. She enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, and spending time outdoors. Sara is a curious spirit who is always in a state of continued learning. She is passionate about health and happiness for the mind, body, and soul. Practicing mindfulness, yoga, and meditation help her stay balanced and grounded.

Sara will be spending twelve weeks, full-time with us at the Quincy Art Center! She is graduating from Western Illinois University this spring. Sara plans to move to Michigan this summer with her daughter, and work for a non-profit or community based organization.



Why Intern at the Quincy Art Center?


The Art Center has been so fortunate this past summer to have not one, not two, but FOUR amazing interns work with our education and general programs! During their last weeks working with us, we posed the question “Why intern at the Quincy Art Center?” in order to increase awareness of our internship programs.

Reason number one: the variety of eager, talented students!

Each student that enters the Quincy Art Center is surrounded by inspiration from the current exhibit as well as pieces created by their teachers. This includes the interns who are able to work directly with the younger students.

Classes for preschool students to adults are offered, meaning each intern has the opportunity to work with younger and older children and volunteer to assist with teenage and adult classes.

Reason number two: you know you are making a positive influence on the Art Center!

When our interns complete their internships, they leave knowing how much we appreciate what they accomplish. Our education interns over the summer acted as assistants for the teachers, keeping classes full of younger children under control and making sure every student gets the help they might need.

Reason number three: every week is a new week!

The Quincy Art Center offers a variety of classes and programs around Quincy so that every event is not the same. Our summer education interns will experience working with new or returning students with a different class offered each week. This allows them to learn how to teach more than one group of students as well as learn more methods of teaching.

Our communication intern focuses on capturing and promoting everything that the Quincy Art Center has to offer. This includes sitting in on meetings, traveling to Art Center events, and creating posts or stories about everyday happenings.

Reason number four: your experiences will help you grow as a student!

Whether you plan to or are currently studying any form of art, communication, or education, the Quincy Art Center works to help individuals complete a well-rounded internship experience. This involves working with art and people in a variety of methods.

Over the summer, we partnered with the Quincy Community Theater to offer a Mary Poppins class that taught aspects from both art and theater. Our Midsummer Arts Faire “Art for Everyone!” was a huge hit and incorporated education and art for all ages. The “Leave Your Handprint” campaign going on now incorporated social media, broadcasting, and public speaking aspects of communication.

One of our High School Education Interns Courtney Stewart said the trait she most improved over the summer was patience. “When the students aren’t open to the projects we are working on at the time, you must become a kind and understanding teacher in order to show them how fun it can be.”

College Education Intern Caleigh Hill appreciated the setting of the program and the time management skills she learned. “I was not used to being around children for so long, but I learned how to lengthen lessons and surround myself with enough work to balance out the day.”

Communication Intern Courtney Gear found that her daily social media work and projects reflected her college education. “You are told what you should know in a classroom. When you have to apply what you learned to a real job, that’s when you remember more than you thought you knew.”

Reason number five: the staff is encouraging and fun to be around!

There is nothing more helpful than to work with a professional who can teach you about parts of your future career AND show they appreciate you at the same time! Our interns are treated as professionals and are expected to be prepared for anything the day has to offer. If there is an event to record or a class to help teach, the staff encourages students to participate so they learn from experience.

These five reasons only scratch the surface of an internship experience at the Art Center! Each person who walks through the doors to see the exhibits, take an art class, or volunteer counts as a reason to the hard-working staff and interns.

So, WHY NOT intern at the Quincy Art Center!

For more information about Education and Communication positions, please contact us at 217-223-5900 or stop in for a visit between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Biannual Quad-State Judge Miranda Krajiniak Visits the Art Center!

The Quincy Art Center was proud to host a luncheon with a variety of special guests on Tuesday! Artists, donors and board members enjoyed the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the exhibit featuring the artists selected for this annual event. The cherry on top of the gathering was the appearance of this year’s judge, Miranda Krajiniak! After a brief meet-and-greet, Miranda spoke to guests about her selection process for the competition, and shared her views of some of the pieces.

For the past 13 years, Miranda has lived in Grand Rapids, MI and for the past two years has worked as the executive director of the Urban Institute for the Contemporary Arts. She is also on the Michigan Humanities Council that is invested in capturing the history within small towns. Miranda judges an average of 4 shows every year, including regional, online, and children’s competitions all over the Midwest. When beginning the selection process, Miranda selected 101 pieces of artwork from 464 submitted artworks.

Before visiting, she researched the Art Center and the city of Quincy to not only learn about the area, but to also solidify a theme. She explained how every place matters because it is a reflection of the people. “People are the place,” she stated; her theme would need to represent the city of Quincy.

While studying Quincy, Miranda found it is a transitional location. People are moving through, or stopping before a journey, such as the Native Americans or the Mormons from decades ago. The rich history of the city also fascinated her. She described how there is so much history and hospitality that allows for a change, making things new. The underlying theme of the exhibition became transition.

Next, she looked at color. For the cohesiveness of the exhibition, Miranda focused on red as a primary and yellow as a secondary. She printed off every piece, laid it out, and looked for color. Various contemporary artworks were also chosen to balance out the transition theme. Once the 101 works where chosen, she made the trip down to Quincy to inspect the pieces in person.

In total, Miranda spent about 5 hours selecting the artwork for the exhibition as well as the award winners! During her presentation, she emphasized how nothing in art is accidental, everything is purposeful.

In a one-on-one interview, Miranda shared some personal thoughts on art in local areas and how everyone can get involved. When asked about the importance of art on future generations, she embraced the question, saying, “Children’s education is number 1! I’m one of those people that never had arts education growing up. I went to one art museum my whole life before I started interning! There’s a definite difference from those students who have had many years of art appreciation because studies have shown again and again that art education expands a child’s brain capacity.  Art is a business, it’s an industry and you can work in art and be quite happy.”

The importance of art education within artists’ lives is critical to their growth over time. For those invested in the arts, that is easy to relate to, but how can people not invested in the arts still keep it a central aspect? “You can reflect art in your life by buying pieces of art,” Miranda states. “There’s something about purchasing a piece of art that someone has put themselves into, then you have that in your home as a dedication to art. There’s a huge difference between having a painting compared to a poster. For me, art just seems more intimate, like a collector’s item. When I have people in my house, I have a story for each piece I own. That connection to artists, even for people who don’t have that arts background, I think is one of the most essential ways to do it. Even something small has a memory.”

Finally, Miranda shared her thoughts on the city of Quincy. “I really loved my time in Quincy! The hospitality is wonderful! I walked around downtown Quincy, and it makes me want to move here and buy a Victorian building. The history is there and so within reach!”

We thank Miranda for her time and talents in helping to create our exhibit!

You are invited to the Biennial Quad-State Exhibit Saturday, July 18 from 7-9 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., the award recipients will be announced. It is truly a highlight of the 2015 year!

Introducing Our New Full-Time Employee, Kayla!


Kayla Obert: Art Programs and Office Manager

As of July 1, 2015, Kayla will be merging the responsibilities associated with both the Quincy Art Center and the Midsummer Arts Faire Coordinator.

At the Art Center, Kayla takes care of phone calls, mailing and bills, filing, and organizing registrations for events, classes, and exhibits. She also organizes gallery receptions, coordinates the annual ArtFest, and greets guests by providing information about the center.

Kayla is about to finish her first year as coordinator for the Midsummer Arts Faire. For Arts Faire, she assumes tasks that keep the events organized all year long.

With her new position, Kayla will take on the additional tasks of assisting with the smART Kids: Art Mentor Program, managing the volunteer programs, assisting with bookkeeping, and she will be able to complete her Midsummer Arts Faire tasks during the Art Center hours.

Kayla is relieved the positions are merging. “With my Art Center and Art Faire jobs merged, I can get all of my work done at one place without having to work evening hours on Midsummer Arts Faire work. I hope to free up my evenings a bit more for the other things I love to do. ” One of Kayla’s goals for the full-time position is to revitalize the volunteer system, improving it for both the volunteers and the Art Center. She also hope to brings new ideas to and help improve the already successful Midsummer Arts Faire.

In her free time (“when I can find free time…”), Kayla enjoys flower and vegetable gardening, hanging out with her many pets, being outdoors, writing music, playing guitar and singing at local venues and events, and painting and drawing. She also sings weekly at the IL. Veterans Home and is a volunteer musician at her church and on retreats.

When asked what is her favorite part about working at the Art Center, Kayla was far from short of answers. “I enjoy being around so many other artists and getting to meet and know them. I learn about their style and am able to recognize it. I also love watching the new exhibits and seeing art from everywhere.”

In addition to her management duties, Kayla teaches painting and drawing classes as well as holiday workshops at the Art Center. She will be instructing the upcoming Thirsty Palette Party on Sunday, July 5 from 5-7 p.m. at Hy-Vee Market Cafe on Broadway.

Meet Our Summer Intern: Courtney Stewart!


Courtney Stewart

This summer will be Courtney’s second year working the Summer Art Camp program. She recently graduated from home school and is planning on continuing on to the Professional Conservatory at Steven’s College for musical theater. Aside from working at the Art Camp, Courtney will be teaching private music lessons over the summer.

Courtney will be working as a summer youth intern doing maintenance in the studio as well as working with the kids’ classes. Her favorite art form is painting and mixed media, but she has experience with a variety of other forms.

The best experience Courtney has had with the program was last summer. “Having the kids look forward to seeing you at camp everyday is just a great feeling!” She also says it is a great opportunity to work with kids and improve her teaching skills. Courtney is looking forward to getting to know the kids again this year and seeing the joy that they have in doing art.

2015 Summer Art Camp Q&A with Steven Stoll

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Steven Stoll, Education Coordinator

This summer will be the first time Stoll will be teaching and managing the camp classes. He is very excited to be working with the program and has spent his time and efforts to make sure everything is perfect!

Q: What should kids expect from the summer classes?

A: This summer we have a lot of different classes; its very broad, which is very good medium wise. There’s collage classes, there’s classes where you can make outdoor art like outdoor sculptures. Most of our classes try to lean towards what is modern, what kids are into now and are interested in. We have a class on selfies, which is going to focus on self portraits. There’s even a Frozen class that’s centered around the movie and Mindcraft (both are full!).

Q: What classes are available for adults?

A: There is a sculpture materials and processes class that teaches more advanced forms of art. There’s Raku pottery, beginner wheel throwing, painting and drawing classes, and a grocery list of jewelry classes as well.

Q: Why is it important for kids to get involved with art early on?

A: It’s basically like planting seeds. I remember when I was young I was never really exposed to the Art Center but I had my own little projects going on at home. I was always making something. It all really stemmed from my dad drawing with me and so now it’s always been this hobby of mine that I’m able to use in my career. By planting the seeds when they are really young, the kids get really engaged with it. By starting out young you learn a lot about yourself through art. It’s very therapeutic.

Q: Is there anything parents should know about the classes?

A: This is a program that keeps kids entertained, engages their skills and includes educational components. Registration fills up quickly so it’s important to sign them up as soon as you can!

Stoll received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. He likes meeting the different Art Center patrons and having some studio time for his own projects too. His responsibilities include class registration, working with instructors to get ready for classes, facilitating Paint Your Own Pottery, and setting up Art Parties.