FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Date: August 10, 2001

Donna McCracken

UIS Visual Arts Gallery to host WIU Folio Press 20th anniversary exhibit

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield’s Visual Arts Gallery will host the Western Illinois University Press 1980-2000: 20th Anniversary Exhibition, a compilation of five portfolios of artwork, poetry, and photographs by dozens of Illinois and Welsh artists and poets, from August 14 to September 14.

An opening reception -- set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 21, in the gallery -- will feature a reading by UIS professor emeritus John Knoepfle and a presentation by WIU professor emeritus Fred Jones. Both the reception and the exhibit are free and open to the public.

Jones, a member of the WIU art faculty, founded the Western Illinois University Folio Press in 1980. Since then, five portfolios presenting the work of some of the most gifted artists and poets in Illinois have been published, exhibited, and added to public collections in the state. Each of the individual portfolios has toured for two or more years after completion.

“It was a great pleasure to work with these artists to bring the written word and the visual arts together,” said Jones, who recently retired after 32 years at WIU and who worked to mount this anniversary exhibit as the capstone to his career.

Two portfolios explore the unique culture and landscape of rural Illinois; two others represent the culture, landscape, and people of Jones’ native Wales. The fifth portfolio is Pig Passages, an allegorical book written, illustrated, printed, and bound by Jones.

Other artists represented in the exhibit are Mac Adams, George Atkinson, Ann Coulter, Michael Dubina, Bob Evans, Art Geisert, Harold Gregor, Hanlyn Davies, Maggs Harries, Roy Slade, Terry Newell, and James Winn. Poets include Dannie Abse, Tony Curtis, Dave Etter, Gillian Clarke, Bobi Jones, Glyn Jones, John Knoepfle, Lisel Mueller, Forrest Robinson, Devin Stein, Gwyn Thomas, and James Ballowe.

An introductory essay for the exhibition was written by Ballowe and is included on the exhibit website at This website also presents the portfolios, links to relevant sites, information about the artists and poets, and other background information. It is designed to be especially useful to high schools and colleges in Illinois.

The Visual Arts Gallery is located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For more information about the exhibit or the gallery, call 206-6506.