Kaleidoscope of Color

The theme of UnityPoint Health – Central Illinois Foundation's annual Unity Gala accurately sums up 2020.

Casey & Dr. Keith Knepp with Jonathon & Nikki Romain
Casey & Dr. Keith Knepp of UnityPoint Health with artist Jonathon & Nikki Romain

If 2020 has felt like an explosion of cascading hardships and challenges, you’re not alone. From civil unrest to the pandemic to political turmoil, this year has been marked by a seemingly endless series of trials and transformation. And, as anyone responsible for reinventing a fundraiser or special event will tell you, it hasn’t been easy. 

Knowing it could not hold its annual Unity Gala in the traditional way, the UnityPoint Health – Central Illinois Foundation reimagined the event and built on its 2020 theme, “Kaleidoscope.” In place of hosting a large, in-person gathering, the Foundation commissioned a painting from nationally renowned Peoria-based artist Jonathon Romain, while working with sponsors and donors to support the UnityPoint Health mission—at a time when healthcare is even more vital to the community.

“A kaleidoscope takes light, color, symmetry and reflection to make something beautiful,” notes UnityPoint Health – Central Illinois President and CEO Dr. Keith Knepp. “When you look at the piece of art Jonathon has created to capture this year and this community, you see how the things we’ve endured this year have helped us to become stronger and more beautiful as whole.”  

Against the backdrop of the Peoria skyline, Romain’s artwork reflects many of the issues society has faced in 2020, with four women featured prominently in the foreground. “They represent the different elements we must embrace in order to progress,” the artist explains. “Love and peace, hope, optimism, faith and science. We have to have all of this as we move forward to make a difference.” 

The artwork was unveiled on October 3 at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, where it will remain on display until it is moved to UnityPoint Health – Methodist Hospital. “I think right now is a tremendous opportunity for us, collectively, to show our healthcare professionals—the people who are at ground zero in these challenges that we face—how much we truly support and believe in what they are doing,” Romain adds.

A limited number of copies of the artwork are available for purchase. A $250 donation will secure a high-quality 12x16 print on a first-come, first-served basis. With a donation of $1,000 or higher, donors will be entered to win a 30x40 framed giclee print. To donate or to learn more, visit unitypoint.org/peoria/foundation-events.aspxPM