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April 25, 2001

First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan's Made in Illinois Premiers
New Book Serves As a Commemorative Gallery of the Work of Illinois Artisans

CHICAGO -- First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan today announced that Made in Illinois, an artisan gallery, which showcases many of the state's premier artisans and their communities, is now available.

First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, Bureau of Tourism and many other supporting organizations joined efforts to create Made in Illinois. Made in Illinois showcases Illinois' broad cultural tourism which is important to Illinois' economic development and tourism mix by highlighting the works of more than 100 artisans as well as the Illinois communities in which they live.

"Illinois' artisans and craftspeople not only create thousands of beautiful products, but they also generate a wonderful environment of cultural development, drawing interest and tourists to their communities," said Mrs. Ryan. "We know from our research that this type of cultural tourism builds our state's economic development."

Made in Illinois is a striking, 114-page directory divided into three main sections which focus on the Northern, Central and Southern regions of the state. In the beginning of each section is a full-page description of that region, complete with destinations to visit and things to see and do. Following the description, each section features one-page profiles on 53 select artisans, photographs of the artisans in their Illinois community and images of their work. The works of a variety of additional artisans and images of surrounding destinations are interspersed throughout Made in Illinois.

"What makes this book so interesting is its rare combination of Illinois' best artisans illustrated against a backdrop of the state's most charming attractions," said Michael Dunbar, coordinator of the Art in Architecture program for the State of Illinois.

A seven-person jury of art professionals from Illinois selected the profiled artisans featured in Made in Illinois in two ways. An open call for applicants ran in every Illinois newspaper, encouraging artisans to submit their work for entry in the book. In addition, artists throughout the state nominated fellow artisans for inclusion. Those who are profiled in the unique Made in Illinois book were selected by the jury from a pool of more than 300 applicants. Made in Illinois includes a mix of artisans who work in several mediums including glass, clay, fibers, metal and a variety of other materials.

Copies of the Made in Illinois book are available free of charge. They can be ordered by calling an Illinois Travel Counselor 24-hours a day at the state's tourism information hotline, 1-800-2CONNECT or by visiting the "Tourism Brochures" section of the Illinois Web site at www.enjoyillinois.com. In May, a special Made in Illinois microsite will be added to the Illinois Home Page. It will feature additional information about the artisans profiled in the book and provide information on upcoming Illinois artisan fairs. Made in Illinois is the culmination of Mrs. Ryan's 14-year commitment to highlight the wealth of creativity and breadth of artistic talent that is alive in Illinois. The book was assembled with help from representatives of the Office of the Governor, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, Illinois Arts Council, Capital Development Board, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Artisans Program, and the Illinois State Museum.

The Illinois State Museum operates galleries and artisan shops at the James R. Thompson Center, Southern Illinois Artisans' Shop and Visitors' Center in Rend Lake, the State Museum in Springfield, and Dickson Mounds in Lewiston.


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