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Heartland Community College

John Cassidy and Danell Dvorak: Chicken Foot Gourd Bowls

Chicken Foot Gourd Bowls

John Cassidy and Danell Dvorak

This exhibit was on display October 17th through Friday, December 9, 2016.

Chicken Foot Gourd Bowls, works by John Cassidy and Danell Dvorak, is on display from October 17 to December 9 in the Joe McCauley Gallery, located in Room 2507 of the Instructional Commons Building (ICB) on Heartland's Normal campus, 1500 W. Raab Road. A reception for the artists will be held on Thursday, October 27 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the gallery.

This exhibit is the first time that chicken foot gourd bowls by Cassidy and Dvorak are shown together, celebrating years of friendship, studio partnership and collaboration between the artists. On view are Dvorak's sculptural, ceramic vessels and Cassidy's drawings and paintings of them, ranging from early to current works. The title of the exhibit follows the naming of the vessels: they are bowls atop chicken feet and decorative gourd arrangements fit well within them.

Dvorak began making her hand-built, chicken foot gourd bowls in 1995 and Cassidy began using them as still life subjects in 1996. Cassidy's use of these vessels ranges from early, abstract still life objects to recent, flattened, rune-like shapes. Since their origin, Dvorak continues to push and play with the plasticity of clay while using glaze as a painterly medium. Cassidy and Dvorak met in a painting course at Bradley University in 1985, shared studio space in  Bloomington's Cultural District for many years and continue to produce their chicken foot gourd bowl art.

Exhibits, events, and parking at Heartland’s Joe McCauley Gallery are free. Gallery hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on days the College is open. For more information about this exhibit, contact Danell Dvorak, gallery coordinator, at, or call Heartland’s Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Department at (309) 268-8620.

About the Artists

John Cassidy works in a wide variety of two dimensional media. His works have been exhibited at Bromenn Regional Medical Center, cometogetherspace, Main Gallery 404, Phoenix Gallery, and Parkland Community College. His local solo shows are: Learning Simple Things at the McLean County Arts Center, 2012 and Works on Paper, 1996 - 2007 at the Joe McCauley Gallery, 2013.

He curated the first fine art collection for the Community Health Care Clinic's newly renovated facility in Normal, IL, featuring his own work and pieces by other local artists, in April 2016. Cassidy’s work is included in the private collections of authors Andrei Codrescu and Carol Hill, Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein, John Migas, M.D., as well as many other artists and collectors. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Bradley University.

Danell Dvorak is a painter, ceramicist, teaching artist and gallery coordinator of the Joe McCauley Gallery. Her works have been exhibited widely, including nationally juried exhibitions. Her local shows include large scale drawings in Magnificent Menagerie at University Galleries, ISU, 2011 and tile paintings in The Nature of Things at Jan Brandt Gallery, 2014. As a teaching artist since 2002, Dvorak has led residencies, workshops and murals sponsored by Eastern Illinois University, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Migrant Council and numerous public schools.

In November, Dvorak will co-present "Teacher as Artist, Student as Subject" with art teacher Monica Estabrook, Bloomington High School, and curator Claire Hedden, McLean County Arts Center, at the 68th Annual Illinois Arts Education Association Conference. At HCC, she has co-curated the gallery's community arts exhibits Walls and Bridges: Art by Women at Logan Correctional Center, 2013, and  Anybody: Art and Essays about Body Image, 2014. She holds degrees in painting from Illinois State University, MS, and Illinois Wesleyan University, BFA.

Contact the Art Gallery

ICB 2507

Gallery Hours:


Monday- Friday

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.




9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

And by appointment


Shahrbanoo Hamzeh 

Carol Hahn 

Campus Map

LASS Administrative Assistant
Phone: 309-268-8635

Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Division