The landscape of Champaign County is just background noise to many of its residents, but to local artist, Kelly Hieronymus, it's her inspiration. Born and raised in Champaign, Kelly took to art at a young age and often found herself staring at the farmland that surrounds the community. She would sketch these landscapes, even after going into interior design in college.
While her full-time career puts her creativity to the test in industrial settings, Kelly's true passion comes from drawing those very landscapes that she's long adored. While out birding at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana, Kelly met her partner, a pilot, who offered to give her a view from the air. This moment shaped the future of her artwork and inspired her to create hand-drawn aerial maps. Her first drawing was taking the iconic Boneyard Creek, which flows through Champaign-Urbana, and adding the city streets and landscape. ìThe maps are my favorite to create," explains Kelly. "I mentally explore the space and often rediscover landscapes through this process."
Kelly commissions maps for many customers based on their passions, whether it's running trails, childhood homes and of course, the airport with her partner's love for flying. She creates a variety of other work including acrylic on poplar, and watercolors of sunrises over the fields. As a lifelong resident, Kelly is thrilled with the art scene in the community and notes how people are changing the way they are buying art, with many wanting to know the individuals creating the pieces. This works perfectly for Kelly, as she wants to know her customer. Don't expect to get a custom piece until she knows your personality after you have a conversation where Kelly's exuberance will bring out your true passions. "I want art to be accessible for everyone; and I just want to make art!"
Check out Kelly's pieces at her studio at the Lincoln Building, (44. E. Main St., Office 417, Champaign), as well as various local markets including Made Fest, Mistletoe Market and the Boneyard Arts Festival. Kelly is also featured at Hopscotch Bakery + Market.
44 E. Main St.
Champaign, IL 61820