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Freeport Art Museum has Beautiful and Enigmatic Objects from Around the Globe

By S. Mathur

The Freeport Art Museum (FAM) was established in 1975 with a mission to promote an understanding of art and culture through its collections, exhibitions, and education. The Museum is housed in a historic building dating back 1911. The first permanent collection was artwork donated by the estate of local entrepreneur W.T. Rawleigh, and another sizable donation, in the 1980s, help gave the museum the look and feel it has today. There are also traveling exhibits and works by local and regional artists.

"The permanent collection boasts over 4,000 objects that represent cultures from across the globe and rotating exhibitions feature local, regional and national contemporary art," Museum Director Jessica Modica said. "FAM's four permanent collection galleries exhibit art and artifacts from a wide variety of cultures and time periods, from ancient Egyptian and Roman art to contemporary print and multi-media. Our rotating galleries change every 8-10 weeks and feature art from local, regional and national artists representing all types of media."

The museum's exhibits and programs fulfill its vision to contribute to the vibrancy and revitalization of the community by becoming the region's foremost resource and destination for art. Among these programs is the upcoming Mini Masterpieces event, which is a special biennial fundraising exhibition.

"Artists are invited to submit up to three works of art that measure no more than 6 x 6 inches," Modica said. "These minis are auctioned during the opening reception on July 21st but remain on display until September 1st." The auction benefits museum programs and is eagerly awaited by art lovers wanting to expand their miniature collections.

Another popular event is the annual Wine, Cheese & Chocolate fundraiser. Specialty wines, gourmet cheeses and distinctive chocolates are provided by local businesses. The event is held just before Valentine's Day and always draws a crowd.

"New this year is an exciting Wine-Pull, which gives participants a chance to take home a top quality bottle of wine valued over $100," Modica said. "Our silent auction is full of packages and gifts that make Valentine's Day gifting easy. The first 100 guests will receive a complimentary wine glass at the event."

FAM supports arts programming in the community and also serves as a re-granting agency through the Community Arts Access program with the Illinois Arts Council. FAM membership comes with many benefits, including discounts on events and classes. Classes include the Artful Living series, introducing students to creative businesses in Freeport. Spring Break Art Camp for kids and private adult paint & pour, as well as cork & clay, parties for adults are also discounted for members.

Visitors find the museum to be a hidden gem, down to the last detail. Museum facilities are available for rental for those who would like to celebrate special events surrounded by beautiful and enigmatic objects from around the globe.

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