FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — The Freeport Art Museum is pleased to announce Jenny Mathews will become this year’s artist-in-residence, leading several programs including the youth Artivation program in partnership with the Freeport Boys and Girls Club and the NCS Youth Home.
Ms. Mathews is a visual artist from Rockford, specializing in small watercolor illustrations and large acrylic murals. An example of her large work can be seen gracing the wall outside of Wired Café in Rockford where Jenny was part of the lead team of Cre8tiv: Transformational Art, which produced nine murals in May of this year. Her smaller illustrations are published in many children’s books and she recently completed paintings for the Freeport Public Library’s Aletha Hunt Storybook Forest.
Jenny says people are what inspire her work. “I make art as a way to connect with people I like and give them something of myself. From the first time I won my grade-school classmate’s approval, to watching my Grandmother see my first museum mural, I draw my inspiration from people….sometimes I’ll dedicate a whole series of paintings to a person as a way to prove my fondness.”
Ms. Mathews will be leading public arts projects that will be exhibited in several locations downtown including the new Arts Plaza space, slated to open in the fall of 2020. Working with youth participating in the Artivation program this summer, she will create two large panel works that feature books as their theme. She will also discuss her work and the creation of large scale public art during a presentation that will be open to the public to attend.
“We have been following Ms. Mathews’ work, both as a mural artist and an illustrator, for a while now and we couldn’t be more thrilled to work with her on creating beautiful, meaningful pieces of art for our community ” said Jessica Modica, executive director for the Freeport Art Museum. “This will be the third year we’ve been able to administer the Artivation program, which has helped youth stay active in the summer and has allowed for the creation of multiple murals in the downtown district.”
Artivation is made possible, in part, through a grant from the Freeport Community Foundation.
The Freeport Art Museum is a private, not-for-profit organization that creates experiences that spark imagination and engagement in the arts for all people by presenting exhibitions and cultural events, advancing arts education, and excelling in collection stewardship.