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“Worth a Stop for a Quality Souvenir or Gift” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Illinois Art and Artisans Center

Southern Illinois Art and Artisans Center
14967 Gun Creek Trail, Whittington, IL 62897-1000
+1 618-629-2220
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Owner description: The Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center opened its doors in 1992 near Rend Lake. Visitors to the Center experience one-of-a-kind craft at the Artisans shop and exhibition space. Drop in to interact with local artisans at openings, demonstrations, classes, and the annual Southern Illinois Art & Wine Festival. The staff can help you find the right piece to add to your collection, take home as a souvenir or give as a gift. Near Rend Lake and only 5 minutes off the highway, we can accommodate buses and are a pet friendly location. The Illinois Artisans Program was created in 1985 by Governor James R. Thompson to sustain and encourage local contemporary craft made in Illinois. The primary mission of the program is to draw national and statewide attention to the rich tradition of craft in the state and to provide venues for the display and sales of work by juried artists. Three not-for-profit venues operate under statutory authority of the Illinois State Museum Society to display and sell Illinois artisans work in a range of media including ceramics, glass, jewelry, painting, fiber arts and furniture. Additional locations are in Springfield and Chicago.
Tennessee
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
“Worth a Stop for a Quality Souvenir or Gift”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Located just off I-57 in Whittington, IL, this is worth a 30 minute stop if you enjoy hand-crafted items. There are two galleries, one exhibiting items that are for sale, but of greater interest is the large gift shop that is a gallery in itself. There are some nice pieces here--pottery, glassware, intricately hand-painted eggs, hand dyed scarves and hand-made clothing, small wooden boxes, jewelry, a few pieces of wooden furniture and various other items. Though all the items were well made, I can't say there were many stunning pieces. I suppose that's a matter of taste, but I've seen similar items to most of those found here elsewhere. One unique item that caught my eye was an elaborate ship made of copper. The staff is friendly, and if you are looking for a unique souvenir or gift, something other than the usual pens, magnets, mugs and postcards sold in gift shops, it's worth taking a look.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merideth L, Program Assistant at Southern Illinois Art and Artisans Center, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and thoughts with us. Glad you found the work well made, our location a great place for unique souvenirs and the staff friendly.

We are constantly rotating the work with the Artisans, in an effort to provide visitors an exciting selection of one-of-a-kind work. We just opened a contemporary fiber art and sculpture exhibition and shop feature! I hope you drop in to see the newest selection of work, and let us know if we hit the mark.
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18 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Indian Head Park, IL
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Proud to see quality craftsmanship in our state”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

The center has a room for changing exhibits as well a shop displaying and selling lots of different art by Illinois artists. On a visit about a year ago the display was quilts but this time it was all about works made from paper. It was still interesting.
My favorite feature is still the shop which displays and sells pottery, carving, jewelry, glass work, fabric art and quilts. I loved seeing so many well made one of a kind pieces. I will warn you that the prices reflect the quality and they are not inexpensive.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merideth L, Program Assistant at Southern Illinois Art and Artisans Center, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your visit with us. It is helpful to hear your reactions to the selection and prices. We always try to balance finding well crafted works in a range of prices, while also representing the wide variety of fine craft in Illinois.

Since you enjoyed the quilts on your last visit, I should mention that a "Contemporary Fiber Art & Sculpture" exhibition opened in March (through July 2013) in the Artisans Gallery. And in conjunction is a large display of fashion fibers and home decor in the Artisans shop.
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Memphis, Tennessee
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great shop, good stuff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

The artists have been chosen carefully, prices are fair. Sales persons are helpful and personable. Located close to I-57,

Visited November 2012
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Mt. Vernon
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
“Not Much”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

Understaffed and grim facility in the Rend Lake area. Illinois bankruptcy cannot have helped matters any.

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Merideth L, Program Assistant at Southern Illinois Art and Artisans Center, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Thank you for giving us feedback on your visit. In an effort to provide visitors new selections from the over 750 Illinois artisans we represent, we are constantly rotating the work. This keeps staff busy, but we truly value customer interactions. I am sorry to hear that staff seemed sparse. I hope you find the right gift or souvenir on your next visit.
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Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Awesome display of local artists expressions for public viewing or purchase”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012

While visiting for my first time, my only purpose was to pick up a gift that was preordered. I found myself awestruck by the varied types of art displayed. Paintings, blown glass, metal work, carvings & jewelry to name a few. A fantastic venue to showcase area talent. I was able to purchase a handmade wooden pen along with a couple jewelry pieces but some larger items i desired were out of my budget. Take some time to visit I believe most will find this rewarding.

Visited November 2011
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