Much like his eclectic collection, Joel Ommen is one of kind. A Richwoods graduate, the lifelong Peorian spent more than three decades at Peoria Plastics before taking on his current role as a warehouse worker for Caterpillar in Morton. Ommen escapes from the daily grind by surrounding himself with art, from local treasures to ancient artifacts to just downright quirky pieces. With a penchant for history—especially British history—he enjoys any opportunity to learn and is continually collecting in a quest to quench his thirst for knowledge and to promote the abundance of talent found right here in central Illinois.

  1. Favorite artist: Preston Jackson. There is so much breadth and depth to his work—it makes a statement… It does not make one feel good, it makes one think (or should)! It brings up things that we often don’t want to think about.
  2. What talent would you most like to have? Artistic talent. I can’t draw a crooked line.
  3. Biggest regret? Not going to college and becoming a teacher.
  4. Three things you’d want on a desert island: The Bible, plenty of food and water, and lots of books.
  5. First car: Helga, a red Volvo.
  6. What famous person, dead or alive, would you like to meet? Dead: Martin Luther, of the Protestant Reformation. He changed the world and stood up to world powers. Alive: Queen Elizabeth II. It would be ‘wow’ to meet her. If only she would open up, especially about the abdication of Edward VIII…
  7. When and where were you your happiest? Jacksonville as a child, visiting my grandfather and cousins. Also, playing with Jimmy, my oldest friend.
  8. What would you do with a million dollars? Give some away, remodel my house and buy art.
  9. Last movie you watched:The King’s Speech.
  10. Favorite retreat: My cousin’s in the country—65 acres, three ponds, fantastic fishing… horses, cats, dogs, chickens, deer and swans. a&s