Kamila Glowacki has been involved in all things Champaign-Urbana for almost ten years.
“I’ve been living in Champaign-Urbana since 2009. I came here for school, I studied art education and painting in undergrad and I recently just finished my master’s degree in art education, so I’ve been here a while,” Glowacki said.
More than academics, though, she’s been involved in the music scene throughout her time here, even after graduation and her time working at the Krannert Art Museum.
“Right now I’m working as the education coordinator at the Krannert Art Museum and I really love the work I’ve been doing there,” Glowacki said. “But also during that time I’ve been very active in the music scene. I was sort of introduced to it here in 2010 and have been playing in bands ever since.”
Her time spent playing music has helped shape her — and her career. Since the beginning of her time here, CU has offered endless opportunities and has given her lasting friendships. “When I first got here I had been writing music … when I came to the University of Illinois I met my current partner who really introduced me to the music scene here, and through that, I was able to meet so many people, make friends and form bands, and that has just led to a whole plethora of other opportunities,” she said.
Her first band, Kowabunga! Kid, still exists today, though they aren’t playing as many shows as they did when they were first starting out. She’s also been involved with bands such as Chains Gang, Single Player, La Louve and Carly Beth.
“I’ve sort of dabbled in everything a little bit,” said Glowacki.
Indeed, Glowacki’s experiences have given her the chance to work in various genres. Her new project, Nectar, has moved away from punk, and more towards a pop-punk sound. “I definitely started out more in the punk scene,” Glowacki said. “But I think I’ve moved away from that a little bit as I’ve been focusing more on Nectar. But I definitely have a special place in my heart for that time and genre of music.”
While the genre may have changed, there’s no doubt that her time in punk and hardcore bands has influenced Nectar. “I think I’ve developed a sort of short, quick, to-the-point type of songwriting, especially with Nectar … I think that’s a direct influence from other music.”
The scene has undoubtedly influenced her, personally, as well. “I also think I’ve just been really inspired by my peers. Seeing my friends write music and being fans of their music pushes me to write and do better. Everyone is so supportive and very encouraging,” she said.
Her friends, bandmates and peers, too, have been incredibly important to her over the years, providing encouragement and support. Particularly, her time in La Louve left a great impact on her.
“(La Louve) was a really important project to me,” Glowacki said. “It was our first time playing certain instruments, or even being in a band for some, so that was extremely unique to me. It was a very different sort of energy to the band—after we’d write a song or a part that sounded good we’d literally cheer and be so excited because there was a different sort of sense of accomplishment.”
Glowacki is not just a musician—she’s an artist, too. She creates Nectar’s album art, merchandise and more. As both an artist and musician, she values the connection between the two media. “I think the album art and the way it’s presented visually has a very direct impact and can really communicate a lot. I give a lot of weight and thought to the visual aspect,” she said.
She’s brought this intersection to the Krannert Art Museum, too, with a program called Art Remastered. “I created this new program…where I have local musicians come and choose and artwork that inspires them in some way and they create a song in response … and perform it. It’s kind of playing with that idea of using visual art as a catalyst for songwriting, and also connecting the two creative mediums.”
The idea came from the artwork at the museum, and a desire to get more people into the building. “We have so much cool artwork that’s connected to topics and things that are being addressed through the music scene and local musicians. I wanted to get people from the music scene into the museum and make those connections, but I wanted it to be a mutual conversation. It’s been very exciting and representative of the creative community here,” she said.
“I love connecting the communities. They’re very near and dear to my heart, so it’s exciting to connect them.”