Washington St. Murals

Sponsored by John and Gina Wetzel


By William Butler

One of a series of 14 hand-painted linoleum relief prints about the love of coffee, Inspiration portrays the power of caffeine to inspire creativity in us all. See more coffee art at www.williambutlerartist.com and at his studio at the Contemporary Art Center.

“Field Notes”

By Lori Reed

“I created the art from a photo that was taken by my friend, Ellen McDowell, who goes on walks every single day taking photos in Central Illinois. When I saw her photo of this field filled with blooming weeds, I purchased it to use in my art. I ran several filters on the image and picked three that gave the blooms different hues and textures. I hand cut prints of the images into quarter-inch strips and built my 12”x12” mixed media artwork from those strips, handmade papers (in green, pink and magenta) and some Andrew Jackson 10-cent stamps that were the same color as the field.”

Lori’s website is lorireedart.com

“Big Mag 2.0”

By Steph Van Doren

“I consider myself a social neo-abstractionist. I also consider myself an environmentalist. In the past I created work that commented on contemporary issues that plague nature and speculated possible solutions to the problem. 

“In this series of work I don’t attempt to solve or mitigate environmental issues. My aim is to emphasize the forgotten beauty of nature and identify my place in it. I explore my own habitat and shoot photos of the landscape.  Although I consider the photos a finished product, I love the feel of brush and paint on canvas. I select specific aspects from each image, deconstructing nature, to create a pseudo-realistic view of the Midwest. So, each painting is a reflection of that love, and nature is further reduced to the bare essentials of line, color, shape and light, independent of visual reference to the real.”

Her work can be viewed at stephvandoren.com

Gipps Brewery Ad

A vintage Gipps Amberlin beer ad hand colored by Doug and Eileen Leunig. Gipps Brewery was started in 1867 along Water Street on East Franklin Street. Gipps remained in operation until 1954. Gipps is a proud part of Peoria’s past and the Amberlin beer became its top seller. The original image is courtesy of the Peoria Public Library. 


By Keith Cotton

Photography embodies much more than its end result. Its process triggers a sensation of heightened awareness, where decisive moments simultaneously engage the conscious and subconscious, creatively merging technical details with an emotionally charged personal response. This firsthand experience is transmittable, it’s not only exclusive to the photographer,

but to the viewer as well. Inertia of chance and technique delivers the outcome, and the literal and figurative artifact remains. Printed pictures offer a visual representation of circumstances, a portal attempting to convey the genuine truth of what it was like . . . “being there.”

My first interaction with Leslie McDonald happened during the summer of ’ 92, at my studio in Cobden, IL. Leslie was the kind of person that would require a second glance. A hunched over elderly man, slowly pacing the sidewalks of a small rural town, loosely gripping a sharpened sickle with a duct taped handle. Decades of smoking filterless Camels were apparent on his tar stained fingers, a barely audible raspy voice, missing teeth, countless wrinkles, and the occasional bandage added to his distinctive mystique. During my 17 years of shooting portraits in Southern Illinois, 12 of them involved documenting Leslie. We had an unspoken trust, an understanding that if he came to the studio to hang out, I’d more than likely photograph him. I’m uncertain how many times this friendly ritual happened. In retrospect, it wasn’t nearly enough.


By Natalie Jackson

I came upon this little girl while at a jazz festival in Montreal.   With music all around, she was in her own world playing her own sound.  I was flooded with memories of my own music lessons many years ago.  It just made me smile.  

I asked her father if I could photograph her. She never even saw me. 

I later processed the photo in the digital darkroom much like the rest of my jazz series.  I digitally manipulated her with a whimsical feel. 


By Brian Jensen

Brian Jensen was a featured artist at the 2019 Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair and his work was selected for that year's poster for the Guild. You can see more of Brian's work at  https://brianjensen.com

Peoria’s Colorful Past

By Doug & Eileen Leunig

More info coming soon!