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The Galesburg Portrait Project, by John Bakker


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Picture This: 300+ Portraits of Local Residents

March 31 unveiling at The Box gallery for The Galesburg Portrait Project

The Galesburg Portrait Project, by John Bakker

The people of Galesburg will get a unique opportunity to see themselves in a work of art, with the public unveiling of the Galesburg Portrait Project from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 31 at The Box, Kellogg and Simmons. The event is free and open to the public.

Created by John Bakker, Artist in Residence at Knox College for Fall 2015, the recently completed project consists of 310 box-like panels with hand-painted portraits of almost 400 Galesburg residents.

"John's goal is to represent Galesburg as a complex, rich, and vibrant community of individuals with a shared sense of belonging" said associate professor Mark Holmes, chair of the Department of Art and Art History.Bakker discusses the project in detail his web page

Bakker began the project last fall. In addition to the painted panels, he has also posted portraits and comments on a Facebook page,

Over the next two years, the work will travel to various locations around town. Because the panels are free-standing, the work can be adapted to a wide variety of exhibit spaces. A permanent home is still to be determined.

"Initial funding for the project was provided by Blick Art Materials, with added support from The Galesburg Public Art Commission, The Downtown Council, and others who we'll name soon," Holmes said. "The Galesburg Community Foundation and the Heart and Soul project are also working with us to support the project and publicize the opening event."

Knox's Artist in Residence program is sponsored by Blick Art Materials.

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Printed on Friday, November 15, 2019