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