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Aareon Boyd


Medium: Scrap fabric, thread, recycled t-shirt

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“No Scraps Left Behind”

Aareon is a passionate artist born and raised in the Peoria area. From a young age, Aareon knew he would someday pursue a career in the Arts. Upon the passing of his Great-grandmother, Norma Jean Clifford, Aareon was willed a sewing machine that drew him into the world of design. With little funds and a knack for repurposing the rough, Aareon jumped into the media of fabric and paint, building forms with line and color. Aareon’s mission is to reimagine and give new life to the unwanted materials while being a voice for the environment.

Aareon attended school at The Art Institute of Schaumburg in 2015-2016. Due to a lack of funds, Aareon had to drop out and move back to Peoria.

He was was able to apply the skills and techniques he learned at school to his own art making. Since the summer of 2019, Aareon has been an apprentice under artist Preston Jackson with whom he also shares a studio space with at the Contemporary Art Center. Aareon utilizes this space to freely explore and create his art.

This billboard was sponsored by the Fine Arts Society of Peoria

André Petty


Medium: Acrylic paint on canvas

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André Petty is a native Peorian who tapped in to his artistic abilities later in life although the creative ability was always there. With no real formal training he began working with acrylics on canvas to create renderings of pop culture icons using unconventional colors.  André intends to delve into other subject matter with the style he’s adopted: landscape, cityscapes, everyday people and more. “Using colors in areas outside of the norm I find so fascinating “, André says.  “The possibilities are nearly endless.  I’m always going back and thinking, for example, maybe a sky blue face on Marilyn would’ve worked better than purple and crimson.”

André is a veteran of the US Navy and is currently employed as a fire fighter for the city of Peoria with over 21 years on the job.

This billboard is sponsored by Big Picture Peoria.

Jason Watts


Medium: Bas relief sculpture, mixed media

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Jason Watts is a professional artist, writer, adventurer and combat veteran.

Watts began to formally study art at Illinois Central College in 1998. He was soon hired by one of his professors, Marlene Miller, as her her main artistic assistant on the College’s commissioned monumental relief sculpture, “Tribute”, which includes a self portrait by Watts.

Soon after, Watts enlisted in the Marines, where he volunteered to undergo the rigorous process of becoming one of the Corps’ elite Force Reconnaissance Marines. Watts said, “I think it’s important to test yourself, and to push well beyond any perceived limitations.”

After leaving active duty, Watts attended SIU earning his BFA in Ceramics. He was a winner of the prestigious “RZ” Trust Award and the Annual Student Purchase Award with one of his sculptures on permanent display at the University. Watts continues to exhibit his artworks at various venues throughout the country.

His more contemporary work includes figurative and relief sculpture, paintings and murals. Images of hawks and other birds of prey often serve as focal points in Watts’s compositions. According to Jason, “The hawk serves as a potent symbol of a being that is fully immersed in the moment. It represents being present, aware and keen. There is a certain grace and clarity about them that resonate with me on many levels.”

Watts is the owner of Tactical Artwork and has a private studio in Mackinaw, IL. He supportive of various non-profits in the special operations and veteran communities including: the Marine Recon Foundation, Recon Sniper Foundation, Force Recon Association, PBAbbate and 22VA.

This billboard is sponsored by Discover Peoria.


Jessica Peterson


Medium: Digital Painting

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From the time her dad put a crayon in her hand at the age of two, Jessica had things to show the world.

Jessica Peterson is a mult-faceted, evocative artist. While her drawings shed light on her darker feelings, the child within her loves splashing around in vivid colors. Her digital and acrylic paintings reflect the carefree childhood everyone always wanted. She creates safe place to go when life gets difficult.

Another medium she loves is photography, where she creates self portraits. She enjoys shooting unusual photos that cause people to wonder how she did it.

A recent graduate of Illinois State University, as a returning student, Jessica majored in still another medium, video. In 2021, her short film, “May I have this Dance?” received an award for Best Interactive Media and Technology.

Jessica also collaborates with her mother, Anne Peterson, who is a poet and author. They create poetry pieces, art books, and children’s books.

No matter what tool she uses, her goal is the same: to give people the chance to escape into a world of her own making, where colors play and flowers glow in the dark.

This billboard is sponsored by O’Shea Builders.

Tanishqa Pande


Medium: Acrylic mixed media painting

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Tanishqa is the first ever student winner for Sky Art 2022. Tanishqa is born and brought up in peoria. She has developed an interest in doing Acrylic painting and mixed media painting since an early age of 5.

Tanishqa has participated and has received recognitions nationally and internationally for her creativity through her paintings.

Tanishqa’s Art “I Deserve” was selected to represent State of Illinois for the centennial anniversary of Women’s Suffrage Moment and was featured in White House – Aug 2020 exhibition inaugurated by Frist Lady Melania Trump.

In past Tanishqa won Panacea Art Challenge and donated her prize money to United Way Heart of Illinois to help kids with COVID-19.

Tanishqa loves to raise funds for various charities through her paintings. In her last attempt she successfully raised —- for St Jude

Tanishqa is also year 2021 Little Miss Heart of Illinois Queen.
As a Queen she was able to visit various county fairs and represent Peoria county.

Apart from painting Tanishqa loves to learn Classical Singing and Dancing. She is also an excellent athlete with focus in Swimming and Triathlon. Tanishqa is a gifted school program student with lot of interest in Science and Robotics.

Tanishqa wants to help community in every possible way through her Art. Sky Art Peoria can help her to connect with more people. She loves Sky Art as it builds awareness and strengthen the arts for the economic and cultural enrichment of Central Illinois. Arts Partners is proud to support the development of young artists and wishes Tanishqa good luck in the development of her artistic skills!

This billboard was sponsored by the Fine Arts Society of Peoria.

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