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Southern Illinois Art and Artisans Center

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Address: 14967 Gun Creek Trl, Whittington, IL 62897-1000
Phone Number:
+1 618-629-2220
09:00 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
Wed - Sun 09:00 - 17:00

The Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center opened its doors in 1992...

The Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center opened its doors in 1992 near Rend Lake. Visitors to the Center experience one-of-a-kind craft at the Artisans shop and exhibition space. Drop in to interact with local artisans at openings, demonstrations, classes, and the annual Southern Illinois Art & Wine Festival. The staff can help you find the right piece to add to your collection, take home as a souvenir or give as a gift. Near Rend Lake and only 5 minutes off the highway, we can accommodate buses and are a pet friendly location. The Illinois Artisans Program was created in 1985 by Governor James R. Thompson to sustain and encourage local contemporary craft made in Illinois. The primary mission of the program is to draw national and statewide attention to the rich tradition of craft in the state and to provide venues for the display and sales of work by juried artists. Three not-for-profit venues operate under statutory authority of the Illinois State Museum Society to display and sell Illinois artisans work in a range of media including ceramics, glass, jewelry, painting, fiber arts and furniture. Additional locations are in Springfield and Chicago.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Local artisans

The usual tourist stuff in the gift shop. However there was plenty of dodads and artwork done by local artisans

Reviewed 5 October 2015
Chicago, Illinois
via mobile
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20 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 20: English reviews
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
215 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2015 via mobile

The usual tourist stuff in the gift shop. However there was plenty of dodads and artwork done by local artisans

Thank fancypants2014
Charleston SC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2015 via mobile

This is just to let you know that the ship has been closed. The gallery was dark and the whole place was deserted when I went, about fifteen minutes to closing time. The building was open and bathrooms available though. There were some tourist brochures available.

2 Thank Ragnarok7
Greenfield, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
239 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2015

Any time we are traveling in the area we HAVE to stop here. The merchandise is very nicely displayed. There is everything from jewelry, to pottery, stuffed animals, clothing, purses, wall hangings, cutting boards, etc., etc. etc. I bought 2 items which were $40 each. My purchases were wrapped lovingly at checkout . I also found a cast bronze turtle... More 

Thank Wanda R
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2015

A pleasant break in a long drive home. We always find something that speaks to us either for ourselves or as a gift.

Thank deebeerahh
Birmingham, AL
Level Contributor
45 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2015

The rest stop at Exit 77 was closed, so I decided to stop in at the Southern Illinois Art and Artisans Center right at the same exit. OH, WOW! First of all, there were large, clean restrooms, and the staff said they had tourist information. And oh boy, there were SO MANY beautiful artworks!!! I even bought some art. I... More 

Thank Julie W
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
47 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2014

What a gem in the middle of nowhere. We spent over an hour in the center. The art pieces and pottery were outstanding. Highly recommend spending time here.

Thank lindak07
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 September 2014

Traveling from Chicago to Dallas and saw the signs on I-57. Was able to entice my husband to stop because of the golf course behind the center. The shop is full of beautiful art of all types - I bought a beautiful stained glass bi-plane kaleidoscope made by Ruth Green for my birthday. The staff is friendly and I am... More 

Thank makimer
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
135 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2014

I've only been here once, despite the fact I've traveled past it a dozen times. Blame my bad commuting hours between Florida and Minnesota. I would go there again, it's was worth it. I had a hard time narrowing down my purchases to match my budget.

Thank minn_traveler612
Mount Vernon, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2013

What a wonderful treat! I always make a point to stop in at the Center when traveling along I-57 south of Mt. Vernon. The shop----the largest of the three Illinois State Museum locations----is brimming with the handiwork of countless Illinois artisans. The inventory includes paintings, glassware, pottery, metal work, wood pieces, Christmas ornaments, photography, etc.. And the museum gallery never... More 

Thank Larry S
St Louis, MO
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2013

This is a pleasant stop along the way (14 miles or so south of Mt Vernon Illinois at exit 77, Highway 57. The facility features traveling exhibits of Illinois art, works of many Illinois Artisans (displayed and for sale), a small gift shop, and restrooms. The works of Illinois Artisans are of the finest quality and range from pottery, glass,... More 

1 Thank owowoo

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