Exploring the Local Terrain

The work of local artists can be seen on the windows of Hale Memorial Church and at Yaku’s headquarters.

Exploring the art terrain at Hale Memorial Church
Exploring the art terrain at Hale Memorial Church. Photo by Anna Nofsinger

Artist Natalia Villanueva Linares, co-founder of Yaku Peoria, is curating local participation in Terrain Biennial 2019, a public art exhibition staged at locations worldwide. Here in Peoria, the work of local artists can be seen on the windows of Hale Memorial Church and at Yaku’s headquarters at 423 W. High Street.

The late artist, curator and educator Sabina Ott of Oak Park, Illinois, founded Terrain Exhibitions in 2011, originally hosting installations in the front yard of her home. Though Ott passed away in 2018, her legacy lives on through the Terrain Biennial, which includes 33 participating cities this year.

Yaku’s mission aligns perfectly with the spirit Ott engendered. “Our organization has been working for several years creating cultural bridges and facilitating international exchanges,” Natalia explains. “With a simple gesture, Sabrina created a formula to bring new forms of art in any neighborhood, city and country around the world, to foster dialogue between neighbors.” 

Terrain’s 2019 theme is to take stock of the landscape in which people are living today. What is the topology of our moment? How is our environment changing us—and how are we changing it? “The selected artists… are modifying our art patterns, shaping them, challenging them,” Natalia says. “They are active creators of neo-cultural forms, revitalizing our hometown with creative gestures.” 

Hale Memorial Church features the work of Peoria-based artists Blair Clark, Brenda Gentry, Jaci Musec, Jessica Ball, Sarah Nesbit, Bill Conger, 8-HSD (Nathaniel Lucas, Skyler Edwards, Steven Hinrichsen), Keller Anderson, Duncan Katlack, John Seckler, Dan Ossandón and Lrae. The artists at 423 W. High Street include Jesse Meredith and Martin Monchicourt. The Peoria exhibition will be on display through November 17. terrainexhibitions.org PM