Illinois Art Station to Celebrate Grand Opening at Normal | Arts and theater

NORMAL – The Illinois Art Station will officially open next month with a free day of creative activities.

The IAS, a non-profit organization that provides arts experiences for children and their families through local partnerships, recently moved into their new home at 101 E. Vernon Ave. unnatural.

“We can’t wait to start offering some of our signature courses, like Itsy, in our own space,” said Joey Hatch, Education Coordinator at IAS, in a press release. “In addition to the IAS favorites, we will also take full advantage of our new space by launching new programs and expanding artistic engagement opportunities to our gallery as well as to the outdoor space.”

Members of the BCAI (Breaking Chains & Advancing Augmentation) School of Arts in Bloomington dance as part of a Bloomington Youth Mural Project unveiling ceremony at the intersection of West Market Street and Morris Avenue in Bloomington in June 2019. The Mural was a project of the Illinois Art Station, which envisions a permanent residence on Vernon Avenue in Normal.


Founded in 2018, the arts education programming organization has worked on several projects, including large-scale murals by local youth and professional teaching artists in Market Street and Morris Avenue and inside the Constitution Tunnel. Trail under Washington Street.

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In June 2020, the IAS purchased a property at 101 E. Vernon Ave. and at 605 and 607 S. Linden St. as the site of its first permanent location. The location was originally part of the Custer Bros. Nursery, which operated from 1890 to 1950 before relocating.

A grand opening will take place at the new IAS from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on September 11. The free event will include artistic activities and music.


Two occupied homes at 605 and 607 S. Linden St. were purchased to make way for part of the Illinois Art Station. The land will eventually become a rain garden to help storm water runoff.


“Pop Into IAS will be a fun and creative way for members of our community to learn more about IAS and our new space,” said Laura Jester, Executive Director of IAS. “We really hope everyone comes to see us.”

Regular hours will begin September 17th. The station will be open for artistic creation occasions on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.


Wildflowers in bloom along Sugar Creek near 605 and 607 S. Linden St. illustrate the natural habitat that will be part of the Illinois Art Station facility.


The art station will be open on Thursdays for classes only.

Entrance fees for Creative Stations, Itsy Open, Studio Open and All Art Access are available at

Sculptor Tom Kirk presents his massive water sculpture at the Hangar Art Co. in downtown Bloomington on Wednesday.

Contact Sierra Henry at 309-820-3234. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_sierrahenry.

Norma D. Ross