Although delayed, Bad Art fundraiser once again on Champaign County calendar

After a long year without much activity, it will good to be bad again in Champaign County.

The Champaign Arts Council (CAC) was lucky to squeeze in its popular Bad Art by Good People fundraiser in winter 2020 just before the lockdown. Although moved from its traditional slot to spring in 2021, people are excited to have back a bit of pre-COVID normalcy.

The 10th annual Bad Art by Good People will be 6-9 p.m. May 7 at the VFW Hall, 220 East Court St. A limited number of tickets are available for the dinner and auction. The deadline is April 30.

Proceeds go toward various CAC programs.

The fundraiser finds local celebrities who aren’t necessarily known for their artistic side expressing their creativity and having fun with a variety of creations. The entrants compete against each other for votes to determine the most popular; voting is open on the CAC’s website.

CAC executive director Marcia Callicoat started planning the event in January and has held her breath since.

“It wasn’t easy,” she said. “We knew that March was way too early to have it and crossed our fingers that May would be halfway normal, especially since this is all being done indoors.”

Anyone attending is required to wear a mask and follow safety guidelines. Tables are being spaced apart and social distancing enforced. CAC board member Brad Winner, who is also one of this year’s artists, worked with the Champaign County Health District on safety.

Participating artists include Rita Anderson, a retiree; Bryce Carafa, PriorAuthNow; Marsha Bumgardner, The Peoples Savings Bank; Sarah Harris, Baked By Sarah; Greg Harvey, MacGillivray, Estes, & Harvey LLP; Andy Hiltibran, Crabills; Jessica Kile DDS, Darby & Urbana Dental Smiles; Pat Thackery, Cafe Paradiso; Jodi Thompson, Graham Local Schools; Marley Tullis, Anduril Industries; Ted Wallen, CMT Machining & Fabricating; Brad Winner, The Winner Group & MIXX 165; and David Woodrow, Champaign County Engineer.

“This is a great group. Every year, I keep thinking we’ll run out of ideas and they come in with great colors and art,” Callicoat said.

Some artists paid tribute to what they do. For example, Thackery soldered together kitchen utensils to resemble a bird and called it “Bird of Paradiso,” a play on paradise and a nod to the restaurant he works for. Being a dentist, Kile painted a picture of a smile with shiny white teeth.

All pieces will be for sale the evening of the event.

Another traditional part of the affair is the donation of art created by a famous celebrity courtesy of Urbana Daily Citizen sports editor Steve Stout. This year’s is country music legend Hank Williams, Jr., whose art will be up for auction as well.

While Callicoat would have liked to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the fundraiser with the return of past winners, that aspect could be played up in a future Bad Art competition.

The CAC is looking at doing future events such as concerts and its Juried Art Show later in the year. Check its website for more details.

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