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Jan 7, 2011

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Herscher, IL

Studs Terkel Award Winner Passionate About Local History

http://www.kankake 13/studs-terkel-aw ard-winner-passion ate-about-local-hi story/ In the basement of an unassuming building marked Historical Society in Herscher, Illinois is a treasure trove of great historical importance for Kankakee County West. The treasure does not occupy any one corner nor does it reside in a glass case. The treasure is history author and former award winning investigative journalist, Jim Ridings. Jim Ridings, began his career as an investigative journalist. Ridings has since left the hustle and bustle of writing for dailies and applied his skills to writing about local history. Ridings is especially passionate about local history. More at www.kankakeepost.c om  (Jan 13, 2011 | post #1)

Herscher, IL

Folk Artist in Essex Brings Junk to Life

Full story with photos can be found here. http://www.kankake Jack Barker 77, has been making art out of junk regularly since 1993. Jack’s metal shop is listed in Route 66 magazines as a tourist stop. He has received many visitors over the years some from as far as Nepal. His art is displayed all over his property and he continues to invite people to his shop in Essex, IL. Jack’s passion for art began whilst his time as an owner/ operator of a body and fender shop in Essex, IL from 1960-1985. His first piece was the result of a question of what to do with all his extra fenders and random car parts from his shop. Jack sees a piece of junk and brings together a sculpture using the natural tendencies of the material. He lets the metal and junk become a piece rather than setting out to create a certain piece of art. Using arc wielders and hammers he pieces together masterpieces out of things left behind. What some view as junk, Jack sees as art. Jack has appeared on Television shows, magazines, and even has taught classes on metal art for the University of Illinois. Jack invites people to have their own opinions of what art is and wishes people were to spend a bit more time being creative. Some see him as an eccentric old man while others see him as an artist. Jack had something to say about it. “You either think I’m an artist, or I’m crazy, I’m probably a little of both”.  (Jan 7, 2011 | post #1)

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Herscher, IL



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