Art Camp

Carbondale Community Arts is accepting exhibition proposals for summer 2017 - 2018! To apply to exhibit at Artspace 304, Mary Ellen Dillard Media & Performance Gallery, or the Corridor Gallery at the Carbondale Civic Center, please complete an online proposal. The proposal requires: 

  • Contact information 
  • CV, resume or list of related experiences
  • Artist/ Group statement (approx. 300 words) 
  • Exhibition theme, intent, need of space. (approx. 300 words) 
  • Portfolio of works: five images that reflect the style of work you wish to exhibit. Format JPEG or PDF and labeled with first and last name and image number.
  • Label example: FIRST_LASTNAME_IMAGE01.JPEG
  • Image List with description of images. Please include image file name, artist name, title of work, date created, size (L"x W"x H"), Media, Price of Work.
    • Example:
                  Jane Doe
                  Title, 2017
                  8"L x 10"W
                  ink on paper

Apply Here

Gallery at Artspace 304 Floor Plan

Mary Ellen Dillard Media and Performace Gallery Floor Plan

Corridor Gallery at Carbondale Civic Center Floor Plan

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , stop by the gallery at 304 W Walnut St, Carbondale, IL 62901, or call 618.457.5100 to make further accommodations.

We will review your request for a show, and contact you if your work is selected for an exhibit.



After nearly 25 years as guests of the Carbondale Park District in Hickory Lodge, Carbondale Community Arts acquired a home of its own in March 2013.

Thanks to the generosity of a visionary and committed patron, CCA was able to purchase the 5,000 square foot building at 304 West Walnut, which was originally constructed in 1961 to house the Carbondale Public Library. The endowment, combined with private donations saw initial renovations complete Artspace 304, which opened to the public on October 17, 2015.

Artspace 304 is a multi-functioning community artspace with room for exhibits, small performances, and educational programming. Additionally, Artspace 304 houses Mary Ellen Dillard Media and Preformance Gallery and CCA's administrative offices.

Equipped with a full catering kitchen, 304 is also available for event and meeting rentals, both private and public.

Gallery hours for Artspace 304 are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11am-2pm. The gallery is also open by appointment and during all public events at Artspace 304.

The corridor that spans the Carbondale Civic Center has been managed as gallery space by
Carbondale Community Arts since the building was opened in 2000 and has displayed works by
more than 200 local, and regional artists and by visiting artists from around the world. Works
are exhibited free of charge, and exhibiting artists are able to offer their works for sale, subject
to a standard commission. The Gallery includes approximately 120 running feet of available
wall space and is equipped with a picture rail to facilitate the installation of artworks.

At various times during the year CCA coordinates open or invitational group shows, often
themed to coordinate with community events. At other times, the space is available for
individual shows by community artists subject to completion of an exhibit application form and
CCA staff review.

Exhibits are typically installed for a one-month period, during which CCA hosts a meet-the-
artist reception.

For more information about exhibiting at the gallery go to the Apply to Exhibit tab under Galleries and Public Art Section to submit a proposal. Any questions please contact the CCA office.

Corridor Gallery Floor Plan

ArtWorks in Schools was a CCA public arts initiative co-chaired by Mary Ellen Dillard (CCA Board member 1997-2006) and Gayla Borgognoni. Together they led a committee of dedicated volunteers in raising nearly $100,000 in local contributions to place significant works of art in Carbondale’s public schools. The committee’s purpose was to honor and beautify the public spaces where the community’s most valuable assets spend the majority of their time, and to teach young citizens about the power of art to spark imagination and ignite communication.

John Medwedeff (right) in his studio forging on of the Parhelion sectionsJohn Medwedeff (right) in his studio forging on of the Parhelion sectionsParhelion, designed and fabricated by area sculptor John Medwedeff (Medwedeff Forge and Design) was the first ArtWorks commission. It stands nearly 24 feet tall outside the main entrance to Carbondale Community High School, where it has become an icon of the quest for knowledge that takes place within the school.




Ed Shay with Ben Chametzky, one of the CMS students who worked with him to identify concepts for inclusion in the workEd Shay with Ben Chametzky, one of the CMS students who worked with him to identify concepts for inclusion in the workRosetta Stone is a triptych installed just inside the main entrance to Carbondale Middle School. The painting was commissioned by the ArtWorks Committee from Ed Shay (emeritus professor of Art and Design at SIUC.) As the detail to the left illustrates, Shay worked with CMS students to identify and incorporate symbols of the educational concepts that CMS students encounter during their middel school experiences.


This bronze sculpture was selected to greet visitors to Carbondale’s Thomas School, where all second grade students are taught to play the violin.This unique curriculum enhancement was inspired by a concert visit from visiting artists, the Kavani String Quartet, in 2003. The Kavani’s concert and related workshops left an indelible impresssion on students and faculty alike and lead to a community-university arts education initiative that was supported in part by CCA’s [Southern Arts Fund] The resulting Thomas Strings Program has become a model for early string education throughout the region.




At Lewis School, where Carbondale fourth and fifth graders hone their reading skills, students and visitors are welcomed by this a young boy and girl reading together on a log. Selected to remind students that books are not just for school, the installation was made possible by a gift from members Lewis family whose parents gifted the land upon which the school was built.


Parrish School houses Carbondale’s youngest learners and sits on a parcel of land that was the former site of the Parrish Family Farm, where major ArtWorks donor Dan Parrish fondly remembers riding horses as a youngster. The young riders pictured in this ArtWorks bronze are a whimsical reminder of the school’s once rural setting.


Interested in getting involved with CCA and supporting local arts?
Contact our office at 618.457.5100 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to find out more about opportunities to volunteer, exhibit and donate!

Carbondale Community Arts is a not-for-profit arts organization that has encouraged the creative culture of Southern Illinois since 1987. Beginning with “Arts in Celebration,” southern Illinois’ first multi-arts festival, and expanding to become a full-service local arts agency, CCA has worked closely with the City of Carbondale and the Illinois Arts Council (IAC) to integrate the arts in the daily lives of our citizens.


The overarching mission of Carbondale Community Arts is to cultivate, nurture, and celebrate the creativity of our total community. This mission is advanced by

  • promoting and facilitating access to and popular appreciation of the arts throughout the greater Carbondale community;
  • expanding available avenues and developing new resources for learning and participation in the arts by community youth; and
  • encouraging the emergence and development of cultural opportunities for citizens throughout Southern Illinois.


Carbondale Community Arts was incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in 1987 under the leadership of area artists Kathy Sanjabi and Bonnie Moreno. Its original purpose was to produce a multi-arts festival designed to heighten awareness of the arts for residents of Southern Illinois. The resulting event, Arts in Celebration, continued as biennial outdoor weekend festival for twenty years and served as a springboard for many continuing arts and culture traditions.


CCA is governed by a volunteer board of directors (see list on this page) that works with the organization’s professional staff to advance the organization’s mission and guide its many programs. CCA’s offices are located at 304 W Walnut Street in downtowm Carbondale.

CCA also maintains a gallery at the Carbondale Civic Center (Civic Center Corridor Gallery).

Financial support for CCA is provided by the City of Carbondale, the Illinois Arts Council, local businesses and civic institutions, and individual donors Significant in-kind contributions are also a critical component of CCA’s community support.


Local Arts Agency Services

Over its 25 year history CCA has expanded in scope and impact to become a local arts agency that serves Carbondale’s residents and visitors on a daily basis. The office staff is available to answer questions from individuals and other arts organizations and consult with local units of government to provide assistance with arts-related programming.

Southern Arts Fund Community Arts Access Program

Since 1999 CCA has participated in the Illinois Arts Council’s Community Arts Access Program, regranting state and federal funds to artists and to arts organizations in Illinois’ southernmost 26 counties through the Southern Arts Fund.

Educational Outreach Programs

Since 1997 The All Southern High School Theatre Project has offered talented students from around the region an opportunity to access college-level theatre training as they rehearse and prepare for the culminating production of SIUC’s McLeod Summer Playhouse.

Since 2007 Poetry Out Loud has provided high school students throughout the southern Illinois region with opportunities to excel in the arts outside the classroom.

From 2009-2011, CCA partnered with Columbia College to bring the arts-centric family involvement programming to Carbondale Elementary Distrct 95 through Parent Information and Resource Center (PIRC).

ArtWorks in Schools

Educational outreach of another variety is exemplified in “ArtWorks in Schools,” a CCA program that placed significant works of art in each of Carbondale’s public schools. [Click here for a photo gallery of ArtWorks installations.]

Public Galleries

Throughout the year CCA manages a gallery at the Carbondale Civic Center, the Civic Center Corridor Gallery in addition to the gallery at 304, CCA's headquarters.  Exhibits feature works by local, regional artists and even natioanl artist is a variety of media.

Other Public Arts Programming

Humanities Exhibits

In addition to its fine and performing arts involvement, CCA frequently seizes opportunities to host humanities exhibits and special events. Most recently, in the autumn of 2011, CCA worked with program partners throughout the southern Illinois region and with the Illinois Humanities Council to host the Smithsonian Institution’s Museums on Main Street program “The Way We Worked” at the SIUC University Museum. Along with this visiting exhibit about the post-industrial revolution history of America’s workforce, CCA volunteers worked with Museum staff to create a companion exhibit, “Working in Southern Illinois.”

Carbondale Community Arts
304 W Walnut Street
Carbondale, IL 62901
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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