Exploring the Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Society of Peoria will enter its 60th season of programming later this fall.

by Mae Gilliland Wright
This iconic staircase, designed by Carlo Scarpa, is a focal point of the Olivetti Showroom in Venice, Italy.
This iconic staircase, designed by Carlo Scarpa, is a focal point of the Olivetti Showroom in Venice, Italy.

Founded in 1962, the Fine Arts Society of Peoria (FAS) is preparing to enter its 60th season of programming later this fall. Entirely run by volunteers, the organization faced unusual challenges over the past year—and not only did they rise to address those challenges, the FAS thrived. By transitioning their arts lectures to Zoom, they were able to expand their reach significantly, while allowing post-event access to the events on YouTube.

Brightest London is Best Reached by Underground, lithograph by Horace Taylor from the Collection of the London Transport Museum
Brightest London is Best Reached by Underground, lithograph by Horace Taylor from the Collection of the London Transport Museum

The final lecture of their current season—featuring architect, author and professor Dr. Robert McCarter—takes place on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 10:00am. Dr. McCarter will talk about the life and work of the enigmatic Italian architect Carlo Scarpa. “Part of the idea behind this lecture was thinking about how buildings can be ‘reinvented’ to keep them relevant—or make them relevant again if they have been ignored or forgotten,” notes Judy Johnson, FAS publicity chair. “We have people signed up from around the world!”

As they prepare to enter this milestone anniversary year, Kristan McKinsey, FAS president, is excited to bring another exciting slate of arts lecturers to Peoria. “The FAS board has been working hard over the past 10 months to plan ways to recognize this milestone in our history,” she explains, “and to more deeply engage with the community, both in support of the arts and artists locally.”

Johnson invites those who are interested in the fine arts to visit their website, where you can register for events, become a member, and sign up for the FAS e-newsletter. Lectures will resume in October 2021, with topics for the season covering everything from Victorian houses and posters of the London Underground to Mexican muralists and the art of Claude Monet. “People can expect another year of interesting topics that will expand their definition of the fine arts!” Johnson remarks excitedly.

Visit fineartssociety.net to learn more or for links to past lectures. Find them on Facebook: @FineArtsSocietyOfPeoria. PM

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