Making Their Mark – Illinois Women Artists 1940-1960 Opens At Freeport Art Museum

FREEPORT, Illinois – Freeport Art Museum is proud to present this traveling exhibition from the Peoria Riverfront Museum that explores art from a time period in Illinois art history that is rarely studied and often overlooked. Featuring work by influential Illinois women artists, the show is curated by Channy Lyons, founder of the Illinois Women Artist Project affiliated with Bradley University.

Home Defense by Florence FurstThe women artists represented in this exhibit pushed boundaries. The work they produced is diverse, individualistic, and often experimental. In the twentieth century, women artists began chipping away at the long-held and misguided belief that, while women have a unique ability to appreciate and consume art, they were incapable of producing “good art”. In the space of a century, American women worked to carve out room for a new, modern view of artistic influence and representation. Since many were denied access to the same educational and professional opportunities as their male counterparts, these artists cannot be said to have imitated anyone else. Making Their Mark celebrates the voice of these brave women who paved the way for generations of women artists to come.

The exhibition showcases forty artists who are represented by nearly sixty paintings, sculptures and works on paper. A work by notable Freeport artist, Florence Furst, is included in this traveling exhibit. Titled Home Defense, the oil on canvas painting from 1944 is part of the FAM permanent collection and depicts Marie Hull canning at her home on Staver Street in Freeport. During the opening reception on Friday, March 25th, opening remarks will be made by Kathryn J. Martinez MSN, RN. Martinez is the Chief Nursing Officer and VP of Nursing Services at FHN.

Self Portrait by Linda KramerMarch 25 Opening Reception at the Freeport Art Museum 5:00—7:00 PM
Opening remarks by Kathryn Martinez 6:00 PM

April 9 In First Person: A Panel Discussion at FAM 4:00—5:30 PM

A fascinating opportunity to hear firsthand about the experiences, influences and accomplishments of three Illinois women artists working in this time period including Linda Kramer (featured artist), Suellen Rocca, and Eleanor Spiess-Ferris. Moderated by Carolyn Mastroianni. Refreshments begin at 3:30 PM and the discussion begins at 4:00 PM. Please RSVP to the museum at 815.235.9755

A variety of programming will be offered throughout the community during the run of this exhibition. Please watch for updated press releases concerning these events.
This exhibition is generously sponsored by FHN. FAM is partially sponsored by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Freeport Art Museum
Established in 1975, the Freeport Art Museum shares the visual and performing arts with the people of northwest Illinois. FAM’s mission is to promote an understanding of art and culture through our collections, exhibitions and education. The museum’s collection contains nearly 4,000 artifacts from all continents and all time periods including ethnographic objects from Egypt, Southeast Asia, and Papua New Guinea; Pre-Columbian and Native American baskets and pottery; excellent 15th to 19th century European painting, prints and sculpture; and a significant collection of contemporary American prints, paintings, and sculpture. The Freeport Art Museum is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

The Freeport Art Museum is located at 121 North Harlem Avenue, and is open Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 5:00 pm., and Saturday from 12:00- 5:00. Tours may be scheduled by calling 815-235-9755. Admission to the Museum is FREE however, donations are gratefully appreciated.
For more information, call the museum at 815-235-9755.

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