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Heartland Community College

Michele Peterson: The Incurable Romantic

Michele Peterson

On display until Friday September 29, 2017

The Joe McCauley Gallery at Heartland Community College will feature The Incurable Romantic, mixed-media works on canvas by Michele Peterson. The exhibit is on display Monday, June 19 through Friday, September 29. An artist reception takes place Tuesday, August 29 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the gallery.

The Incurable Romantic features Peterson's works on canvas, created with oil paint, metallic leaf, graphite and pastel. She combines drawn and painted elements, expressive and formal qualities, while employing still life, landscape and figurative subjects. For Peterson, the art-making "process is very important and helps to ground the image in a way so it becomes almost sculptural." 

In describing her art work, she states "I believe in Art & Beauty and it’s power for good.  Both are necessary to live a fully present life and make the world a better place."

About the Artist

Peterson was born in Chicago in the early 1950’s.  Educated in the Catholic School System by the nuns who wore the full traditional habit (dress) of discipline and severity.  She loved walking through alleyways and back streets, exploring the rail yards, and riding her bike in unfamiliar territories.  The scenery was richer, grittier, more real.

The 1950’s gave way to the more open expanses of the 60’s & 70’s: one foot in tradition and the other into the unknown.  With her confidante & husband Pete, they lived in a spiritual, esoteric commune, travelled cross country on the back of his Ducati, ending up in the open vistas of California.  As in anyone’s life, there was tragedy and heartbreak.  This led to another way of viewing life, of living.  Not always easy but a journey worth pursuing.

She worked various jobs for the experience: hotel clerk, bookseller, waitress, chef, secretary.  It was after a serious illness that pushed her into pursuing her love of Art.  Back in Chicago, she obtained her bachelor of fine arts at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She then earned a master of science and master of fine arts at Illinois State University.

Michele has taught studio & lecture art classes at Heartland Community College since 1996. Her work in the studio continues. Her website is

Contact the Art Gallery

ICB 2507

Gallery Hours:


Monday- Friday

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.




9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

And by appointment


Shahrbanoo Hamzeh 

Carol Hahn 

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LASS Administrative Assistant
Phone: 309-268-8635

Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Division