First Friday and More

Hello everyone, we hope you enjoyed your holiday season! We thoroughly enjoyed time with family and friends. December was a busy and amazing month. First Friday was spent at the Peoria Art Guild, we had the pleasure of being an artist at the Crimson Door Event. Many thanks to the Guild for such a wonderful event. It was truly great to be a part of an artists event, with artists sharing their techniques in a relaxed environment.

January First Friday two of our seven children joined us and my sister. Our first stop was CAC and we had the chance to visit with several of our favorite artists including Elizabeth, Kagan Masters, Duffy Armstrong and Jessica Ball. It is always fun and exciting to see our friends and what they have been up to in their studios.

The main exhibit area on the 3rd Floor titled “Carry Weight Hold Light” was refreshing and new. We walked slowly through the exhibit and studied each piece. Thank you to all the artists involved and to CAC for bringing art to our community.

Our next stop was to North Art Studios, our first time experiencing the art at this location. We enjoyed meeting the artists and viewing the marvelous art. It is a relaxed environment with energy. The artists are friendly and love to share their passion for the arts. Studios are large and well lit. A truly welcoming environment.

Our last stop was Casa de Arte, which has become our tradition. We shared food and drink and took in the beautiful artwork. Tonight was the first time our son Zackariah was able to adventure with us and he loved the experience. He says he would like to join each First Friday and see all the art Peoria has to offer. In case you missed the exhibit and the light show that accompanies the exhibits, here are a few pictures from our experience.

Peoria Art Guild currently has an exhibit of garments created from filmstrips. The project took two and a half years for Fiber Artist Dana Baldwin to create. Check out Peoria Art Guild for the scheduled times left to view this immaculate exhibit.

Until next time, keep creating and follow your dreams.


The Mileurs

Female Identified Artists Part 5

We are continuing our celebration of Women Artists, we are highlighting these artists for the month of November into December. We have highlighted events experienced with a few of the artists and now a compiled list of each artist, genre and website.

Jaci Willis instructor at Bradley University and metal sculptor. Have you ever been on the Peoria Sculpture Walk? If so, you have seen Jaci’s magnificent metal sculpture work.

Natasha Greene and the art of music. Check out Peoria Drum Circle, Grand Prairie Music Studio, Bradley Community Chorus and Uke Jam Peoria.

Cathy Engberg of Cathy Engberg Fine Art is a painter. She creates marvelous works with her brush strokes.

Angie Walker is a graphic artist and supports local artists. She and her husband own and manage Urban Artifacts. Check out Studios on Sheridan.

Jessica Peterson is a multimedia artist and illustrator. Find her work via Art Pop, at Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Home and Jessica Peterson Art.

Patricia Whalen Keck artist, sculptor. She creates whimsical, beautiful and realistic sculptures. Learn from what she creates and enjoy the journey.

Hollye Green-Cox is an author/writer and Author and Poet.

Janet Keturi artist of J Keturi Art is a multimedia artist with masterful skill.

Amy Villanueva is a painter. She paints both rocks and canvas. Amy has a great sense of humor and creates whimsical pieces.

Nicki Freeman Griner is a multimedia artist. She creates dolls, paintings, cards and more.

Ana Fleming artist, painter. Ana creates dynamic works of art. View her worked at

JoAnn Wheeler owner of Coastal Magpie. JoAnn is a sculptor, painter and creator of fantastic works of art. View her work and learn more about her at and

We hope you have enjoyed our recognition of Female Identified Artists.

Until next time, keep creating and working towards your dreams.


The Mileurs

Female Identified Artists Part 4

We are continuing our celebration of Women Artists, we are highlighting these artists for the month of November into December. We have highlighted events experienced with a few of the artists and now a compiled list of each artist, genre and website.

Mae Gilliland Wright is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. She fulfills this role fantastically and is an eloquent writer. Mae has introduced talent to the community that we may not have experienced without her gift.

Leslie Pugh Schenkel of Twisted Chicken creates marvelous beads and jewelry. She also knits! Check out Leslie’s work at Twisted Chicken Beads on Facebook.

Eileen Leunig artist, support for the arts and artists and more. Eileen is aphotographic artists that works collaboratively with her husband Doug. Their collaborative work is amazing! Check out Big Picture Peoria, Purpose Driven Art and Backyardian.

Erin Duvall Dykstra is a painter extraordinaire. She paints glass and scarves plus more. Erin was previously located at Studios on Sheridan and now works independently from her home.

Brandie Fislar is an artist glass blower at J Draper Glass. Her work is outstanding. Check them out at J Draper Glass, take a class, meet the artists, shop their gift shop.

Kelly Rowden painter extraordinaire. She creates from the heart and the beauty is astounding.

Jeremie Draper of J Draper Glass is a fantastic artist glass blower. She is living her passion and shares this passion through classes, exhibits and gift shop. J Draper Glass is located at Studios on Sheridan.

Debbie Tucker Gaught practices the art of bringing the community together to help Veterans. She is the Co-Founder of Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing. Sign up to receive emails for opportunities to volunteer in your community and help others.

Erin Buczynski is the Director of Galleries at Bradley University. She organizes exhibits and brings art to a new level. Visit the galleries and see what Erin and Bradley University have to share with you!

Ashley Kennedy of La Vie Cosplay is a costume designer. Her talents are both inspiring and endless. She travels the world and is at the top of the Cosplay List for costume design.

Rebecca Draland Doyle is a visual artist at She creates incredible artwork and is a sweet soul. Check out her work at

Until next time, keep creating and working towards your dreams.


The Mileurs

Female Identified Artists Part 3

We are continuing our celebration of Women Artists, we are highlighting these artists for the month of November into December. We have highlighted events experienced with a few of the artists and now a compiled list of each artist, genre and website.

Jodi Pshebelski multi-media artist. Jodi creates are in miniature and in large format. Her drawings are fantastic as his her personality. Look for her on Facebook.

Julie Dodge is a photographer and her studio is located at Studios on Sheridan. She captures unique shots of nature and structure. View her work, her passion in capturing the ordinary and making it extraordinary, today at

Debra Johnston is a multi-media artist from Peoria, Illinois. She is a fantastic sculptor and a joy to learn and create side-by-side with her.

Michelle Gulatto artist and artist event organizer of Peoria, Illinois. Michelle does a lot for local artists including establishing, organizing and setting up events. She is also a very talented painter.

Jaci Musec artist of Captured and Reclaimed located at North Art Studios is a joy. Her creations go from paintings to cards to wearable art and more. She has an excellent line of jewelry also. Find her on Facebook at Art by Jaci Musec.

Shannon Cox, Director of the Peoria Art Guild. IN the past year, Shannon has worked miracles, opened doors which have led to more artist opportunities and is continuing to build the Peoria Art Guild. Thank you Shannon for all your work and support of the arts and community!

Merrill Hickey is a bead artist and creative mind. Her work is outstanding and fantastic! She creates depth, fun, “steampunk” and innovation works with beads. Find her on Facebook.

Judith-Koren Shanahan is Atelier 5835. Her work is surreal, has depth and evokes thought. Judith is a remarkable artist and individual. View her artwork at

Cari Lepper is a unique artist in Peoria, Illinois. Her encaustic work is colorful, vibrant and lovely. Her technique is fabulous and her panels and small pieces bring life to a room.

Kristan McKinsey manages the Illinois Women Artists Project. Kristan supports the arts, empowers female artists and shares her vast knowledge. She is an impressive speaker and dedicated to her passion of the arts. Find Illinois Women Artists Project on Facebook.

Sally Zell is a mulimedia artist, stylist and owner at Sally Zell Services. Sally has incredible artistic talent in sculpting and painting with detail and emotion. She offers a guest artist spot at her salon each month. Find her on Facebook.

Lizz Austin Barnes of Gottagettadeal/Ear in the Envelope is a spectacular silversmith, jeweler and art therapy instructor. Her designs are both dynamic and unique. Check out her work at Gottagettadeal/ Ear in the Envelope on Facebook.

Until next time, keep creating and working towards your dreams.


The Mileurs

Female Identified Artists Part 2

We are continuing our celebration of Women Artists, we are highlighting these artists for the month of November into December. We have highlighted events experienced with a few of the artists and now a compiled list of each artist, genre and website.

Kagan Masters is an artist, painter and creative mind located at the Contemporary Art Center. Kagan’s work is created with coffee, don’t worry it is instant decaf. Her creativity is brilliant. Check out her work at

Cyndi Merrill of Glazed and Confused Pottery is a master of pottery. She creates unbelievable ceramics, teaches classes and offers consignment space to artists. View Cyndi’s work at

Kaye Berry is a multi-media artist at Vintage Creations and psychic consultant. She creates beautiful paintings and wearable art. Check her out on Facebook.

Natalie Jackson O’Neal photographer extraordinaire. Her work can be viewed in person at Contemporary Art Center in the Side View Gallery and several other locations. She is a gifted photographer and captures the movements n history, empowers those around her and shares her gift of sight. View her incredible work at

Julie K.W. Harkless artist that creates paintings, drawings and brings nature in to you.

Barbie Perry a multi-media artist, photography and printmaking. Her creations are from the heart and raise thought and awareness. She is a part of the Illinois Art League and provides artists opportunities. Look for her on Facebook.

Tracey McAllister, your webgirl, is a website designer and multi-media artist. She is a gypsy at heart, travelling from coast to coast to create. Look for her on Facebook.

Robin Albright is a multi-media artist and manages Zinger Zanger Visual Coaching. She is a joy to be around and creates whimsical artwork. Find her at Zinger Zanger Visual Coaching on Facebook.

Chris Heine is an artist, painter, figurative drawing and manages Ideas + Logic. Chris is a fantastic artist and friend. She creates masterful paintings and helps to empower business owners with her ideas and logic. Find her today at

Laura Burdess creates beautiful wearable art from items found in nature, fiber and more. She has a collection of costumes that is unreal. Her energy and creative nature abound. Look for her today on Facebook.

Connie Andrews is an artist, sculptor, painter, teacher, creator located at Studios on Sheridan. Her skill set is remarkable, visit her on First Fridays, take a class or both. Find her on Facebook.

Billie Howd multi media artist at Studios on Sheridan. She creates abstract pieces that will take your breath away and cause you to pause to absorb her work. Billie is very talented and you can find her work on Facebook at Billie Howd Art.

Jeri Shull, Miter Maid and artist. jeri creates custom panels for artists, easels, sculpture stands and more. She is always smiling and thinking of new creations. Find her work at Miter Maid on Facebook.

Judy Page Debuts with Peoria Symphony Orchestra

“Unforgettable” both the title of Judy Page’s debut with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and the memory of this incredible evening! George Stelluto is a fantastic conductor that breathes life and energy into the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Conductor Stelluto is brilliant as is the orchestra he leads. The evening began with the Orchestra engaging the crowd in classical music that reminded me of my childhood. My Dad now and always has enjoyed classical music. He played his records while my sister and I danced and hummed to the music Dad so enjoyed. You brought my childhood memories to life, dancing before my eyes as I listened. Kevin and I enjoyed the music and the commentary between each piece. Conductor Stelluto shared the story behind each piece and inspired us to feel the music. The concert was a perfect blend with classical and jazz married in harmony.

Intermission came quickly and was abuzz with excitement. We were excited to hear the spectacular voice of Judy Page. My husband and I were thrilled to be a part of the evening. Our first time experiencing the Peoria Symphony Orchestra in support of our friend Judy Page. Her voice is a gift and we are thankful she shares this gift with many. The Peoria Symphony Orchestra is vibrant and energetic, breathing life into any auditorium.

The time arrives, as the lights went down, Conductor Stelluto introduced Judy Page and her debut with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Judy entered stage right. She was stunning! Her voice filled the auditorium, enveloped us and carried our hearts with her through the evening. The choice of songs for the evening simply magnificent. My husband and I were overjoyed to be present for this unforgettable experience. Each piece drawing us further in to the magic of the evening. I have to say Judy and the Orchestra touched my heart strings. Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” is one of my Grandma’s favorite songs. Again, the evening brings fond childhood memories back to me and brings tears to my eyes. Afternoons at Grandma’s house listening to her record player as she dances with us and spins us with Nat King Cole playing in the background. My cousins and I laughing and dancing with each other.

A heartfelt thank you to Conductor George Stelluto, The Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Judy Page and the team that works together to create such magical evenings. Kevin and I look forward to sharing another evening with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. You are all truly gifted and appreciated.

Until next time, keep creating and working toward your dreams.


The Mileurs

Female Identified Artists Part 1

This month we are celebrating Women Artists and as promised we are highlighting these artists for the month of November. We have highlighted events experienced with a few of the artists and now a compiled list of each artist, genre and website.

Trish Williams is a fiber artist, a quilter and hand dyes fabrics for her beautiful creations. She creates masterful coats and warrior dolls.

Suzette Boulais creates art that is uplifting and inspirational. Paintings, cards, inspirational posts and more. Her sense of humor shows in her new line of cards. Contact her for a peak of what she has to offer.

Jessica Ball is an artist and painter of Jessica Ball Art located at the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois. Jessica’s paintings are bright and cheery. Her creations are both calming and joyful.

Duffy Armstrong is a multi media artist and has a studio at the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois. She likes “landscapes, the figure and abstract or intuitive images.” Her work is incredible, provokes thought and conversation.

Beau Hart of Just Beau Studio paints whimsical characters and scenes. Her studio at Studios on Sheridan is a day brighter with all the lovely paintngs she has created.

Jennifer Short (Wagner) is a jewelry designer and creates fantastic pieces using metal, stone and beads. Her work is available at Studios on Sheridan in Two Arrows Studio and at Northwoods Mall at The Canvas Project.

Janet Hill and Bronwyn Hill Parker of Two Arrows Studio at Studios on Sheridan create handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewelry for any occasion. Janet teaches classes on jewelry making and weaves incredible pieces. Bronwym works in silver, beads and gems with precision and ease.

Michelle Steffen-Rouland actress, singer, dancer and entrepreneur. She and her husband Steve Rouland enjoy Escape 60, their new escape rooms at Studios on Sheridan. Up for a challenge or enjoy solving puzzles? Michelle and Steve are your go to, find them on Facebook.

Dana Baldwin of The Sheared Edge at Studios on Sheridan creates luxurious coats, sweaters, texting gloves and more. She is a truly gifted designer and puts her heart into her creations.

Nikole Cooney is a sculptor now located in Florida. She creates from the heart and produces the most amazing sculptures of nature. Nikole has a way of capturing the spirit and essence of the animals she creates.

Tanya Flesburg Bayer is an artist that creates both depth and whimsy in her drawings. Tanya creates from her heart and soul and brings these thoughts to life on her canvas. Her studio is located at the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois.

Cathie Crawford of Printing Prism is an artist and print maker that creates color reduction woodcuts. Cathie has been working in this genre for over 30 years. Her work is incredible and welcoming.

We will share a compiled list of artists throughout the rest of November and hope you stay tuned to learn more about female identified artists in our area.

Until next time, keep creating and working toward your dreams.


The Mileurs

Art Therapy at Ear in the Envelope

Wednesday night I was given the opportunity to experience Art Therapy at Ear in the Envelope led by Lizz Austin Barnes. Lizz is amazing and the class was sublime.

Our class consisted of four students led by Lizz on sketching and lastly painting. It was a relaxed and safe environment. She guided us on our activities as we sketched and let go of the stresses we carry. Personally, I could feel my stress leave my body while I sketched.

It was quite wonderful sitting together drawing, talking and laughing. We had moments of comfortable silence as we became enveloped in our art. Once each piece was completed we discussed our drawings, if we were comfortable. We were all comfortable talking about the meaning of our sketches.

Lastly, we each painted a canvas, anything our heart desired. Our class supported each other while appreciating the differences and similarities in our completed masterpiece. Lizz took a picture of all of us together at the end of the evening. Time well spent! We look forward to our next chapter of Art Therapy at the Ear in the Envelope with Lizz Austin Barnes.

If you’re not familiar with Ear in the Envelope check out and watch for event posts on Facebook.

Until next time keep creating and dreaming. Dreams do come true.


The Mileurs

Creations by Kevin Recognized for Excellence

Press Release


Creations by Kevin Receives 2019 Best of Peoria Award

Peoria Award Program Honors the Achievement

PEORIA October 28, 2019 — Creations by Kevin has been selected for the 2019 Best of Peoria Award in the Photographer category by the Peoria Award Program.

Each year, the Peoria Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Peoria area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2019 Peoria Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Peoria Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Peoria Award Program

The Peoria Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Peoria area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Peoria Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Peoria Award Program

November Kick Off Has Begun

Peoria was buzzing with activity this weekend! The kick off to Women Artist month was a huge success! It was good to see the community and the artists involved in these events.

The weekend began with First Friday which was an adventure! We enjoyed our journey through Studios on Sheridan, CAC, Peoria Art Guild, Ear in the Envelope and Casa de Arte.

CAC was fun and relaxing. We enjoyed viewing the artwork and visiting with the artists. Third floor will be open November 9th with “A Small Wonder” gift shop. Come in and start your Christmas shopping early with one of a kind gifts created by local artists.

Peoria Art Guild had a fantastic exhibit by Patricia Whalen Keck. Her sculptures are phenomenal. We enjoyed the way her work spoke to us and caused us to pause and take a closer look. Thank you for sharing your art with us!

Ear in the Envelope was charged with energy and walls of art. The experience was superb. We met jeweler Lizz Barnes and fell in love with her work!

Casa de Arte was our final destination. The atmosphere, the art, the food and beverage. Definitely a must on First Friday for our group. This month features Family Arte and it is amazing! Thank you for such an incredible place to visit and stay awhile!

Saturday began with the Holiday Art Market at the Warehouse on State. The venue was chocked full of art and vendors. A great stop for one of a kind gifts. Thank you to IAL for creating such a great event!

We were able to be a part of Peoria’s First Iron Pour run by FEmale Identified Artists. The event was both exciting and informational. We feel privileged to be able to attend this history making event! Thank you to Peoria Art Guild and Shannon Cox for this marvelous experience.

Our next stop was the Peoria Public Library Lower Level Gallery to view the Women of CIAO Exhibit. This was my first year being able to participate and I enjoyed it greatly. Our opening was relaxed and it was good to visit with those that came to share the monent. The show was very well organized. Thank you CIAO for giving us this opportunity to exhibit together!

Our evening ended at the Peoria Ronald McDonald House Art Gala. The event was breathtaking. It was a thrill my husband’s work was chosen and to have him recognized. We are happy to share his pieces sold in the auction and will be hanging in the new Ronald McDonald Home! A wonderful exhibit and cause. A great time and so good to see everyone attending. Thank you to the committee members, organizers, staff and artists for such a gala event!

We hope everyone has had a great weekend! Until next time keep creating and keep dreaming! Dreams do come true.


The Mileurs