art & society - jan/feb 2013

Collecting the Collectors

In her book On Collecting, author Susan Mary Pearce estimates that one out of three people in North America and Europe collects something… and that something can be just about anything...

A Sculptor’s Studies in Portraiture

by Jonathan Wright

Lonnie Stewart's meticulous craftsmanship is matched by a remarkable research process that leaves no stone unturned on the quest for his subjects’ true essence.

Curiosity of the Cue Sport

by Gabrielle Balzell

To most people, pool is just a game. The sole objective: to drive 15 numbered balls into the pockets of a billiards table. But to Fredric Fechter, founder of CueSport College International in Peoria, pool is so much more—it’s a way of life.

The Eclectic Collector

by Gabrielle Balzell

A description of Joel Ommen’s Peoria house might sound a bit like the set of a campy movie. 

The Monkey Project

by Jonathan Wright

Randy Witte of Acme Comics has nearly 800 sketches of monkeys, and every single one has a story.

A Peoria PEZhead

by Gabrielle Balzell

A whimsical spirit, Ann Respress had no idea that a silly challenge made with a friend would turn into a 15-year obsession.

Every Bottle Tells a Story

by Jonathan Wright

Using old maps, city directories and other historical documents, Jim Searle has found treasure in privies all over central Illinois. 

John Loves John

by Gabrielle Balzell

It doesn’t take long to figure out that John Bockler has a passion for a certain former president. 

Momma's Collection

by Jonathan Wright

A teacher at Limestone for 33 years, Peggy Gross was always on the hunt for items to complete her various collections.

Oddball Optics

by Jonathan Wright

It began by accident. “I was just doing a favor for my brother,” explains Terry Jermac of Peoria. 

The Breweriana Bug

by Gabrielle Balzell

While most men simply enjoy kicking back with a beer, Jim Carballido takes it a step further. 

Take 10: Joel Ommen

Much like his eclectic collection, Joel Ommen is one of kind. Here are 10 things you didn't know about him...