For over a decade the Mississippi River Festival (MRF) on the grounds of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville was host to great music and a variety of characters. Occasionally I was one of them.
I get caffeinated every Saturday morning at Sacred Grounds, my favorite coffee shop in the whole world. Besides the excellent coffee, it features vegetarian meals which will make you wonder why they ever invented meat and a rotating exhibition of work by local artists sponsored by the Edwardsville Arts Center. It’s rumored that if you sit in Sacred Grounds long enough, you can meet everyone in Edwardsville (and a few other characters as well).
For several years in the late seventies and early eighties I flew the friendly skies of Edwardsville, Illinois as a commercial hot air balloon pilot for Eschaloft, Inc.
The Wildey Theater in downtown Edwardsville was built in 1909 as an opera house and meeting hall for the Independent Order of Oddfellows (there’s still plenty of those in town). It served as a theater for many decades before finally closing in 1984. It’s currently in the process of renovation.
I, along with a number of other area artists, was recently asked to participate in a fund raiser for the Edwardsville Arts Center. We were asked to submit four drawings which will eventually be transferred to plates (the kind you eat off of) and displayed at their new gallery. Eventually, the plates will be sold or auctioned to raise money for the center’s programming. Since I’ve lived in the area for all but about six years of my life. I decided to submit cartoons of some of my favorite memories of living, working and playing (sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference) in Edwardsville, Illinois.
The next four posts will feature my four plates and a bit of the story behind each one. The media for all the drawings is Sharpie marker and colored pencils.