Hats off to Mr. Lincoln
Springfield Art Council in collaboration with Springfield Rotary sponsored this project in 2009 to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. Only 12 artists were selected to paint 4-feet tall giant fiberglass Lincoln hats. First the artists had to submit a design. Toni’s idea came to her quickly; she used crayons, pens, pencils and markers to draw a brightly colored childlike street scene, where all of the Lincoln sites were neighbors.
“I have always found Abraham Lincoln’s words inspiring and could not paint this without including them.” Toni said.
The large hat reads…“In the end, it is not the years in your life that count, it is the life in your years.” She had 8 weeks to create an acrylic painting on the entire hat. Toni’s hat was chosen by Hilton Hotel and purchased as part of their permanent collection, where it will remain on display in downtown Springfield, Illinois. A second smaller hat was commissioned which features a painting of several Springfield landmarks including the Hilton Hotel, Knight’s Action Park and the Capitol Building.
Toni was the only artist chosen for the project that does not live in Springfield or Chicago. She fought gnats, spring rain and a case of pneumonia to create both hats in and outside of her home and studio in Exeter, Illinois. Springfield Rotary recruited Toni to speak at a commencement presentation, celebrating the hats at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
- Zimbie Whiting Art Scholarship Award recipient
- 20 x 15 foot installation mural at Lincoln College, Lincoln IL
- Mehndhi inspired mural Karen Anderson Designs
- 10 x 12 foot children’s motivational mural at Bluffs School, Bluffs, IL
- completed artist in residency at Imagine Foundation Jacksonville, IL
- Hat’s Off to Lincoln Artist, Bicenntial Celebration Hilton Hotel Springfield, IL
- Artist in Residence Polar Pediatrics Anchorage, Alaska
- Mental Health Centers of Illinois, West Lake Center 4 seasons mural installation Springfield, IL
- Springfield Illinois City Arts Grant Recipient
- successful design and implementation of inspiring creativity programs for children, adults and seniors.