It’s art day on the riverfront September 17 as part of the Riverfront Market activities. A special highlight of the morning will be ArtsPartners’ 2nd Annual Riverfront Public Art Walking tour conducted by noted historian Dr. Peter Couri, one of the authors of ArtsPartners’ popular public art catalog that was published last year. His tour is sure to enlighten participants about the wealth of public art along Peoria’s riverfront. There are 17 pieces, each with its own story.

The tour begins at 10 a.m. at the WTVP studios at State and Water streets, where WTVP will display in its front windows artwork produced by local riverfront artists. The artwork, meant to serve as a teaser of sorts, will give passersby a taste of the great wealth of artwork produced by our riverfront artists. By seeing one or two samples of artwork, we’re hoping our community will choose to see even more. That’s why we’ve chosen as our theme for the morning, “Discover More Arts,” at such places as The Peoria Art Guild, The Contemporary Art Center, Studio 621, and Murray Building, to name a few.

The artwork everyone will see in WTVP’s front windows is just the beginning. Judging from last year’s Public Art Walking Tour, attendees are in for a real treat. Dr. Couri isn’t just knowledgeable about the various public art pieces; he’s also very familiar with the various landmarks found along the riverfront and their significance to Peoria’s rich history.

From French settlers to Indian villages from centuries long past, Dr. Couri tells story after compelling story about the people, places, and events that shaped Peoria’s history and made our city what it is today—and he tells his stories without a single index card to guide him. Dr. Couri calls upon his years of research to make his stories entertaining, insightful, and educational. The tour lasts for about an hour and is free and open to the public.

Before or after the public art walking tour, make sure you stop by the Riverfront Market to enjoy a bit of music and buy locally grown produce and artwork. On hand will be local artists, including members from a newly formed Bohemian Arts Society, an independent group of artists that works together to enhance the arts and develop future artists. There, you’ll find original paintings, sculpture, and glass pieces to purchase at a reasonable cost.

For more information or to make a reservation for the public art tour, call ArtsPartners at 676-2787. If you’re a local artist interested in displaying your artwork September 17 during the Riverfront Market festivities, call the Peoria Riverfront Association at 671-5555.

It’s art day on the Riverfront. We invite you to take a walk on the riverside. AA!