Foster Gallery

Foster Gallery for Christianity and The Fine Arts

A ministry of First United Methodist Church

The mission of the Foster Gallery for Christianity and the Fine Arts is to nurture mutual understanding and appreciation of the connection between art and faith, and to develop and strengthen relationships between artists, the community, and the church.

Gallery Hours

Monday through Friday | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday | 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Other showings by appointment


The Gallery is located in the mezzanine on the second floor of our new edition above the Worship Center.  Enter through the Perry Avenue entrance or use the doors facing Main Street.

Ellen Foster

Ellen Foster was a member of First United Methodist Church who endowed the Thomas S. Foster Endowment for Christianity and the Fine Arts.  "Ellie" was known to friends as a talented, gracious, spirit-filled lady who strived  to make a difference.  Active in both church and civic activities, this gallery is named for the Fosters in honor of their contribution "to provide partial funding of an outreach ministry of First United Methodist Church of Peoria which will focus on the impact of Christianity on the fine arts."

Current Exhibit

April 23 - June 4, 2017

Wabi-Sabi: Finding Beauty in the Imperfect by Fiber Artists Coalition
This exhibit features cutting edge fiber art and mixed media.

Curator’s Statement:

“In these days of a throwaway society, it’s good to make do with what we have cherishing the memories they hold. Wabi-sabi is the Japanese term for finding beauty in the imperfect. There is beauty in the worn out bench by the garage where you sit on a hot summer day and listen to the grasshoppers chant. That old tree in the back yard isn’t pretty, but conveys beauty in its strength and character, from making it through the thunderstorm and only losing a limb or starting to rot with moss and lichens growing on its trunk while the woodpeckers search for insects. Look to the natural aging of leaves from bright chartreuse to crumbled brown skeletal remains to understand the meaning of Wabi-Sabi.

The focus of the artists’ work for this exhibit, “Wabi-Sabi: Finding Beauty in the Imperfect” gives representation to what satisfies their soul in simple ways. We engage viewers and invite them to reflect and see in their own lives the imperfect yet simple pleasures of present and past, and the ever-changing life cycle of the natural world around us.”

To read the Peoria Journal Star article on this exhibit, click on this link.

First Friday will be held July 7, 2017 | 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Musicians, The PROJEKTS, will provide the entertainment from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.

First Fridays

The Foster Gallery is a member of CIAO (Central Illinois Artists Organization) which sponsors First Fridays.  Member galleries throughout the area are open to the public on the First Friday of each month to promote artists and the art organizations in Central Illinois.  

Past Exhibits

March 5 - April 16, 2017
Stations of the Cross 

January 8 - February 26, 2017
Summer Revisited by Cathy Engberg .  This exhibit was featured in the January 1, 2017 edition of the Peoria Journal Star.

November 27 - December 31, 2016
The Word Made Flesh - Reflections on the Nativity.  This exhibit featured photo collages that depict the many ways we see the Word living in our congregation.

October 16 - November 20, 2016
Creatures Great and Small featured the work of 18 members of the Peoria Camera Club.

September 2 - October 9, 2016
Captured Memories featured the work of Janice Rockwell. 

July 24 - August 28, 2016
Unseen Voices featured work from ten up and coming artists in Peoria and central Illinois.

May 22 - July 17, 2016
Artistic Abilities focused on work by artists with intellectual/development disabilities from The Community Workshop and Training Center, Apostolic Christian Timber Ridge & Tazewell County Resource Center.

March 27 - May 15, 2016
Spirit Made Visible, The Journey of Four Artists featured Elizabeth Davis, Doreen Graber, Jeanette Kosier and Carol Quell.  

February 14 - March 20, 2016
Come to the Cross
Exhibit featuring a wide variety of crosses from around the world.

January 3 - February 7, 2016
La Natura e L'Arte Di Dio (Nature is the Art of God)
by Peggy West and Karen Johnson

November 22 - December 22, 2015
Come to the Manger
Featuring creche exhibit of Hope Wright

October 11 - November 15, 2015
Woven in the Spirit
Featuring  watercolor illustration by Sharon M. Somers. 

August 23 - October 4, 2015
Reflective Hues,
Featuring the still life and floral paintings of Sheryl Burritt and Florence Gaffney

July 12 - August 16, 2015
(In) Visible Men: Examining Stereotypes Through Art
Paintings by Ricardo Andre Lewis
Pictures of this exhibit are available at this link.

May 24 - July 5, 2015
Bliss of Being
Featuring the work of printmaker, Cathie Crawford

April 5 - May 17, 2015
Peace Be With You
Featuring the work of students from Spoon River Valley High School under the direction of Julie Wasson, and from Peoria Notre Dame High School under the direction of Maggie Off.

February 18 - March 29, 2015
Visual Prayers

Featured the work of Deborah Sokolove, Director of the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion and Professor of Arts and Worship at Wesley Theological Seminary.  Her paintings are intended as an offering into the life of the Body of Christ.  Visit her website for to view of her work.

January 4 - February 15, 2015
Gardens in Winter

Featured the work off Peoria Camera Club and First United Methodist Church Peoria members.  Gardens in Winter pointed us to the hope of spring and the promise of resurrection. Pictures of the exhibit are available at this link.

November 23 - December 28 
Creches Around the World

Gathered from private collections of our members, over 90 Creches, literally from around the world, were displayed.  Cultural diversity and the embracing of the Christ Child as the center of this season were two of the things reflected in our display.

Pictures of the exhibit are available at this link.

September 21 - November 19
Fiber artist Trish Williams'  collection of work titled, Endeavors, was the first exhibit featured in the Foster Gallery for Christianity and the Fine Arts..   Ms. Williams' works have been displayed in national exhibits and tours, numerous solo exhibits, and included in several publications. 

Photographs of the Opening Reception are available at this link.


Carol McPherson, PhD, Director of Fine Arts Community Outreach, at or 309-673-3641 ext 130.