Get in the Spirit!

by Jan Wright

Anyone who grew up in central Illinois from the ‘50s through the ‘70s has almost certainly heard of The Captain Jinks Show. It was an incredibly popular local kids’ show, produced on WEEK-TV back when there were just a handful of channels available—and no video games, Internet or Netflix! It was a simpler time… perhaps that’s part of the nostalgia.

The Captain and Salty Sam were characters, to be sure. I remember watching them after school, and how excited I was to attend an actual live taping! When the show started up again in the late ‘70s after a few years off the air, my oldest son even got to see an episode or two.

Joe McGuire played the role of sketch artist Bosun Joe on the show. Nearly 40 years later, he is “Joe the Art Guy,” well-known for his caricatures and personal portraits—and he still gets recognized by fans when he’s out and about. We had a lot of fun reminiscing with Joe when he came by our office… within minutes, he had sketched several of our staff!

Our art director came up with the cover idea—a nod to Norman Rockwell’s famous Triple Self-Portrait—and the first time we’ve used an illustration on the cover. Along with Van Gogh’s self-portrait, you’ll find Captain Jinks and Salty Sam among Joe’s references, as well as a shot of the Illinois River Valley from Grandview Drive—his favorite place to sketch.

In this issue, we take you on a tour of local Mexican cuisine, focusing on some of Peoria’s smaller neighborhood spots. A few weeks ago, to get in the spirit, we enjoyed some specialty baked goods from Panadería Ortiz—yum! Elsewhere, we look at the new ArtPop Peoria initiative and the Time Gallery in East Peoria, and profile four local artists who use recycled or reclaimed materials in their art (a tip of the hat to Kathy Chitwood for this idea!).

While its neighbor across the river, Emiquon, gets a fair amount of publicity, Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge is lesser-known, but no less beautiful! Which reminds me: spring is officially here, and we’ll be spending as much time as possible outdoors. If you’re traveling, don’t forget to take your copy of Art & Society and email us a photo—we’ve been showing up in a variety of fun locations around the world. Enjoy! a&s