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New Exhibition Promotes Central Illinois as a National Destination for the Arts

Featuring Artists from Bradley, Knox, Illinois State, Western, ICC and Prairie Center of the Arts


Event:  “Emergence: The National Arts of Central Illinois” exhibition

Date & Time:  Opens Sept. 30, 10 a.m. (runs through Jan. 14, 2018)

Location:  Peoria Riverfront Museum · 222 S.W. Washington St. · Peoria, Ill.

Central Illinois as a national center for the arts is the focus of a new exhibition opening Sept. 30 at Peoria Riverfront Museum. “Emergence: The National Arts of Central Illinois,” which runs through Jan. 14, 2018, features 54 nationally recognized and emerging artists who live and work in Central Illinois.

The exhibition is a collaborative effort between the museum and the area’s nationally recognized and emerging artists, artists-in-residence and art leaders with the goal of building stronger community relationships, further developing the region’s national arts identity, and generating interest in and excitement about the Central Illinois arts scene.

“Emergence” was created and curated by Zac Zetterberg, museum assistant art curator. Zetterberg worked with nationally recognized curatorial partners – artists in their own right – who represent major educational institutions and art resources around the area: professor Oscar Jay Gillespie (Bradley University), Joe and Michele Richey (Prairie Center of the Arts), professor Andrea Ferrigno (Knox College), professor John Miller (Illinois State University), professor Susan Czechowski (Western Illinois University) and professor Anita Tuccillo (Illinois Central College).

Longtime Peoria-area art advocates Sharon and John Amdall, who are the exhibition’s major sponsors, are providing consultation for the exhibition catalog, which will be available in the museum store.

“This exhibit showcases the best of central Illinois as selected by the co-curators — both as arts leaders such as the internationally-known artist residencies offered by Michele and Joe Richey – and as artists, said Sharon Amdall.  “We see great potential for Peoria to be an arts destination, and this exhibit is one step on the journey.”

“’Emergence: The National Arts of Central Illinois’ is meant to be a starting point to begin an ever-evolving tradition of hosting premier contemporary art exhibitions in our region that recognize the contributions made by our nationally known artists to the cultural landscape of Central Illinois,” said Zetterberg. This exhibition provides context for meaningful pause and reflection on the arts in Central Illinois and is a catalyst for creative and innovative development within our community.”

“As Peoria continues to emerge as a national center for the visual arts, artists and creative talent, Peoria Riverfront Museum is leading the region as the finest multidisciplinary museum of our kind in the nation by providing our communities with a public forum to showcase artistic talents and inspire creativity in this place we call home,” says John D. Morris, museum president and CEO.

The Peoria artist whose work “Tefnut” was chosen to represent and promote the exhibition is Michael Jermaine Adams, a graduate of Manual High School and Bradley University.

The exhibition will also feature an artists’ lecture series which is free and open to the public.

“Emergence: The National Arts of Central Illinois,” is sponsored by Sharon and John Amdall with additional support by Peoria Riverfront Museum Visionary Society, Illinois Arts Council Agency and Sid Paul Ruckreigel and Andrew Rand.

The “Emergence” exhibition runs from Sept. 30 – Jan. 14, 2018 in the museum’s International Feature Gallery. Cost to see the exhibition is free for museum members and included with standard museum admission: $11 for adults, $10 for seniors (60+) and $9 for youth (3-17). The lecture series is free and open to the public. For more information or tickets call 309.686.7000 or visit RiverfrontMuseum.org.

Riverfront Museum

Peoria Riverfront Museum is a privately funded, AAM accredited nonprofit museum fostering an interest in art, science and history. The Museum features traveling exhibits, the Dome Planetarium, Giant Screen Theater, interactive galleries and unique programs and community outreach efforts that offer hands-on educational experiences for Central Illinoisans of all ages. Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning for all – connecting art, history, science and achievement through collections, exhibitions and programs. For more information visit RiverfrontMuseum.org.


PRESS RELEASE ADDENDUM: Exhibiting Artists & Artist Lecture Series


Artist Lecture Series: “Emergence: The National Arts of Central Illinois”

Peoria Riverfront Museum Auditorium

Free & Open to the Public

Sun., Oct. 15, 2 p.m.

Joe & Michelle Richey, founders, Prairie Center of the Arts

Andrea Ferrigno, assistant professor of art, Knox College

Susan Czechowski, associate professor of art, Western Illinois University

John Miller, associate professor of art, glass, Illinois State University

Anita Tuccillo, associate professor of art, drawing, Illinois Central College

Sun., Oct. 29, 2 p.m.

Margaret LeJeune, associate professor of art, photography, Bradley University

Lynette Lombard, associate professor of art, painting, Knox College

Tue., Nov. 7, 6:30 p.m.

Ken Hoffman, Professor Emeritus, art, Bradley University

Jennifer Costa, associate professor of art and chairperson, Illinois Central College

Sun., Nov. 19, 2 p.m.

Fisher Stolz, associate professor of art, sculpture, Bradley University

Tue., Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m.

John Tuccillo, associate professor of art, painting, Illinois Central College

Anita Tuccillo, associate professor of art, drawing, Illinois Central College

Tue., Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m.

Michael Godsil, associate professor of art, photography, Knox College

Fred Jones, Professor Emeritus, art, Western Illinois University

Sun., Dec. 17, 2 p.m.

Andrea Ferrigno, assistant professor of art, Knox College

Mark Holmes, associate professor of art, Knox College

Sun., Jan. 7, 2 p.m.

Jaci Willis, MFA, sculpture, Bradley University

Doug & Eileen Leunig, Purpose Driven Art, collaborative photography


Participating Artists: “Emergence: The National Arts of Central Illinois”

Bradley University

Oscar Gillespie, Heather Brammeier, Mike Gilbert, Michael Jermaine Adams, Margaret LeJeune

Prairie Center for the Arts

Joe & Michele Richey, Robert Rowe, Chloe McEldowney, Chrissy LaMaster Doty, Barbara Hoffman, Mark Richey, Ken Hoffman

Knox College

Andrea Ferrigno, Mark Holmes, Lynette Lombard, Tony Grant, Tim Stedman, Mike Godsil

Illinois Central College

Anita Tucillo, John Tucillo, Tim Kowalczyk, Bethany Carlson, Jennifer Costa, Christopher Gauthier Stephanie Van Doren

Illinois State University

John Miller, Carmen Lozar, Michael Daponte, Steven Cszeski, Joseph Waropay, Chastity Logan

Western Illinois University

Susan Czechowski, Jenny Knavel, Terry Rathje, Kat Myers, Ian Shelly, Tim Waldrop

Peoria Riverfront Museum

Zac Zetterberg

Independent artists

Chris Holbrook, Chris Hutson, Preston Jackson, Ann Coulter, Erin Zellefrow, Fred Jones, Eugene Nana Ekow (Nana Ekow Maison), William Butler, Fisher Stoltz, Susan Nestory, Marlene Miller, Cathie Crawford, Patricia Whalen-Keck, Jaci Willis, Hiram Toraason, Natalia Villanueva


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