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Bluegrass Jubilee slated for Sept. 28 at The Vault

Guitars and banjos will ring through the autumn air on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Vault Art Gallery’s “Bluegrass Jubilee and Art Fest” in Tuscola.

Local bluegrass band Strings Attached will perform from 1-2 p.m. in the parking lot behind the downtown Tuscola business. In addition, the art gallery will host its regular “Bluegrass Jam at the Vault” from 2-4 p.m. All the music is free of charge and those who want to attend should bring their own lawn chairs. In the event of inclement weather, the music will be moved inside.

Also, there will be art demonstrations from metal artist Jeff Stovall of Charleston and fabric artist Jamie Willis. Both will also be in the parking lot area.

Other activities include a silent auction for artwork that will help raise money for operations at the Vault, as well as a competitive chili cookoff between artists. Customers will vote for their favorite chili and at the end of the day a “Chili Queen” or “Chili King” will be crowned after the votes are tabulated. The chili and other snacks will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The chili and drinks will be available by donation.

“We’ll have donation jar at the back counter and people can donate whatever they want,” Vault manager Kirby Pringle said. “We have a lot of great artists, who also happen to be great cooks, so I’m anxious to do some chili-tasting myself.”

Besides the food, there will be several tables full of artwork donated by the artist-owners of the Vault as part of a silent auction. Money raised from the auction helps with Vault operations. The art gallery has a unique ownership structure with about 60 artists who formed a cooperative two years ago to operate the business.

As a result, the Vault holds a large fundraising event every year to help with costs. Special memberships will available, too, that offer customers small gifts and a 10 percent discount on artwork at the art gallery for one year.

“Our bluegrass jams are led by Marty Gibson of Neoga, who gives music lessons upstairs at the Vault, and they have been very popular over the last few years with anywhere from seven to 17 musicians showing up,” Pringle said. “So we decided to expand upon that and make it even bigger for our fundraising event.

“Strings Attached is well known in the Tuscola area with a lot of fans, and combined with the food and art, should make for the perfect recipe for a fun time,” he added.

The two-story Vault Art Gallery is one of the largest privately owned art galleries in Downstate Illinois and is located a 100 N. Main St. in downtown Tuscola. For more information, go to, or call 217-599-1215. 

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