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Kaneland Connection: State showcase

Kaneland artwork prominent in display, which is at Sugar Grove Public Library

Kaneland Harter Middle School teacher John Purnell hangs artwork that is part of the Illinois Art Education Association student art show, which will be at the Sugar Grove Public Library through June.
Kaneland Harter Middle School teacher John Purnell hangs artwork that is part of the Illinois Art Education Association student art show, which will be at the Sugar Grove Public Library through June.

SUGAR GROVE – Some of the best student artwork in Illinois is on display this month in Sugar Grove, an appropriate location considering that five of the 40 pieces come from Kaneland School District 302.

The Illinois Art Education Association student art show display is at the Sugar Grove Public Library, 125 S. Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove. Among the pieces on display are those by:

• Lylah Humm from John Stewart Elementary School in Elburn, where the art teacher is Heidi Gilkey.

• Vanessa Hutar from Kaneland Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove, with art teacher John Purnell.

• Hailey Warner from McDole Elementary in Montgomery, with art teacher Laurel Scigouski.

• Bethany McReynold from McDole Elementary, with art teacher Lisa Molitor.

• Christian Schwartz from John Shields Elementary School in Elburn, with art teacher Colleen Grigg.

A student from St. Charles School District 303, Kamryn Huber from Haines Middle School, also has a work in the display.

Purnell is the host of the exhibit. As a teacher at John Stewart in Elburn, Gilkey said she has helped bring the display to the Town and Country Public Library in Elburn in the past. She said it’s a great honor that the district has so many pieces of art in the display.

“I think it just goes to show what a great art program we have,” Gilkey said. “There are hundreds of entries throughout the whole state of Illinois.”

Gilkey said art teachers are encouraged to bring the gallery to their area each year. The display started its journey in November in Burbank, with stops throughout the state. In July, it heads to Lake Zurich, and the display ends its run in Lisle.

Gilkey said the display often will make its way to the area, whether in the Kaneland area or the Tri-Cities area. When it’s nearby, she said it’s a big attraction for local art teachers.

“I check everything out,” she said. “It gives teachers some great ideas.”

Details about the artwork can be viewed online at

Upcoming festivals

Plans for local festivals have been taking shape. In Sugar Grove, organizers have been releasing information about the annual Corn Boil, which is set from July 25 to 27 at 61 Main St., Sugar Grove. The band lineup has been set. Also, participants are being sought for the “Happy Dance” at the opening ceremony, which will be from 5 to 6 p.m. July 25. The theme for the opening ceremonies will be “Kindness in the Community.” The dance will be in partnership with P.E.A.K. for Kids and LaFox-based Dreams Dance Academy.

For information, visit, or

In Elburn, the Village Board on Monday OK’d a resolution to close Route 47 for the Elburn Days parade, which is set for 6 p.m. Aug. 15. The festival, which is presented by the Elburn Lions Club, takes place from Aug. 15 to 17 at Lions Park, 500 S. Filmore St., Elburn. For information, visit

Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at

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