Blue Connection is pleased to feature photographer Kelly Sibthorp, a senior majoring in art therapy from Warrensburg, as their May Spotlight Artist. The event will take place on Friday, May 4, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. BC Studios, an arts and business incubator located in the lower level of Blue Connection, will also be open during the event.
Working mainly in black and white, Sibthorp’s self-portraits “create scenarios that illustrate uncertainty, age, innocence, and the masking of how we portray ourselves to others.” Sibthorp states that her “work explores personal imagery with the intention that my audience will connect, relate, and respond to.” Using 3200 black and white 32mm film, her photographs have a strong grain and are often distressed with sandpaper and drawing ink.
BC Studios, an arts and business incubator, opened in fall 2011. The incubator rotates “mini businesses” every six months as part of the students’ coursework. Products and services offered include children’s theatre kits from “Playroom Productions,” up-cycled and customized sweaters from “Heart on Your Sleeve,” hand-made jewelry from “All You Need is Love,” and “Strings Attached,” a classical solo strings and duet company.
Launched in 2003, Blue Connection is Millikin’s student-run, retail art gallery. The gallery features valuable, yet affordable artwork by Millikin University students, faculty, and alumni artists. The business also serves as a laboratory experience for Millikin University's Arts & Entrepreneurship program.
The Arts & Entrepreneurship program is a six-credit sequence providing students with the tools necessary to think entrepreneurially by identifying their passion, recognizing opportunities, and by developing viable business strategies. During their first semester, students pitch their own business ideas to be operated out of BC Studios. During their second semester, students act as owners of Blue Connection, making all managerial and operational decisions for the gallery.
The May After 5 Live event featuring Kelly Sibthorp will be held Friday, May 4, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Blue Connection’s Downtown location: 117 N. Water St. in Decatur. There will be live music as well as complimentary refreshments provided by Lock, Stock, and Barrel. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information on Millikin University’s Blue Connection, call 217.428.0112 or visit www.millikin.edu/blueconnection