New exhibition at Freeport Art Museum features Rockford, Dixon artists

Online Staff Report

FREEPORT, Ill. — Freeport Art Museum (FAM), 121 N. Harlem Ave., Freeport, Ill., will unveil “Emmert’s Farm: Tom Heflin and Bob Logsdon” at an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, May 30. The exhibit will remain on display at the museum through Aug. 9.

For 28 years, Rockford artist Tom Heflin spent the majority of each week working in his studio hideaway, an abandoned farm house owned by Emmert Klaas, located about 10 miles west of Freeport. Through peaceful summers and quiet, secluded winters, Tom discovered abundant sources of attractive compositions for his paintings. Many years later, Bob Logsdon, a photographer from Grand Detour and follower of Heflin’s work, revisited the site. Logsdon went on to spend three years photographing the farm that was inspiration for so many of Heflin’s paintings. Brought together for this special exhibition, these paintings and photographs illustrate the history, splendor and mystery that can be found in the landscape of a forgotten Midwestern farm.

Tom Heflin is a well-known local artist who now lives in Rockford, where he works from his home studio. Heflin describes Emmert’s Farm as a place where “the silence was overwhelming and the solitude is complete. There were no telephones, no clocks and no passing cars. Time passed quietly; defined only by the morning song of birds and the evening chirp of crickets. It was in that distilled environment of a world at peace where I found inspiration.” Several of his works displayed have been generously loaned by many of Heflin’s long-time collectors for this special exhibition.

Bob Logsdon lives in Grand Detour, Ill. He documents the ever-changing landscape of this region through photographs, which he and his wife Colleen often compile into published books. Several years ago, Logsdon visited the Emmert’s Farm every season for three years to capture and preserve its history. He was able to recognize the special connection Heflin had with the site and realized that whether by nature or by man, the farm would eventually disappear. Organized into a book titled Emmert’s Farm: A Special Place, copies will be available for purchase in the museum gift shop for the duration of the exhibition.

For more about Heflin, visit For more about Logsdon, visit

FAM is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and noon-5 p.m., Saturday. Tours may be scheduled by calling (815) 235-9755. Admission to the museum is free, although donations are accepted. Visit for more details.

Posted May 28, 2014

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