Freeport Art Museum

Provided by Jason Judd

A northern Illinois art museum is thanking its patrons for their generous donations. It’s doing this by having an art exhibition.

Jason Judd is the executive director of the Freeport Art Museum. He said the museum just finished an incredible fundraising season.  

“We raised over $30,000. And what better way to kind of thank those donors and those people that support us, to put on view some of the wildest, biggest, most, maybe adventurous pieces that we have in the collection," he suggested. 

Judd said the show is going to be a blockbuster.  

Freeport Art Museum

Many nonprofit organizations across Illinois are feeling the financial blow of COVID-19. A northern Illinois art museum is working to stay afloat -- despite the setback.

Staff at the Freeport Art Museum jumped into action when Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the stay-at-home order back in March.

Jason Judd is the executive director of the museum. He said the first thing they did was look at legislation that could help them.

Guy Stephens

This weekend, families in Freeport will have the opportunity to share their American story at the Freeport Art Museum. It's part of a collaboration that includes the Freeport Public Library and the museum's current show, "I Am American."

Standing in a gallery at the Freeport Art Museum, guest curator Sergio Gomez talked about one of the striking displays in the exhibit – a row of decorated animal skulls, each set against, and covered by, a bullseye. They're by Mexican-born Chicago artist Salvador Jimenez-Flores.

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

The Freeport Art Museum created an artist-in-residence position. So what does that mean, at least in Freeport?

In the city's downtown, a grassy vacant lot gets some attention. A group of young women, coached by several adults, spray-painted phrases like “good vibes only" and "women in power" on the exposed side wall of a building next door. 

Brian Nissen owns the building, where he and his wife run Abet Books & Games. He was happy to give permission for the mural.

Guy Stephens/WNIJ

It looks like a civic arts plaza proposed for downtown Freeport will happen, and officials from the city and the Freeport Art Museum have high hopes for the project.

On a cold and blustery day, Freeport Art Museum executive director Jessica Modica shows off a bare grassy field on the north side of Freeport’s historic downtown. She says this will, one day,  all be part of a cultural campus.

There’s already a start, with the public library, the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Square and the 100-year-old Union Dairy all across the street.

Antonio Martinez / Freeport Art Museum

The Freeport Art Museum’s current exhibit is called “The Nature of Masculinity.” 

Freeport Art Museum

 A local family foundation has given the Freeport Art Museum a $15,000 matching grant.  The Museum says the grant will save programs that help it fulfill its mission.