Monday, January 9, 2017

Art @ the Y presents "Bed Shoe Home: Poverty and Homelessness in Champaign-Urbana"

Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2017

For media inquiries, please contact:
Megan Flowers, University YMCA Communications Director

Art @ the Y presents
“Bed Shoe Home: Poverty and Homelessness In Champaign-Urbana"

On view in Murphy Gallery of the University YMCA
from January 26, 2017 through March 17, 2017

Champaign-Urbana is facing a crisis in housing for low-income families and the under-sheltered. To bring this issue into sharper focus, the University YMCA’s Art @ the Y program, in collaboration with the School of Art + Design and the School of Social Work, initiated “Bed Shoe Home,” a community-based art action organized by artist Jane Gilmor. Gilmor was in residence in Champaign-Urbana for a month this past fall working in community organizations serving the homeless: the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Courage Connection, and the Phoenix Center. BED SHOE HOME culminates in a large installation at the University Y from January 26 through March 17, 2017, including a walk-in book covered with notes and images on metal foil created by those in area shelters, residencies programs, soup kitchens and drop-in sites. The “Bed Shoe Home” exhibition series is dedicated to all those in Champaign-Urbana without affordable housing.

The University YMCA invites community and campus members to attend Jane Gilmor’s talk as the George A. Miller Visiting Artist at the University of Illinois on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 4:00p at the Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 South Gregory, Urbana, Illinois. The Y encourages people to attend the exhibition opening of “Bed Shoe Home” the following day on Thursday, January 26, 2017 from 5:00pm-7:00pm at Murphy Gallery of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois. Viewing will begin at 5:00pm follow by Jane Gilmor’s gallery talk at 5:30pm. All Art @ the Y events are free and open to the public.

“It’s important to go see this work and understand it as a weaving together of artmaking and personal stories that work to uplift the voices of the homeless and the under sheltered. When you see the work in person, you are in touch with the lines of the work and have a connection with the ferocious intensity of the artist’s hand,” said Julia Kellman, member of the Art @ the Y committee.

Special Thanks To: Center for Advanced Study, UIUC; George A Miller Endowment; School of Art + Design; School of Social Work; Daily Bread Soup Kitchen; Courage Connection; The Phoenix Center

About Jane Gilmor: As a visual artist Jane Gilmor has maintained a socially involved art practice working with the disenfranchised in the US and abroad since the late 80s. Her cooperative projects involve working in shelters, along side local experts, students, and volunteers, to create large installations with walk-in structures covered in metal notes and images. Workshops in metal embossing, journaling, handmade books, as well as video and audio interviewing and transcription are part of a number of activities involved in these dialog-oriented processes. Learn more about Jane Gilmor's work at:

About Art @ the Y: “Bed Shoe Home” is part of the Art @ the Y program, a cause-driven, public arts initiative of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign. Art @ the Y seeks to engage issues of social justice, international understanding, environmental activism, faith and cultural understanding through quality arts programming. Art @ the Y includes a revolving exhibition space in Murphy Gallery on the first floor of the University YMCA. Murphy Gallery Hours at the University YMCA are from Mondays-Fridays from 9am-9pm. Website:


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Get Involved. Take A Stand.

Members of the Champaign-Urbana Community,

This year our nation has experienced one of the most divisive elections in modern history. Like many of you, we are trying to understand what the results will mean for our work and how to move forward. At our Board of Governors meeting just two days after the election, we set aside our regular agenda to discuss this in more depth. Here are our thoughts.

We believe that our ability to engage in open debate and discourse about differences in policy, ideology, and methodology is one of the great strengths of our democracy. Sadly, this election has been marked by dangerous and inflammatory rhetoric that has consumed the conversation and produced a damaging environment of fear and distrust. We condemn any language or actions that target and attack specific populations — such attacks are an affront to us all.

The University Y remains committed to leaders of student programs who work tirelessly to address the issues of social justice, environmental protection, global engagement and interfaith dialogue. Those challenges will likely be even greater, based on the positions being expressed by the next administration. It is critical that we stand by students at the Y and provide them with the resources and support that they need for their voices to be heard. We encourage you to read their letter drafted in the aftermath of the election. Now, more than ever, their work is key to preserving the promise of a better tomorrow.

We recognize the legitimate concerns of students and community members regarding their safety and well-being. We renew and reaffirm our commitment at the University Y to serve as a safe, open space for all members of our community free from persecution and hate. We support your right to be who you are and respect your beliefs as part of the rich diversity of our community. Discrimination has no place in our community. We will defend the right of every person to live, work, play, cry, celebrate, mourn, and worship in safety.

We have much work to do. Many students and supporters of the Y are telling us that the election has shaken their view of who we are as a nation. But history has taught that each crisis also provides an opportunity. In the coming weeks and months, there will be a myriad of opportunities to lend your voice to issues and policies that will define who we are as a nation. We hope you will stay engaged and active. 

Thank you for your support and commitment to the values we hold dear. We can make a difference if we unite around our shared values, so we invite you to join with us and stand for the principles of inclusivity, mutual respect, and compassion.


The University YMCA Board of Governors

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Press Release/PSA: Art @ the Y presents HOODED TRUTHS by Candace Hunter

Press Release
For Immediate Release
August 17, 2016

For media inquiries, contact:
Megan Flowers, University YMCA Communications Director

Art at the Y presents
"HOODED TRUTHS" by Candace Hunter
HOODED TRUTHS is on view in Murphy Gallery of the University YMCA
from 9:00am to 9:00pm on Mondays through Thursdays and from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Fridays from August 25, 2016 through October 7, 2016
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The University YMCA is pleased to present, HOODED TRUTHS by Candace Hunter as part of the Art @ the Y public arts initiative. HOODED TRUTHS will open with a public reception on August 25, 2016 at the University YMCA’s Murphy Gallery at 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, Illinois, 61820. A viewing will begin at 5:00pm followed by a gallery talk with the artist herself, Candace Hunter at 5:30pm. Light refreshments will be served. The reception will close at 7:00pm. HOODED TRUTHS is on view in Murphy Gallery of the University YMCA from 9:00am to 9:00pm on Mondays through Thursdays and from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Fridays from August 25, 2016 through October 7, 2016. More information is available at

HOODED TRUTHS is a cornucopia of images, ideas and personas all swathed in the costume of 21st Century America - the hoodie. In the exhibit Hunter explores the history of Blackness in this country. A history that Candace Hunter describes as ‘"a painful and complicated affair, brightened by the indomitable spirit of countless fathers, mothers, teachers, clergy and artists who continue to shed light on this country’s 'Hooded Truths.'"


ARTIST'S STATEMENT: “Much of my work is concerned with social inequality along both national and global fronts. My imagery explores historical moments. Moments that celebrate the beauty of a people or the necessary light upon violence against humanity, in its many forms, with special attention to the plight of women and children. Through research, I engage with the past and use my art to give a public and present voice to those whose voices have been silenced or just plainly, ignored. Although I am well known for my collage-based work, I implement a wide variety of media to manifest my work. My work is rarely conceived as a single piece, but is instead imagined as an entire body of work around a central theme, such as the 32 pieces in Hooded Truths (2014), which also includes installation and performance. In addition, I make use of text and performance in my work to strengthen the voice. My practice is socially engaged, personally, in my interaction and collaboration with other artists, and politically, in my activism through my work.” Candace Hunter, a native of Chicago, studied the plastic arts and performance arts at Barat and Mundelein Colleges in the Chicago area. For more information about the work of Candace Hunter, please visit:

"Her work is beautiful, evocative and oftentimes controversial such as her recent series, Hooded Truths. The collection of paintings force you to look at the murders of young Black men represented by the “hoodie” associated with Trayon Martin. ‘Hooded’ means covered, therefore hidden and so as we look at the many senseless murder of unarmed Black men by policemen where the truth has been hidden. The Hooded Truths Collection is soul stirring and evokes sadness, anger, empathy and compassion. It inspires us to do something to change the way Black men are seen and mistreated in the world." -from The Chicago Defender http:// 05/15/ artist-candace-hunter-opens -her-doors-to-you/

Art @ the Y is a public arts initiative of the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign. All Art @ the Y events are free and open to the public. For more information about Art @ the Y, visit:
Murphy Gallery Hours
Mondays-Thursdays from 9am to 9pm
Fridays from 9am to 5pm
Closed on weekends, except in the case of special events. If you would like to schedule a group tour during the weekend, contact Ann Rasmus at or at 217-337-1500

Murphy Gallery Summer Hours
(From May 23, 2016-August 19, 2016)
Mondays-Fridays from 9am to 4pm

Parking Nearby:
Parking lot on 6th between Daniel & Chalmers - Free after 5pm.
Parking garage on 6th & John - Free after 5pm.
Street parking on Wright, Chalmers, & 6th Streets for 75¢ per hour.
Municipal lot on Green & 5th Streets for $1 per hour.