Awards handed out at Aqua Expressions opening reception

First-time exhibition

THE EXHIBIT RUNS October 27–November 25, 2023
During the artists’ reception on Friday, Nov. 3, guest judges Glenn and Tim Boles presented the awards for a brand-new art exhibition.

This show’s sponsor is Sauk Valley Properties.

The next juried art exhibition scheduled is Winter Scenes & Holiday Dreams. The show will run from Nov. 30 through Jan. 9, 2024.

The Aqua Expressions award recipients

Best of Show | “Whoope,” Photography | Bob Logsdon, Dixon, IL

First Place | “Reefs,” Mixed Media | Ellen Mumford, Dixon, IL

Second Place | “Swell Day,” Acrylic | Kelly Broitman of Sterling, IL

Third Place | “Light up Coast,” Watercolor | Dick Cholke of Pecatonica, IL

Honorable Mention | “Sunset in Treasure,” Soft Pastel | Mary Howe of Oregon, IL

Honorable Mention | “Sea Dragon,” Alcohol Ink | Kaleb Lee of Barbara Lundeen of Dixon, IL

Honorable Mention | “Water under the Bridge,” Acrylic | Perry Paglia of Dixon, IL

Awards presented for Farms & Barns Exhibition

A popular exhibition opens in Dixon

THE EXHIBIT RUNS September 8-October 19, 2023
During the artists’ reception on Friday, Sept. 15, Carolyn Lee McKee-Freese, art educator, and the show’s guest judge, presented the awards for this year’s Farms & Barns art exhibition.

This show’s sponsor is the Lee County Farm Bureau.

The next juried art exhibition scheduled is Aqua Expressions: Artistic Reflections of Water. The show will run Oct. 27-Nov. 25, 2023.

The Farms & Barns award recipients

Best of Show | “After the Storm,” Watercolor | David Gregory of Peoria, IL

First Place | “Saturday in Farm Country,” Acrylic | Janice Conkrite

Second Place | “Day Off,” Photography | Bob Logsdon of Grand Detour, IL

Third Place | “Two Ponytails and a Cowboy Hat,” Watercolor | Jan July of Belvidere, IL

Honorable Mention | “Midwest Summer,” Pastel | Darcy Doiel of Atlantis, FL

Honorable Mention | “Miracle,” Photography | Kaleb Lee of Franklin Grove, IL

Honorable Mention | “Old Renne Farm,” Acrylic | Lucinda Winterfield of Dixon, IL

Letha Catalina takes the spotlight as Executive Director for TNPS

Earlier this month, Letha Catalina took over the reins as executive director of The Next Picture Show Community Arts Center (TNPS).

Bringing her love of the arts and community service, Letha embarks on the upcoming fall and winter seasons coming to the gallery.

Born and raised in Oregon, Illinois, she and her husband, Chris, moved to Dixon two years ago with their two youngest children. Years ago, Letha was starting her photography career. Needing guidance on how to go further with promoting and exhibiting her work, Catalina stopped by TNPS for some advice. A love affair was born, and she has been showing her work for the past four years, often winning awards.

Before starting as TNPS’ executive director, Letha owned the charming shop Chickweed Cottage, on Hennepin St. in Dixon.

TNPS looks forward to seeing what Catalina brings to the table at the art center.

“I really hope to see more murals throughout Dixon and collaborate with local businesses. Our area has a rich history of art, and I hope to spread creativity and beauty throughout the community,” she remarked. “Dixon is a true gem.”

Yes. Yes, it is.

Awards presented for Absolutely Abstract Exhibition

A new show of abstract art opened in Dixon

THE EXHIBIT RUNS July 21 – September 2, 2023
During the artists’ reception on Friday, July 28, Chloe Metz, Oregon artist and the show’s guest judge, presented the awards for this year’s Absolutely Abstract art exhibition. After the award presentation, TNPS’ new executive director, Letha Catalina, was introduced. Catalina starts her position on August 8.

This show’s sponsors are Ellen and Carl Mumford.

The Absolutely Abstract award recipients

Best of Show | “The Summer of 2020,” Acrylic | Perry Paliga of Dixon, IL

First Place | “Kaleidoscope,” Acrylic Mixed Media| Jayne Rose of Dixon, IL

Second Place | “Every Day is Undone #9,” Photographer | John Wildman of Dixon, IL

Third Place | “Woman with Child,” Cold Wax Medium and Oil | Kent Broadbent of Annawan, IL

Honorable Mention| “Urban Renewal,” Collage and Acrylic | Debbie Thompson of Dixon, IL

Awards presented for The Human Form Exhibition

Opening night brings out the community

During the artists’ reception on Friday, June 9, Amy Sikyta, TNPS executive director, presented the awards for this year’s The Human Form art exhibition. Debra Cleary, artist and art educator, served as the guest judge for this exhibition.

Axiom Wealth Management of Dixon, IL sponsors the Human Form Art Exhibition. 

The Human Form Award recipients

Best of Show | “Hands & Arms Story,” Black & White Charcoals | Ryan Jandrey of Dixon, IL

First Place | “Everyday Is Undone #7,” Photography | Jon Wildman of Dixon, IL

Second Place | “Exit Stage Left,” Oils | Dale Tulk of Ashton, IL

Third Place | “Aquarius Water Bearer Pin Up Girl #2,” Oils | Kitto of Dixon, IL

Honorable Mention | “Sleep John Estes,” White Pencil on Black Paper | Matt Jagitsch of Sterling, IL

Honorable Mention| “Valkyrie,” Mixed Media Acrylic | Whitley Cuevas of Sterling, IL

Honorable Mention| “What She Wants,” Graphite on Oils | Lorena Malm of Spring Valley, IL

“Art in a Bottle” Wine Gala Raffle & Giveaways

We are so thankful for all the businesses that have donated!

Some of the Raffle and Giveaway items during May 19 Art in a Bottle Wine Tasting Gala
Take a gander at some of the fun items you could find in your hands by the end of the evening. We are receiving new donations every day and will add them as we get them. We have the following to tempt you:


  • Bare Skin Spa – Dixon: A Balanced Beauty Facial ($95 value)
  • Stone  Bridge Running – Dixon: Two $10 gift cards
  • Somkit Restaurant – Dixon: $50 gift card
  • Premier Rental – Dixon: $50 gift card and an art piece
  • Full Foundation – Dixon: Four $25 cash giveaways


  • Chicago Wolves (2022 Calder Cup Champions! Hockey) – Glenview, IL: 2 tickets for any game during the 2023-202 regular season ($52 value)
  • St. Louis Cardinals—St. Louis, MO: Marty Pass for 2 tickets to a select 2023 home game ($118 value)
  • Kane County Cougars—Geneva, IL – 4 tickets to a home game ($56 value)
  • Chicago White Sox – Garrett Crochet autographed baseball ($70 value)
  • Rockford IceHogs – 4 tickets to a Hockey home game for the 2023-24 season ($128 value)


  • Illinois Shakespeare Festival—Normal, IL: 2 platinum-level tickets to any performance at the 2023 Shakespeare Festival ($84 value)
  • National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium—Dubuque, IA: 2 admission tickets ($48 value)


  • Wild Rose Casino—Clinton, IA: Overnight Stay and $25 voucher for Coaches Corner Bar & Grill ($185 value)
  • Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino—East Peoria, IL: Overnight Stay Sunday—Friday and one shareable item at Tin Lizard Bar & Grill ($150 value)
  • Isle Casino Hotel—Bettendorf, IA: Overnight stay and $40 dining credit to any on-site restaurant ($220 value)

Beth Shadur announced as juror for 39th IL Watercolor Society National Show

Meet the juror and demonstrator for this year’s IWS show

Beth Shadur of Highland Park, Illinois, is the 39th Illinois Watercolor Society National Show juror and demonstrator. The show runs April 28-May 28, 2023, at The Next Picture Show (TNPS) in Dixon, Illinois. Shadur is set to demonstrate her watercolor technique during the show’s opening reception on May 6, 1-4 p.m.

Shadur is an artist who has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including at the Art Institute of Chicago; the Drawing Center in New York City; the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY; the Butler Institute of Art in Youngstown, Ohio; and at the Colorado Springs Art Museum, Colorado Springs, CO.

“Swagger,” Watercolor on Yupo, 18″ x 24″ | Beth Shadur

Beth Shadur biography

Shadur has created over 150 large public murals as public, private and community art projects in both the United States and Great Britain. She was an Artist-in-Education for the Illinois Arts Council in Chicago, IL. She has taught and served as a visiting artist at many colleges and universities, including Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; Northeast Missouri State University, Kirksville, MO; and as a visiting artist and scholar at Paradise Valley Community College in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Shadur’s work appears in many publications, books, and catalogs, including Twentieth Century Watercolors, Abbeville Press; The Special Unit, Barlinnie Prison, Its Evolution Through Art, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, Scotland; Community Murals: The People’s Art, Associated University Press, NJ; and Art and Cartography, Art Institute of Chicago.  Her mural work in Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow, Scotland is included in the archives of the Peoples Palace Museum in Glasgow.  

“Sky Drama,” Watercolor on Yupo, 11″ x 13″ | Beth Shadur

An educator

Shadur has lectured widely on community arts in both the United States and abroad. She has curated numerous national exhibitions, including the ongoing ‘The Poetic Dialogue Project,’ which has traveled throughout the United States. Collaborative Vision: The Poetic Dialogue Project, featuring collaborative works by pairs of poets and artists, was exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center in January-April 2009, and will travel to various university galleries.

In 2006, Shadur presented at the International Conference on Arts in Society in Edinburgh, Scotland, and her Poetic Dialogue Project was published in the International Journal on Arts In Society.  Shadur has been awarded numerous Ragdale Fellowships and is a Thomas Watson Fellow from Brown University; from 2004-6, she served as Executive Director of ARC Gallery, Chicago. She participated in the Cool Globes Public Art Project in Chicago in 2007, and in 2008, was Artist-in-Residence at the Burren College of Art in Ireland through a Governor’s Award for International Arts Exchange from the Illinois Arts Council.

In 2009, she participated in ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI. In 2013, Shadur was a fellow at the Leighton Artist Colony at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, Alberta, Canada. In 2016, she was awarded a residency at the Harfnarborg Art Center in Harfnarjardur, Iceland. She is currently working on her National Park Project, partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, creating works that are traveling throughout the state of Illinois. 

Since 2012, Shadur serves as the Gallery Director at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, IL. In 2016, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Illinois State Museum. In 2022, she was appointed to the Board of the National Watercolor Honor Society. Her work is owned in many private and public collections.  

Awards announced for 2023 Phidian Art Show

Awards night canceled due to weather

For three years in a row, the in-person awards presentations had to be canceled. The first two years, it was COVID. This year, Mother Nature decided to send miserable, stormy spring weather.

Never fear. The judging went on anyway. Mary Jo Schuneman, a long-time local art educator, was this year’s judge. Just below is a listing of our award recipients. Congratulations to all of our talented local artists.

People’s Choice

The only award not shown at the time of this writing is the 2023 People’s Choice winner. Visitors are encouraged to visit The Next Picture before April 14 to cast a ballot for their favorite piece. The show remains on the gallery’s walls until April 22. Come in and vote!

UPDATE: People’s Choice is the same as our Best of Show, Matt Jagitsch.

“Don’t Breathe” by Matt Jagitsch, best of show for the 2023 Phidian Art Show
Best of Show AND People’s Choice | “Don’t Breathe” by Matt Jagitsch

…and the winners are

Myrtle Walgreen Best of Show Award
“Don’t Breathe” by Matt Jagitsch

Phidian Past President’s Award
“T. To J.P.” by Kitto

Roger Brown and Iva L. Gamel Memorial Award for Best American Scene
“Let’s Dry the Corn” by Julie Young

Robert Crowson Memorial Award
“Tramp Olay” by Elizabeth Jahn

Lesage Memorial Award for Realistic Style
“White Hollyhocks” by Karen Tucker

Ann Roe Memorial Award for Best Pencil or Pen & Ink
“Scarred Orange and Blue Bottle” by Elizabeth Coss

Jane Marshall Award
“Storyville” by Dan Bowman

Beverly Weber Memorial Award
“Old Truck” by Jerry Scheffler

Roxy Hey Memorial Award for Best Floral
“White Dahlia #2” by Karen Tucker

Ruth Wood Davis Memorial Award Watercolor 
“Yellow Hi-Flyer” by Craig Carpenter

Lucile Warner Award
“Great Uncle Paul” by Jerry Scheffler

Myra Nichols Memorial Award
“Slide” by Elizabeth Jahn

Marie L. Helin Memorial Creativity Award
“Shay’s Cat, Pan” by Amy Bailey

Mary Helen “Mame” Cooper Award
“Two on Two After School at Hefty’s” by Craig Carpenter

The Telegraph Award 
“UNITY Carpeted in Colors of Pink and Gray” by  Shirley Guay

KSB Hospital Award
“Lavender Abstract” by Jayne Rose

Caryl Crawford Fleming Memorial Award for Best Nature Subject
“Whisper” by Dale Tulk

Ronald Reagan Presidential Award for Best Regional Scene
“Iowa Sunset” by Perry Paliga

Mary Ann Ferolo Award
“What a Wonderful World” by Betty Predmore

The Next Picture Show Award
“No Show” by James Hey


“T. To J.P.” by Kitto

“Our Hero: Uncle Ray” by  A. Elizabeth Anderson-Hall

“Symbolism of Peonies” by Laura Brown

Illinois Creative Recovery Grants available!

Calling all creatives!

Thanks to advocacy efforts by a statewide coalition led by Arts Alliance Illinois, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will distribute a historic $50 million in grant money to assist businesses, non-profit organizations, and sole proprietors in the creative sector that have struggled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Application portal opens Apr. 5

The DCEO Illinois Creative Recovery Grant application portal opens on Wednesday, April 5. If you operate in the creative space, we encourage you to visit for details on eligibility guidelines and more information on how to apply.

Arts Alliance Illinois is your go-to resource for support and tools you need for a successful grant application, including a help desk launching next Monday, 3/27, webinars, and more.

Visit their website and stay tuned for more information.

Important dates

Important Dates

March 21
Grant opportunity is announced

March 24
DCEO Informational Webinar at 10 am (Register here)

March 27
Arts Alliance help desk goes live

April 5
First day to submit an application

May 10
Grant portal closes at 11:59 pm

“Art in a Bottle” Wine Tasting Gala on May 19!

Good times for an even better cause

The Next Picture Show welcomes the 2nd Art in a Bottle Gala on Friday, May 19. This event combines patrons’ support for the arts and a fine glass of wine (or two, or three).

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