Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Illinois Art League?

The Illinois Valley Art League began on the Monday evening of May 16, 1960. A small group of interested artists met at the Savings Building in downtown Peoria. They formed an eight member Board of Directors.

Two Peoria art supporters agreed to underwrite the initial show. The first exhibit was in the Sheridan Village Arcade on July 27-31 and drew 5,000 visitors. The first cash prize was $100.00 and gold, silver and bronze medallions were given.

The name was later changed to Illinois Art League.

Over the years, many shows have taken place by many fine artists. Now, IAL has many high-caliber artists and welcome and encourage the beginner and amateur to continue in expanding their skills. We promote our artists by sponsoring workshops, art shows, and sales throughout the year.

Why did the original artists decide to organize?

Their purpose was to hold art exhibits representative in character of the art being actually produced in this area, which would include amateurs.

Where do league artists come from?

Mainly Central Illinois, but we have artists from as far away as Galesburg, Bloomington, Macomb, Mt. Vernon and Oglesby, IL.

How many members does the league have?

Over 100 and growing.

What if I am just starting out as a beginner?

We welcome all experience levels and have since we were started.

Does the league offer continuing education?

Workshops are scheduled throughout the year. Check our calendar for dates and times to take these workshops. Workshops are currently offered in watercolor, oil, and drawing. Other workshops could be offered, if a member is willing to organize them.

What opportunities are there for me to participate?

Every month the Illinois Art League hosts several media study groups in different mediums. The league also regularly hosts shows, exhibits, and workshops. Read about them in our newsletter, Facebook page, and on this website. If you would like to volunteer at a future Illinois Art League event, contact us.

What media study groups meet monthly?

Water Media, Colored Pencil, “All Artists”: which includes everything but oil), and Plein Air (weather permitting)

How often does the league have a general meeting?

The league has a general meeting quarterly. The meetings are open to all members and guests and offer an opportunity for those attending to ask questions and offer suggestions for improving the league. This is also an opportunity for members to sign up to help serve on various committees or help with events.

Does the league participate in Ignite?

Yes, we have since 2015.

How many shows/exhibits does the league sponsor annually?

The league has two shows. In the summer, we hold our judged Annual Membership Show and Sale at the Main Branch Library downtown. Then in November and December, we sponsor a two month exhibit and sale at Time Gallery in East Peoria

Do you have to be a member of the league to exhibit your work?


What mediums does the league accept for art show entries?

Watercolor, Ink Wash, Pen and Ink, Acrylic, Mixed-Media, Photography, Oil, Pastels, Colored Pencil, Charcoal, Graphite, Digital and 3 Dimensional: including Fiber Arts, Sculpture, Ceramics and Woodworking. If your medium is not listed, please contact us. We try to be inclusive of all visual art forms. In competition, enough other artists will need to submit within the same category for cash prizes to be given.

How should artwork be able to be hung for shows and exhibits?

Pieces must have wires for hanging. Sawtooth hangers are not permitted.

How much are dues?

An individual membership is $40. Family Memberships are $50.

How do I join?

Fill out an application and submit it with your annual dues. You can do this online here or in person at one of our events.