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"Golden Age" Art Happenings Imagine Vachel Lindsay's Utopian Springfield

The Pharmacy / Jeff Williams
flyer for the event/sneak peek of show

Nearly a century ago, a book was published by Vachel Lindsay called The Golden Book of Springfield. In it, he imagines a utopian version of the city, where by 2018 - its citizens have had religious and social awakenings. The ultimate message is one of unity.

This Friday, events in Springfield at the poet's historical home and an art gallery just a block or so away will honor the work of one of Springfield's beloved residents.

Ian Winterbauer is a poet and member of the Vachel Lindsay Association- he gives tours of the home and helps organize events there. "Come see the desk at which Vachel wrote these ideas down," urges Winterbauer.

Illinois Timeswriter Scott Faingold has written about Lindsay's legacy and book. You can check out his write-up on the coming art show, here. In the interview above you can also hear his interview with artists Bill Crook and Wendy Allen. They are members of The Pharmacy where Lindsay-inspired artwork will be on display.

"He had a flamboyant vision on how utopia could descend on an average Midwestern town," said Crook about Lindsay. Meanwhile, Crook said Springfield, "doesn't have a great, positive visionary feeling about itself. Here was a guy who was really going to put Springfield on the map." Allen says the showing this Friday proves, "We can all hold a piece of Lindsay's vision."

From The Pharmacy: "On June 8th from 6 to 9 pm, the Pharmacy Gallery & Art Space, in collaboration with the Vachel Lindsay Association, presents GOLDEN AGE, a tribute to Springfield poet Vachel Lindsay’s 1918 Golden Book of Springfield, in which he predicted the dawning of the Golden Age in the year 2018. Pharmacy artists are creating works that rekindle Lindsay’s visionary spirit." 

For more info, click here.

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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