Annette Yonke Exhibition ends run at Freeport Arts Center June 18

FREEPORT—The Freeport Arts Center’s (FAC) run of the Annette Yonke Memorial Exhibition in the Ferguson Gallery ends June 18.

The show is designed to highlight pieces from Yonke’s expansive art collection, which includes examples of noted contemporary American artists as well as traditional and folk art from around the world.

Yonke, who recently passed away in November, began collecting art after earning a master’s degree in Theology at St. James University in Collegeville, Minn., where she was influenced by their extensive art and architectural program.

Throughout her life, Yonke’s career took her to many locations around the globe and provided her an opportunity to build a diverse collection of art that represented the cultures she visited. Many times, these pieces were collected in the form of gifts from the doctors and other medical professionals with whom she worked.

Among the works on display is a signature comic strip piece titled “Lead Pipe Sunday” by Art Speigelman, author of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus.

Strong, graphic themes like the ones found in Spiegleman’s work particularly appealed to Yonke. A number of the paintings, prints and sculptures seen in the compilation reflect this interest, but these are often complemented with quieter scenes from everyday life.

Yonke and her husband, Gerald Estes, established a prairie restoration project composed of 82 acres outside Orangeville they named the “Butterfly Farm.” Butterflies are another reoccurring theme in several works either purchased or commissioned by the couple. An avid museum visitor, Yonke was known to say, “It is the artists that see the reality of the world before the rest of us do.”

The FAC is at 121 N. Harlem Ave., and is open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Tours may be scheduled by calling 815/235-9755 or e-mailing For more information, visit

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