Local musician, artist embraces CU charm


James Hoeck

Kamila Glowacki plays her guitar by Oregon Street and Goodwin Avenue on April 5. Glowacki, founder of the band Nectar and alum from the University, provides insight to her positive relationship with the C-U area, which often inspires the creation of her songs.

By Sydney Wood, buzz Editor

For artist and musician Kamila Glowacki, Champaign-Urbana is where she decided what ‘home’ is to her.

After growing up in Arlington Heights, Illinois, Glowacki moved to C-U when she began her freshman year at the University. 

She obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University — in 2013 and 2018 respectively — and started working at the Krannert Art Museum in 2014. She currently works as the interim manager of education. 

In her time at the museum, Glowacki said she’s most proud of starting Art Remastered, a program that invites local musicians to write songs inspired by the artwork on display and perform them in the galleries. 

“It’s been really fulfilling to use my role in the museum to support musicians and create a space for them to expand their songwriting process in a way that I think is out of the ordinary,” she said. 

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Aside from her work at the museum, Glowacki also founded Nectar, a Champaign-based indie punk band that is releasing its sophomore album, “No Shadow,” on May 13. 

Glowacki is the lead vocalist, songwriter and guitarist of the group, which formed shortly after she earned her bachelor’s in 2013. 

Other members of the group include bassist Isabel Skidmore, Aaron Shults and drummer Jake Mott. 

Nectar’s latest music video for its song “Routine” features local businesses like Plant Mode, Corson Music and Common Ground Food Co-op. Glowacki said the video was a “love letter to all the local businesses I love here and the weird spots that are special to me.” 

“I think there’s just a weird charm to Champaign-Urbana,” she said. “And more and more, I’ve been trying to embrace that and share that through Nectar.”

Glowacki creates the artwork for most of Nectar’s releases, including its latest album.

She painted the artwork for “No Shadow” using oil paints. She chose oil paints to challenge herself and reflect the album’s creation process. 

“It wasn’t something I could just whip out in one night,” she said. “I had to spend months painting it, and I feel like that really reflected the process of recording the record, like we spent months doing that. So, I wanted the artwork to carry the same kind of intention and time.”

Glowacki said she has always been a songwriter. She wrote her first one in elementary school, called “Bye Bye Butterfly,” and began learning guitar and bass in middle school. 

She credits the local music scene for helping her find her own way in C-U. 

“Coming to (the University) for school was really what made the music scene accessible to me and meeting people that played in other bands and going to shows and how supportive people were,” she said. “That’s what really spurred me to move forward with writing my own music and starting my own band.”

Glowacki chose to stay in C-U because it’s “such a nice place to come home to” and because it’s also the first place where she lived on her own and decided what ‘home’ meant to her. 

“I appreciate the communities here,” she said. “All my neighbors are so sweet, and then the music scene is great, and I kind of like how small it is.” 

Glowacki said Nectar played a role in her decision to stay in C-U because of the friendship and opportunities for collaboration that it’s given her. 

“We’ve been able to connect with each other in really powerful ways through the songs, so I didn’t want to lose some of that by moving,” she said. “Trying to find people that I connected with in that way would have been difficult.”

As Nectar prepares to release “No Shadow,” Glowacki said the band is working together as a unit in a way that it hasn’t achieved before. 

“I think there is this mutual love and appreciation to play whenever we can because there was the absence of those opportunities in the past,” she said. “It just makes it that much more special when we are able to get together to practice or play shows.”

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