Reimagine Success: Creative Space Gives Freedom

Peoria’s Prairie Center for the Arts  Provides Space to Let Creative Minds Explore the Possible

Prairie Center of the Arts is a hidden gem in downtown Peoria. Founded in 2003, the center is located in a 120 year old building that was once home to a rope manufacturer. The warehouse is now occupied with a large gallery space on one side, and a printmaking shop and artist studios on the other.

The Center offers residencies to artists with studio space and equipment that allows them to work without distraction. Dawn Gettler came to Peoria from Chicago as an art resident a couple of years ago, and when she was offered the program manager job at the Center, she moved here full-time two years ago. She says, “I found that I could buy a house here and afford a studio and get a job in the arts. I sort of re-evaluated what it meant to be successful, and for me that meant being able to make work and sustain a lifestyle, which I can do in Peoria.” Read the rest of the story here.

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Artist resident Josh Cox doing a screenprinting demo.

Not Your Typical Bar

Blue is a cozy neighborhood bar sandwiched between a tax service and liquor store on Main Street by Sheridan Road. Husband and wife James and Jessica McGhee have operated the pub since July 2009. “We’re the bar for people who don’t like bars,” Jessica says.

In fact, it’s comparable to a café, but with spirits, featuring mix-matched, comfortable chairs, random art, and shelves filled with board games that patrons are encouraged to play. Even the eclectic mix of music has been carefully curated by the by the owners and includes artists like The Smiths, The Pharcyde, and Postmodern Jukebox , as well as local artists The Amazing Kill-O-Watts. It’s not unusual to see people playing a game of Jenga or Connect Four while imbibing IPAs. Read rest of story here.

Emily Blue

Resident Artists Make Peoria Their Temporary Home

Located on Washington Street, just South of the Mac Arthur Hwy bridge, Prairie Center of the Arts is housed in a 120 year old building that was once home to a rope manufacturer. The warehouse is now occupied with a large gallery space on one side, and a printmaking shop and artist studios on the other.

The Center offers residencies to artists allowing them to work with the tools in the workshop without distraction. Dawn Gettler came to Peoria from Chicago as an art resident a couple of years ago, and when she was offered the program manager job at the Center, she moved here full-time last December. “I found that I could buy a house here and afford a studio and get a job in the arts. I sort of re-evaluated what it meant to be successful, and for me that meant being able to make work and sustain a lifestyle, which I can do in Peoria,” she says. Read the rest of the story here.

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