Peoria Heights is offering nights of art, music and food this summer. The Peoria Heights Area Business Association (PHABA) is putting on Free Fridays, an evening of art and music for the public starting every Friday this summer at 6:00 pm until sunset. Free Fridays will continue until August 31st on the sidewalks of North Prospect Road (4500, 4600, and 4700 blocks).

Free Fridays is a way to allow local artists and musicians to showcase their work for free in a laid back environment. Cheryl Dean, a member of PHABA and owner of Picture This Gallery and Framing shop on North Prospect, said this was a great way for merchants to stay open later on Fridays. “Artists come and set up; some will work, others will play music. People can come and eat at the many restaurants located here and than check out the art and music.”

Josh Pitcher heard about Free Fridays from Dean and has since set up an easel to work on his abstract paintings right in front of Picture This Gallery. Pitcher has worked in acrylics, oils and sculpture for over ten years. Next to Pitcher was Marilyn Gee, who has been working in jewelry for three years now. She was always interested in art but in Arizona took a class and learned how to make rings among other jewelry. She works with polymer and silver clay. Her beautiful necklaces are each made by hand and one-of-a-kind designs.

 

Lonnie Lawson, a ceramics student at Illinois Central College, had a table of his high fire pottery set up. Lawson was there to enjoy the whole experience, also entertaining visitors with his guitar. He explained the beading that he used in the bottom of his pottery bowls to achieve a beautiful crystallized surface.

 

Free Fridays is a wonderful venue for the artist and the general public. This is a very relaxed way for an artist to showcase his/her work. It is also a good opportunity for the curious passerby to ask questions of the artist. Take advantage of this cultural event in the Peoria area and either come out to support your local artist or bring your own work and set up! a&s