Artwork at the Peoria Civic Center
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Artwork at the Peoria Civic Center

Sonar Tide

Sculpture called "Sonar Tide"

Sonar Tide was designed by architect Ronald Bladen (1918-1988), who is considered a “father of minimalism”.

A joint venture between the Junior League of Peoria and the Peoria Civic Center Authority, Sonar Tide was commissioned in 1983. It is 51 feet, 9 inches long, 26 feet high, 4 feet wide, and weighs 16 tons. The sculpture is located on the Circle Terrace near City Hall off of Fulton Street.

In 2021, the Junior League of Peoria donated $45,000 to restore the sculpture. Local artist Fisher Stolz and his colleague Jaci Willis completed the restoration.

A low, semicurcular wall of red stone stands behind the Sonar Tide sculpture. The wall is composed of blacks from the Woolner/Bergner's Building.

Knockin' on Freedom's Door

Sculpture called "Knockin' on Freedom's Door"

When the revitalization plans for the Peoria Civic Center were being formulated in 2002, the Peoria Civic Center Authority made a commitment to commemorate the historic Pettengill Home Site. The home of Moses and Lucy Pettengill stood at the corner of Liberty and Jefferson where the Peoria Civic Center now stands.

This site is historically significant, because the Pettengills were active in the anti-slavery movement and aided those seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad.

In December 2005, the Pettengill Home Site was inducted into the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program of the National Park Service. It is one of eleven Illinois Underground Railroad sites and is the only Peoria site in the program.

To commemorate the Pettengill Home Site, internationally-recognized Peoria sculptor Preston Jackson was commissioned for the Peoria Civic Center Underground Railroad Monument titled Knockin' on Freedom's Door to celebrate the place where Moses and Lucy Pettengill aided travelers on their path to freedom. The sculpture is located on the outside of the Peoria Civic Center building at the intersection of Liberty St. and Jefferson Ave.

Sister City Friends 2

Sculpture called "Sister City Friends 2"

This bas-relief artwork, designed by artist Morgan Elser, features iconic images of Friedrichshafen, Germany; Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin and one of his famous airships; and the city seal and masks from Fasnet, the pre-Lenten carnival celebrated in Southern Germany. The piece also includes well-known Peoria images, such as the Murray Baker Bridge and St. Mary's Cathedral.

The Peoria Sister City Commission, through the Friends of Friedrichshafen organization, commissioned two sculptures to celebrate the 35th anniversary of sister city relations between Peoria and Friedrichshafen, Germany. Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis presented the first sculpture to the City of Friedrichshafen on June, 2011. The second piece commemorated anniversary celebrations in Peoria in October, 2011.

This is located in the Hallway near the Peoria Civic Center Theater & 100-Level Meeting Rooms.

Seven Generations

Sculpture called "Seven Generations"

Created by Nora Hutchinson Johnson, this airborne, fabric covered bronze mesh sculpture hangs from the ceiling in the Peoria Civic Center Theater lobby. It measures 34 feet high, 32 feet wide and 64 feet long.

The call was for an artist to create a suspended sculptural work to "fill" the 180 feet long by 64 feet high space and weigh less than 1000 lbs. Additionally, the sculpture was to be relevant to the community at large, who contributed large and small donations to pay for the artwork.

The design was conceived as a sort of 'flying carpet' with patterns painted on the wing from surfaces evocative of the American Arts and Crafts movement, a significant part of the history of the Midwest employing numerous artisans in production of furnishings and pottery.

However, the final patterns were taken from African fabrics that have a direct correlation to designs used universally in many cultures and to the arts and crafts movement in Western culture. Symbolic imagery spanning diverse cultures formed a bridge between the sculpture and the community that supported the work.

Because of the weight restraints and the need for a large scale visual statement, the armatures for the 7 elements were designed using airfoil principals, allowing for maximum surface and minimal weight. The largest elements, each 25 feet long, weigh only 165 lbs. each.


Abstract sculpture

Made of Indiana limestone and stainless steel by Fisher Stolz, Associate Professor of Art at Bradley University, this piece is located on the fourth floor of the Peoria Civic Center outside of the Ballroom. The balcony prow overlooks the Great Hall and is visible from the main floor, from the entire administrative wing, by patrons visiting the Lexus Club and by patrons attending the many community events, weddings, and meetings and conferences on the fourth floor.

The project was made possible by a grant from the Taylor and Corrine French Fund / Fine Arts Education and the Eugene and Harriet Swager Fund for Public Art Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.

This is located on the 4th Floor of the Peoria Civic Center, near the Ballroom.

Cedric the Dragon

Sculpture called "Cedric The Dragon"

This sculpture, now considered a Peoria landmark, is located on the lawn at the corner of Fulton St. and Jefferson Ave and was created by Nita K. Sutherland.

Acclaimed sculptor Nita K. Sunderland, a native of southern Illinois, received her BFA from Bradley University in 1952. From 1953-54 she had a teaching position at the University of Michoacan in Mexico and continued her teaching career at Bradley University from 1956 to 1988 after receiving her master’s degree in ceramics at Bradley in 1955.


Two mixed media art pieces
Untitled by Stan Meyer located in the Great Hall, near the Toyota Box Office on the first floor of the Peoria Civic Center. These two pieces are mounted on the wall near the elevators.

These two pieces have been on loan from the Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences since 2005 and were made as part of the 1990 Mixed Media era.
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