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anna callahan anna callahan

Anna Callahan

anna callahan
Anna Callahan autographs copies of her "Danville Community Encyclopedia." Photo by David Wiegand.

Anna Callahan, originally from Gainesville, GA, graduated with her master’s in fine arts from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. While she had an interest in art at an early age, painting evolved into more of an interest in getting out and talking to people – which is called public art or community art. “It’s not like an artist working only in a studio,” Anna says. “I think people are fascinating.” Anna’s art involves working with other people to create something people can enjoy and maybe learn from. She conducts interviews with people from all walks of life in order to create verbal records in a unique audio-visual art form.

Anna has completed her interview-based art projects in several communities, including the recent “Danville Community Encyclopedia,” which was sponsored in part by Sculptureworks, Inc. Anna created this community art project through a series of interviews she conducted with 78 visitors to the Danville, IL, Public Library in the fall and winter of 2002. The encyclopedia includes excerpts of the interviews, which range in subject matter from discussing singer Aaliyah to changing Zoning Laws. Pictures, illustrations, and an audio cd enhance the encyclopedia’s thorough presentation. Anna says her favorite part of the Danville project was listening to people share something. “It makes me feel more a part of what’s going on,” she says. “I don’t feel like I’m in my own little world.” Anna hopes the encyclopedia sparks other people’s interest in those around them.

anna callahan
Anna Callahan conducts an interview at the Danville Public Library for the "Danville Community Encyclopedia." Photo by Matt Huber as shown in the "Commercial-News."

Click here to learn more information about Anna's various community art projects and to hear auditory recordings from her interactive links.

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