Art Gallery opens at the Airport today

By:  Diane Benjamin

From a Press Release issued by CIRA:


Of course there is more to the story.  This is an epic case proving when government is involved everything is much more difficult and more expensive.  It proves yet again why government must be limited.

Received by FOIA

Start with this email – note the date:

Nov 2017

ISU was contacted after the University of Illinois backed out!  Obviously “our community” wasn’t the first thought.

The space is 800 square feet – per the contract.  ISU isn’t paying anything for the space, the gallery is located where the gift shop used to be.

ISU did have to remodel the space to turn it into a “gallery”.   The press release says Country Financial helped with finances.

Contracts had to be signed.  I received numerous emails making changes as requested by ISU’s lawyers and the CIRA lawyers.  They had to discuss what hours the gallery would be open.  They had to discuss an alarm system.  Of course the governing Boards had to approve everything.  CIRA had to approve the color choices.  ISU drew up detailed plans for the remodel.  Remember, this is 800 square feet.  See the 4 page plans here:  plans

Construction didn’t start when it was supposed to, so the lease terms had to be revised.  The lease is for 5 years and renewable for another 5.

ISU had to provide proof of a $1,000,000 insurance policy.

I think construction finally began in June 2019.  It’s hard to tell from the massive number of emails I received.

So, at noon today, a few months short of 2 YEARS later, the gallery will open.

Don’t expect paintings by a variety of ISU students.  The initial display will only show art from two people:

2 person

If it took almost two years to open a small gallery, imagine what government would do to Medicare for All.








7 thoughts on “Art Gallery opens at the Airport today

  1. I used so serve on the McLean County Art Center, which has a nice permanent collection…. and carries insurance already. Wonder if they were contacted? I went onto the Board May 2016 and resigned April 2019 – certainly never came up when I served. Would be a nice way to share MCAC art with the public if they were constructing a gallery.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. It would be interesting to investigate “The Places We Leave” theme of the exhibition and a bit about the political leanings of the 2 MFA candidates. 5 will get you 10 that there are Hard Left, Marxian components at work. (Not to mention the examples in the announcement look like the work of 2nd graders–Gainsborough, they are not.}


  3. So ISU has the SOLE concession for art at a publicly funded airport? Or should I say the monopoly? I am sure many people in McLean county would love to have their crafts displayed. How about the Cancer center group. They do art. How about MARC? How about just run of the mill taxpayers? Not very fair that ISU gets to corner the market in a taxpayer funded (twice ISU is taxpayer funded) venue.


    1. Just another example of the BN Elitist Clique at work. The only things that get done in town is what the Clique wants to get done. If friends can’t benefit, it’s not worth the Clique’s time and effort. Besides, rents for these spaces are outrageous. Nothing as a long lifespan because renters profits all go towards paying rent. Everyone in this community is a real estate expert.


      1. Spot on, MPEABODY! The local elitists have convinced themselves that they are economic development experts and know what’s best for everyone. We just need to shut up, sit down, and let them “lead”. The only thing worse than the local elitists’ actions, is that they actually believe in their minds that they’re inherently superior and know more than the citizens they claim to serve. Wonder how much money CIRA is bleeding. How soon until CIRA is the next MidAmerica St. Louis Airport?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. How many taxpayer dollars (local and state) were spent going back-and-forth with lawyers and political hacks discussing color swatches? Not to mention, the ribboncutting ceremony and dog and pony bs with those pictured in the Slantagraph article. The only growing segment of the BN economy seems to be government.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s