Art is not only culture, it is also business. When communities support venues like NCIArtworks, residents end up enjoying a standard of living that encourages talented people to stay and contribute to the culture and economic life of the community. The 2nd Friday of EVERY MONTH NCIArtworks offers a free gallery opening reception to showcase incredibly talented local and regional artists…Come and experience it.
Julia Mautino Messina
Named NCI ARTworks Executive Director
Messina has been an active supporter of NCI ARTworks since its inception in 2011 and has been a strong advocate for the arts culture both locally and internationally.
Writer, certified translator, editor, web content developer, Julia Messina, has been a featured contributor and content provider for cultural and business publications for the past 30 years. Messina has translated from Italian to English for the US military, the Italian judicial system, and international businesses throughout the world. She managed the e-commerce and retail websites for Starved Rock Lodge & Marketplace in Utica, Illinois, and as the Community Liaison for the Illinois Department of Transportation, District 3, Messina coordinated, developed, and assisted municipalities with projects and initiatives related to transportation and economic development. In addition to acting as the managing editor of a series of newsletters in both the public and private sectors, she has been published nationally and internationally and owned businesses in the Illinois Valley.
NCI Artworks Board President, Shannon Benac Argubright, stated, “We are delighted to welcome this warm, enthusiastic arts advocate into the Executive Director role. Our future is bright with Julia on board to lead with finesse, creativity, and arts savvy.”
"I appreciate the NCI Artworks Board’s confidence in me and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to carry on the important work of this great arts advocacy organization,” said Messina. “I’m especially grateful for the guidance of former NCI Artworks Executive Directors, particularly Chris Coughlin, whose tireless work over the past decade has built NCI Artworks into a strong and effective arts advocacy organization for LaSalle, Bureau, and Putnam counties.”
As executive director, Messina will work closely with NCI Artworks volunteers, local schools, and the local arts community to ensure that the organization continues to serve as a coordinating organization to promote visual and performing arts opportunities for the region.
In addition to working on the large-scale public art installations throughout the Silo Pathways Countryside Art Tour, hosting art exhibits at the NCI ARTworks Gallery in the historic Westclox Building, and managing the business of art in the Illinois Valley, Messina oversees the Mad Hatter’s Ball, an annual fund-raising event that recognizes outstanding local young artists and performers.
The mission of NCI ARTworks is to inspire growth among artists through artistic collaboration, educational outreach and art space development. NCI ARTworks promotes quality professionalism and diversity in the arts in a positive manner. It is also our mission to create venues which support public and private education, community events, economic development and cultural tourism. Serving LaSalle, Bureau, and Putnam Counties.
The Vision of North Central Illinois ARTworks is based on three initiatives, Artistic Collaboration, Educational Outreach, and Arts Space Development. We will foster communication between artists, arts organizations, and arts educators through our regional arts calendar, arts directory, round table discussions, seminars and workshops. We will also serve as a coordinating organization to promote artistic opportunities for student, schools, and the community, including the development of temporary and permanent facilities for artistic and cultural purposes.