The 10 paintings vary in color, medium, style and design, but as of Feb. 13, they share a home.


 The 10 paintings vary in color, medium, style and design, but as of Feb. 13, they share a home.

The artwork of students from 10 area high schools will be displayed for the public to see at the Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport.

The paintings were unveiled Feb. 13 at the airport with students and teachers from each school present.

Students were given the task of coming up with art based on an aviation theme. Some focused on the transition of the past to present and others used multimedia approaches to bring an almost three-dimensional look to their canvases.

“I’m happy we can provide a gallery for young artists to display their work,” said Gene Olson, airport director. “These pieces are a perfect complement to the new public terminal and help to bring a real sense of community into the building.”

Each of the schools that will be represented in the display had anywhere from one to seven students working on its creation.

Maggie Off, an art teacher at Notre Dame, was among the first to respond when airport officials sent out a call for help in decorating the new terminal last fall.

“I’m always really excited to do something in the community,” she said, adding that she wanted her students to “understand that art can really enhance and beautify their community.”

The four students from Notre Dame who created their school’s contribution took their inspiration from paper airplanes. To emphasize the Peoria connection, the students used local stories from the Journal Star to create a collage in the shape of an old-fashioned airplane, surrounded by red, painted paper airplanes, flying over a lush landscape.

Participating schools included Brimfield High School, Illinois Valley Central High School in Chillicothe, Dunlap High School, Limestone Community High School in Bartonville, Manual Academy, Notre Dame, Peoria Christian, Peoria High School, Princeville High School and Richwoods High School.