Sierra Murphy

Sierra Murphy is a visual artist from Urbana, IL. She studied art therapy with emphases in drawing and printmaking at Millikin University. Favorite stylistic influences include Egon Schiele, Cindy Sherman, and Alfred Horsley Hinton. She has shown work in events such as Boneyard Arts Festival, Untitled, the Urbana Art Expo, and Artists Against Aids, and she was selected for 40 North’s MTD art program.




Images provided by Sierra Murphy

Anat Ronen

Anat is a self-taught artist who pushes herself to find depth in her commissioned work. With her street art, she reflects her notice of current affairs, injustices all over the globe, social matters and love for animals. Her challenges have helped mold her into an independent woman whose art causes the audience to pause in intelligent reflection and appreciation of beauty.

As an untrained artist she has an organic relationship towards art-making that corresponds to a vital need, a matter of personal balance and identity. She has executed commissions all over the world. Anat works with a variety of materials including acrylics, latex, tempera, chalk, pen, marker, colour pencils, digital and more. Typically working on at least 20 projects at one time, Anat prides herself on her ability to work on a large scale and at a rapid pace. Her work ranges in size from a few feet wide to over 30 feet tall and covering a variety of subject matter. Versatility is her strong suit, commenting, “Everything inspires me.”

Anat has created hundreds of pieces in the past ten years. Her work is found throughout the greater Houston, Texas area, including public spaces like interstate highways, bridges, buildings, churches, and schools. Additionally, her work is displayed in museums and select shows. Anat has work displayed nationally in California, Utah, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Rhode Island and of course, Texas, and internationally in India, Israel, China, Colombia, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany.

In addition to her mural work, Anat participates in international street painting and street art festivals nationwide and around the world.




Images provided Anat Ronen.

Kelly Hieronymus

I am fascinated with the world from above and captivated by the fields, rivers, and roads that surround the Central Illinois area. From the sky each field is unique, the patterns being created by the machinery farmers use to plant and plow their fields. The details of each field are further shaped by the crops used that year and the years before. These independent actions result in unintentional beauty when viewed from above.

With all my paintings, I begin with a natural color and an extreme color, allowing the two colors to come together and determine what comes next. The third dictates the fourth and so on. The final color combinations are a result of many layers reacting with one another. The lines you see in my work provide a physical barrier between colors and bring a third dimension to my paintings. In real life, they represent the roads, creeks, and property lines that divide the fields of Central Illinois and the farmland that makes up the Midwest.

I hope that people take away from my work that there is an unrecognized beauty in every detail of the land around us. Our ground-based lives restrict us from seeing this unique perspective. I hope that my work inspires others to explore the world from a new vantage point and find beauty in what they see.




Images provided by Kelly Hieronymus.

Cris Hughes

I started making art in the mid-1990s, focusing on photography and mixed media. Now years later, as a scientist in my everyday life, I’ve found I still crave a space for art. I’ve continued with mixed media, and as I developed a love for growing plants, I wanted to incorporate it into a form of art. I gather the floral and faunal offerings of my surroundings throughout the seasons, whether at home in the Midwest or traveling across the country, to create imaginative representations of the outside world. This has also become a collective form of art, as friends and family find and gift me with natural items they find attractive to include in my work. I remember who gave me each piece, and where it came from around the world. I collect, organically preserve, and compose each item in my natural portraits, creating an intersection of seasonality and ecosystems.

The aesthetic of my art is a reflection of my merged expertise – I delicately mount each item using the traditional tools of specimen display, merging my interests in both art and scientific observation. This process of searching for these tiny objects in the world, and considering how to relate them to one another in a finished art piece have required me to slow down and pay attention to the environment, which even in an urban space has much to offer: magical niches of mushrooms hidden under fallen magnolia leaves at my grandmother’s home, or a collection of moss glistening with dew by a baseball field. For the audience, the final art piece beckons them to do the same thing- take the time to look at the tiny details and whimsical architecture of each composition.


Images provided by Cris Hughes. 

8 ARTISTS with 8 HOURS to create 8 DRAWINGS

8 to CREATE is a live-drawing event in which 8 artists have 8 hours to create 8 drawings. The event is free and open to the public.

Our second-annual live-drawing event will be on Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 10am-6pm at the [co][lab], located at 206 West Main Street in downtown Urbana.

The following artists will be participating on March 12, 2016: Angelo Martinez, Dean Kugler, Deanne Wortman, Jason Patterson, Kathryn Scarim, Shelby Shadwell, and Wesley Berg.