Dear Friends of Heartland Gallery,
It is hard to believe, but spring is almost here. And with the coming of spring, several Christian holidays are traditionally celebrated this month. Today, March 1, is St. David’s Day. St David is the patron saint of Wales, and it is believed that he died on March 1 in the year 589. Please see below for a list of St. David’s Day and other Welsh events in March taking place in the Chicago area, some of which I will be attending.
Also in March, of course, is St. Patrick’s Day (named for the patron saint of Ireland) on March 17th, and Easter, which falls on March 31 this year. If you happen to celebrate any of these feast days/holidays, please remember that we are the premier place in town for you to find the perfect gifts.
There are so many events right here in Champaign-Urbana for St. Patrick’s Day that I thought I’d share the full list of events (that I am aware of) in addition to listing my own events. Please mark your calendar with any or all of the following, if they sound the least bit interesting to you. For my Chicago friends, there are obviously too many events for me to list, but the Chicago river will be officially dyed green at 10am and the parade begins at Noon this year.
MIDDLE MARKET (Saturday, March 16th, 8am-1pm)
I will be set up for the second month in a row at downtown Urbana’s “Middle Market” sponsored by the Urbana Business Association and designed to be a bridge between the Market at the Square and the Holiday Market. This market offers some produce and baked goods as well as art and crafts and is on the third Saturday of the month, ending with April. Last month, I featured many of my local artists. This month, I plan to bring a selection of my own photo cards, and a few other small items. Stop by and say hello.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY (Saturday, March 16th, 2-4pm)
We will have a small family-friendly reception in the gallery with specially prepared green treats to celebrate the holiday a day early. We will also be offering 25% off on one green item of your choice if you take our little St. Patrick’s Day Irish quiz, and 35% off of one green item if you answer all of the questions correctly.
JAMESON IRISH WHISKEY TASTING (Tuesday, March 26th, 6-9pm)
As always, I enjoy working in conjunction with other venues. Consequently, when the idea of doing a joint venture with Dublin O’Neil’s (the Irish restaurant/pub in downtown Champaign), and Sylvia’s Irish Inn (the Irish bed & breakfast in downtown Urbana) recently came up, I jumped at the chance to host this event at Heartland Gallery. $20 advance tickets will be available to purchase at any of the three participating businesses beginning March 6th. We will be sampling Jameson Original, 12-year, 18-year, Gold, and Black Barrel. I can certainly understand that many of you are not whiskey drinkers, but please pass the word about this event as it promises to be a fun evening for all, complete with hors d’oeurvres catered by Chef Josh Huddleston of Dublin O’Neil’s, live Irish traditional music with the Spudhunters and the opportunity to talk with Jameson ambassador Chris Kirkham. Some freebies will be given out throughout the evening, including T-shirts. Call me at 217-337-4767 for more info.
WELSH EVENTS (in the Chicago area)
Friday, March 1 (8pm) – St. David’s Day Pub Night at Elephant & Castle, 185 N. Wabash Ave, Chicago. The nearby Wrigley Building will be lit up in red, white and green for the night.
Saturday, March 2 (Noon) – St. David’s Day Celebration at The Carleton Hotel, 1100 Pleasant St., Oak Park, IL, sponsored by The Cambrian Benevolent Society of Chicago. See chicagowelshcambrian.org for more info and tickets ($15-28)
Saturday, March 2 (2pm) – Artists Connect: Jon Langford Connects with Goya in the Price Auditorium at The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Saturday, March 2 (7pm) – “Cawl & Cocktails” St. David’s Day -Chicago Style! at The Red Lion Lincoln Square pub, 4749 N. Rockwell St., Chicago, sponsored by The Chicago Tafia. $15 admission includes cawl and whiskey trifle, raffles, silent auction, and entertainment. E-mail Dave at WelshChicago@gmail.com immediately for more info and to reserve a spot.
Monday, March 3 (7pm) – Man Without Country, a South Wales-based duo at Schuba’s Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
March 1-31 – Wales Display at the Homewood Public Library, 17917 Dixie Highway, Homewood, IL, featuring Welsh authors and musicians
OTHER IRISH EVENTS (in Champaign-Urbana)
Saturday, March 3 (7-10pm) – Spudhunters – Traditional Irish music at Dublin O’Neil’s, 301 N. Neil St., Champaign
Wednesday, March 6 (8:30-10:30pm) – Regular Wednesday night Traditional Irish music “seisiun” at Dublin O’Neil’s. Also, on March 13, 20 & 27.
Friday, March 8 (6:45-8pm Workshops, 8-11pm Contra Dance) – MarchFest Contra Dance & Workshops at The Phillips Center, 505 W. Stoughton, Urbana, featuring the Nashville Ceili Band and caller Ken Gall. (After-party at Sylvia’s Irish Inn, 312 W. Green, Urbana).
Friday, March 8 (7-8:30pm) – Irish flute/whistle player Laurence Nugent and storyteller Tim O’Sullivan at The Spurlock Museum, UIUC campus. (Laurence played a concert in Heartland Gallery last year) They will also perform later in the evening at Dublin O’Neil’s (around 9:15pm)
Saturday, March 9 (Noon-5pm Workshops, 7-10pm Ceili) MarchFest Workshops and Irish Ceili Dance at the Illini Union 2nd Floor Ballroom, 1401 W. Green St., UIUC campus, featuring the Nashville Ceili Band and callers Donna Killen & Mary Carmody
Tuesday, March 12 (8-10pm) – A Piper’s Hut Concert with Full Set, a lively 6-piece Irish traditional band from Ireland at the Independent Media Center (IMC), 202 S. Broadway, Urbana. For ticket info, please see www.pipers-hut.com.
Saturday & Sunday, March 16-17 (2pm-Midnight) – Dublin O’Neil’s St. Patrick’s Day Street Bash in downtown Champaign at the corner of Neil & Hill Streets. Live music all day and evening. This is not traditional Irish music, but if you enjoy Irish punk rock and a little bit rowdier music, this is for you. The street north of the pub will be blocked off and drinks will be served outdoors.
Sunday, March 17 (2-4pm) – a St. Patrick’s Day Irish Tea at Sylvia’s Irish Inn, 312 W. Green St., Urbana. Perfect pots of tea will be served along with Irish teatime treats, and music by Robin Kearton and Tom Faux. $25 prepaid admission. Limited seating. Call Sylvia at 384-4800 for more info and to purchase tickets.
There are many new items in the gallery this month, and I am probably forgetting a few, but here are some of them:
New batik paintings (mounted and matted) and art cards by Louise Loughman of Castlelblayney, Co. Monaghan
Two new original paintings and some art/poetry cards by Roisin Duffy, also of Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan
Fused glass candleholders, sconces, wall hangings, and charms by Grace Brennan of King’s Forge Glass, also in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan
W. B. Yeats poetry art cards by Willow Designs in Boyle, Co. Roscommon
New pewter and sterling silver jewelry items by St. Justin in Penzance, Cornwall, including Elvish friendship and love rings