Wednesday, January 18, 2012

'Rock, Paper, Scissors' exhibit at Aurora University gallery showcases works by 11 artists

AURORA, Ill. - "Rock, Paper, Scissors: Process & Perception," an exhibit by 11 artists, will be on display at the Aurora University Schingoethe Art Gallery from Jan. 19 to Feb. 29.

The display in Dunham Hall, 1400 Marseillaise Place, is free to the public. An opening reception will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 19. Artists featured in the exhibit are Marissa Bero, Robert Blunk, G.E. Colpitts, Brian Dettmer, Katie Kahn, Kari Kraus, Nancy Legner, Maria Park, Matthew Picton, Mark Rospenda and Sarah Steinwachs.

Meg Bero, Schingoethe Gallery director, curated the display. She said the exhibit explores the relationship between an artist's vision, medium and process.

Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (630) 844-7843 , email or visit

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wintertime Fun in Aurora - 2011

Check out these cold month possibilities for outdoor fun and more:
From Chicago Tribune: "When it comes to outdoor winter recreation in the Fox Valley Park District, spokesman Jeff Long says, children and teenagers do most of the sledding and skating, while adults focus on cross-country skiing.

Sledding in Aurora takes place at Lincoln Park, with gentle slopes suitable for children; McCullough Park, offering Fox River views; and Waubonsie Park, which has intermediate slopes. According to the district's Web site, the fastest and steepest slope in the area is a big hill on Fifth Avenue, just west of Kautz Road, in the Oakhurst Forest Preserve, managed by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.

The Fox Valley Park District maintains two outdoor skating areas: Wheatlands Park pond on the east side of Aurora and Splash Country Water Park pond on the west.

The most popular cross-country trails are the Fox River Trail and the Gilman Trail, which have the fewest number of road crossings, Long said. The Gilman Trail goes through wooded areas and past a golf course; the Fox River Frail north of Aurora can be more challenging."

Check out New Haven Community Park near Highland Avenue in central Aurora for free ice skating. Phillips Park on the East Side is a great place for sledding. Visit Paddle and Trail in downtown Aurora (Spruce and River) for other outdoor adventures, like snowshoeing and more.

If indoor fun is more your style, then don't forget to take the kids to the Vaughn Center for indoor swimming and other recreational opportunities. A hot chocolate at River's Edge Cafe is also a nice wintertime treat. Or how about some soup at Tecalitlan Restaurant on the corner of Downer and Broadway?

There are a ton of fun ways to stay active, and enjoy the cold months. Happy Winter!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Time Inc. deputy general counsel, best-selling author to speak at Aurora University

AURORA, Ill. - Aurora University will host presentations by a best-selling author and an Aurora pastor to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Both events are free to the public.

Rhonda Joy McLean, deputy general counsel of Time Inc. and co-author of "The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women," will discuss "Leadership in a Multicultural Society" at 7 p.m. on Jan. 12 in Crimi Auditorium, 407 S. Calumet Ave. McLean, a 1972 Aurora College graduate, will address what she considers the building blocks of true leadership: self-confidence, effective communication, collaboration and courage.

McLean's book has been consistently ranked in the top three on Amazon's best-seller list for leadership and management. She will sign copies of the book after her presentation.

Based in New York, McLean manages one-third of the Time Inc.'s law department and conducts regulatory compliance efforts for consumer marketing materials for the publishing company's 21 magazines in the United States and Canada. Prior to joining Time in October 1999, McLean was the assistant regional director of the Northeast Region of the Federal Trade Commission for nine years. She holds a bachelor's degree in criminology and social work from Aurora College, master's degree in adult education and leadership development from North Carolina A&T State University, and law degree from Yale.

On Jan. 13 at noon, the Rev. Julian E. Spencer, pastor at Main Baptist Church in Aurora, will bring a message in Lowry Chapel in Eckhart Hall, 347 S. Gladstone Ave. An Oswego resident, Spencer became the 20th senior pastor in Main Baptist's 140-year history in 2007. Spencer also serves with the Fox Valley Christian Ministerial Alliance, Love Fox Valley, North Woodriver Missionary Baptist District Association and Illinois Missionary Baptist State Convention; and chairman of the Good Samaritan Network, a not-for-profit organization that provides holistic services to those in need.

Call 630-844-4924 for more information on the presentations, or visit

Monday, January 2, 2012

I and M Canal History

Have you ever wondered about the history of the I&M Canal and why it was built? Here is an opportunity to learn more about the canal and how it affects where you live today. On Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the Montgomery Village Hall, Jim Carr will offer a free presentation on the Illinois & Michigan Canal. Jim is a member of Canallers in the Corridor, a volunteer group that promotes the story of the I&M Canal era. The Canallers portray real and composite characters of the 1800s. They share stories that reflect the daily lives and extraordinary adventures of a pivotal chapter in the story of the westward expansion.

During this presentation you will meet Timothy James Carr, a muleboy, tillersman, captain and locktender on the I&M Canal during the 1830s. Through stories and authentic portrayals of real characters from the I&M Canal’s history, you can learn more about this interesting time in the history of this area.

This free presentation is being offered by the Village of Montgomery. There is no charge and the event is handicapped accessible. The monthly Senior Lunch and activity will begin at 11:00 a.m. after the presentation. There is a $4 suggested donation for the lunch and pre-registration is requested.

For additional information on this event, please call the Montgomery Village Hall at (630) 896-8080 ext. 1227.

Traveling Lincoln Civil War exhibit to open at Aurora University on Jan. 3

AURORA, Ill. — "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War," a traveling exhibition by the American Library Association, will be displayed at the Aurora University Phillips Library from Jan. 3 to Feb. 17.
The public is invited to the exhibit at the library, 315 S. Gladstone Ave., and companion events. Admission is free.
The display includes informative panels featuring photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. The exhibit examines how President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War — the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties.
Three companion events are planned:
  • Jan. 10: An opening reception will be held at the library from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Speakers include AU President Rebecca L. Sherrick and Gerald Butters, Professor of History. Students will recite Lincoln speeches, and period music will be performed by the AU Chorale.
  • Jan. 10: "The Conspirator," a film about Mary Surratt, the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in Lincoln's assassination, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in Perry Theatre in the Aurora Foundation Center, 1305 Kenilworth Place. Douglas Kieso, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, will lead a post-screening discussion.
  • Feb. 7: Presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin will explore what it would look like if Lincoln ran for president today during a Celebrating Arts and Ideas lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Crimi Auditorium, 407 S. Calumet Ave. Reservations are required. Call (630) 844-4924 ,email or visit
"Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War" encourages visitors to form a nuanced view of Lincoln by engaging them with his struggle to reconcile his policy preferences with basic American ideals of liberty and equality. This exhibition develops a more complete understanding of Abraham Lincoln as president and the Civil War during the nation's gravest constitutional crisis.
"We are delighted to have been selected as a site for this exhibition," said John Law, AU library director."This exhibition shows how Lincoln struggled with issues of secession, slavery and civil liberties — all questions our country's founding charter left unanswered. Each section of the exhibit features information about a different aspect of Lincoln's presidency.
"Most importantly, the exhibit helps visitors understand why Lincoln's struggle with the Constitution still matters today."
The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the traveling exhibition, which was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.
For library hours and more information, visit