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For two decades, Penny Zimmerman-Wills lived and died by a deadline. Today, she makes her own.


At First Christian Church's city of Nazareth, pastel painter and volunteer Sheri Ramsey becomes Rachel, the maker of beads.


A day at the office for Missy and Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson is a bit of a balancing act. 

Recently, Missy could be found trading off answering student e-mails from her office at the University of Illinois Springfield and offering homework assistance to her daughter, who was off school for a holiday.Down the hall, husband Eric concentrated on grading student papers in his own office before packing up and breezing by his wife and daughter on the way to his next class.



The Springfield Art Association sculpture garden, on the grounds of Edwards Place, merges modern art with Lincoln-era history.



Owners of furniture made by Rochester resident Mark Hodel describe his work as timeless, unique, heirloom-quality, beautiful fine furniture. Ask Hodel, and he'll simply say, "it's a fun, serious hobby." And yet, they're all understating the exquisite, hand-crafted furniture created by the unpretentious Hodel.


When Katherine Pippin Pauley was teaching, her creativity was channeled into lessons and motivating her charges. But she still found time to make costumes for theater groups and for the Springfield Muni Opera.

One of the most ancient arts involves a living form that can be passed down from generation to generation. There are stories of bonsai trees carefully tended and bequeathed to a worthy heir.

A Springfield woman breaks things to make things — and it’s art.


Back in the middle part of the last century, when jazz was still in the mainstream of popular music, Springfield served as host to some of the genre's legendary performers.

Tiffany Beane wears a bunch of hats.

She's a businesswoman, a teacher, a photographer and an animal lover. She's also a mother and a wife, the pride and joy of her life.

Suzanne Schmid wanted to be a sculptor when she was going to school in California, but she was sharing a tiny apartment with several other students, and the room she had for her artistic pursuits was too small for sculpting.

Joan Gardner's art is vibrant, innovative and best of all - wearable.

Film director, producer and screenwriter Steven Spielberg once said, "I dream for a living." For David Randag, a Springfield native, and classmate Chris Brannan, following their filmmaking dreams not only led to a College Emmy this year for their thesis documentary "Standard Deviation," but also to their dream careers.

Stephen Parfitt has come a long way from making beads out of sticks he picked up in the backyard when he was 7.

Parfitt, 35, makes jewelry, beads and most recently, movie props.

Springfield artist Ed Martin has taken to heart the title of one of his glass pieces "Aspiring to Greater Heights." His show at the Washington Park Botanical Garden Conservatory, which runs until early April, has more than two dozen striking works of vivid, vibrant color that work well with the flowers and greenery.

That propane tank would make a lovely penguin, and perhaps that lawn mower blade might end up as a praying mantis. Needle-nose pliers might be a bird beak, and a saw blade a fish's spine.

When artist Joan Burmeister of Springfield is on a roll, she can crank out clowns, cows and cityscapes. For Burmeister, a member artist of the Prairie Art Alliance, the world is her creative muse.


Long, lean, casually elegant even in a sweatshirt and jeans, it's easier to envision Dr.  Craig Russo, neuroradiologist with the Clinical Radiology Group, at a white table in a locale with palm trees than in the middle of a cold Midwestern winter.


To really get the point of Tess Riedle's art, it has to be seen in person.

Following a fantasy can take you away from home and the people and places you love, but the bright side of such a journey comes in knowing that you really can come home again.

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