The hot days of summer seemed distant as we prepared for this issue of art & society™. Summer in central Illinois is upon us now, and we don’t take one day of sunshine for granted! I enjoy being outside and soaking up the warmth as much as possible during our short summers. I’ve marked my calendar with outdoor activities at home on my patio or at the many parks and public spaces around the area.

Those of us at CIBP eagerly anticipated the first warm day to begin our CIBP tour of favorite ice cream choices and to visit the farmer’s markets. We considered our gardening and anticipated redecorating or redesigning our own outdoor space. Yes, we even decided a bit of pampering at a local spa would relax our mind and rejuvenate our bodies because we want to take care of ourselves. That includes eating healthier by selecting fresh vegetables and fruits readily available. I’m even attempting to grow my own tomatoes and peppers this year.

I experienced the artistry of Vicki Taufer with my own photo session. She and her husband, Jed, are a unique and talented couple who, together, have combined art and cutting-edge technology into lifetime treasures. Now internationally known for her photography, we can be proud to claim another artist was born, raised, and continues to live and work in central Illinois.

We couldn’t cover all of the events in the past couple of months, but we’ve captured quite a few in our social scene. Ours is a community of passionate, caring individuals and families who have fun while supporting the cultural and non-profit organizations in our area. One reader wrote to confirm our recommendations for dining and shopping in the last issue, and, yes, we wouldn’t write about what we haven’t experienced first-hand. The travel articles in this issue suggest early fall is the best time to enjoy San Francisco or Galena, and we agree.

Take time to smell the flowers this summer, and get ready for fall’s flurry of activity!

As always, if you'd like to suggest a feature, an event, or home we should include in an upcoming issue of art & society™, drop us an e-mail at [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you.

Jan Wright Vergon, Publisher