Local Artists’ Murals Featured at Downtown Peoria Public Art Park

Recently the C.T. Gabbert Art Park added two new murals to its public art collection! The now familiar mural wall on the side of C.T. Gabbert Remodeling & Construction in downtown Peoria showcases artwork by Rachel Newell of Chillicothe and Blair Jeffers of Peoria for the first time. Owner Chuck Gabbert and his son Joe work together to curate the park. Joe remarks, “We love giving the local artists a platform to display their artwork in their home community. It gives people a sense of pride to see their art displayed on a scale they never imagined.”

In Reflective Gestures, mixed media collage artist Rachel Newell repurposes hundreds of book and magazine clippings into something totally new. Newell estimates she invested 15-20 hours in the original 2’x4’ collage. Now the enlarged piece jubilates as a 10’x20’ vinyl mural. She explains:  

Reflective Gestures, like much of my art, is inspired by nature and the beauty of everyday life, which is often overlooked. My goals when I collage are to use color to create balance and to try to create depth and movement by using various images and clippings. I am passionate about collage art and truly love transforming someone else’s trash into something unique and complete.

More of Newell’s artwork can be seen at www.oraeginalcreations.com.

Collage artist Rachel Newell with her work, Reflective Gestures

Collage artist Rachel Newell with her work, Reflective Gestures

Peoria artist Blair Jeffers’ inspiration for her untitled pencil and ink drawing came from her childhood:

From the time my sister and I were little to probably around late high school age, we would visit my grandparents in the summer for a week to two weeks. I always looked forward to these trips and the many adventures we would have. My grandparents had land that they farmed on since the time my dad and his siblings were young. By the time my sister and I came along the only animals left were Jake and Maggie, the two friendly dogs. Even without the animals around, my grandparents continued to grow many beautiful and delicious things. On our stays we would explore around the enormous yard, pick fruits and vegetables, play dress up and put on puppet shows, help take care of everyday tasks, meet and enjoy time with their friends….there was a number of things we enjoyed with them that can’t be put into words. I think though, and I know my sister would agree, that one of our favorite things to do with them was go to the library and at some point during each day of that week…take a small break from whatever the day had held to relax and sit and read with one another.

More of Jeffers’ artwork can be seen at https://blairjeffers.wordpress.com.

Artist Blair Jeffers with her pencil and ink drawing

Artist Blair Jeffers with her pencil and ink drawing

The Art Park also features the ever-changing painted car called Mort the MG, sculpture, bird houses, a flower garden, and a Free Tiny Library. Artists are welcome to submit their work for consideration to Chuck Gabbert at chuck@ctgabbert.com.

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