Though this winter has generally been a mild one, it is pretty darn cold outside as I write this… and it’s got me thinking about getting away. Spring fever will soon be upon us, and with our central location in the heart of the Midwest, there are plenty of destinations within a few hours’ drive. Whether you’re planning a day trip with the kids, a romantic getaway for two or something else entirely, you should have no trouble finding what you’re looking for.
We compiled a diverse list of nine Midwestern destinations for your spring break escape, from the rural charm of Bishop Hill and Arthur, Illinois, to luxury stays at Lake Geneva or French Lick. We even suggest a new way to see Chicago, if you haven’t toured the city by boat, embarked upon a “walking food adventure” or experienced “Chicago's Original Gangster Tour.” I’ve traveled to all of our featured places except for the Shawnee National Forest near Carbondale—this spring may be a good time to dig out those hiking boots and go exploring!
Elsewhere, we feature a highly successful, multipurpose facility in Washington that showcases the power of collaboration through its very existence. Whether serving as a refuge for the community in the wake of the 2013 tornado, an interim home for the Conklin Players—whose beloved Barn in Goodfield was damaged by severe winds last August—or as the longtime home of the Heartland Festival Orchestra, Five Points Washington is a fantastic venue that works hard to be a good neighbor.
On our cover this issue is sculptor Jaci Willis, one of a few female sculptors in the country who can work completely on her own from initial concept to the final bronze. Her piece Spanish Dancer, which was selected for the inaugural Sculpture Walk Peoria last year, was recently purchased by ICC for its North Campus. Just down the street, her studio partner, Fisher Stolz of Bradley University, also has a piece on the Sculpture Walk. If you haven’t yet, make sure to pay a visit before they are rotated out for a new slate of sculptures later this year.
Have you been watching as art & society has traveled the world? Check out the ad on page 9 to see where the magazine was taken in recent months, and many thanks to our readers for keeping us in mind during your fun adventures! Where will you take it next? a&s