Rep. Anthony displays Morris artwork in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD – A Morris artist who has painted a mural in the Grundy County Courthouse and has work displayed in a local gallery will now be represented in Springfield.

Arthur Ashcraft of Morris will have one of his works on display at the state Capitol during this year’s legislative session.

State Rep. John Anthony, R-Plainfield, will be hanging the piece titled “End of Innocence” in the Capitol complex in an effort to highlight local artists from the 75th District, according to a news release.

“I was speaking with Lonnie Mathison at his art gallery [in Morris] when I noticed this amazing painting,” Anthony said in the release. “I was immediately taken in with the image of a little girl standing in the wake of the September 11 attacks. I reached out to Arthur Ashcraft and he was nice enough to allow me to display his painting in the Capitol.”

Ashcraft also painted the mural inside the Grundy County Courthouse after recovering from a stroke in 2008.

“The painting that Rep. Anthony now has on display, ‘End of Innocence,’ is actually the last painting that I did before I had my stroke,” Ashcraft said in the release. “After my stroke, I was unable to draw for months and would not be able to paint for almost two years. I taught myself how to paint again and I finished the mural in the courthouse.

To see works from Ashcraft and other local artists, visit Lonnie’s Arts Gallery at 108 Washington St. in Morris.

“I hope to inspire people to fight past their limitations. I’m grateful that John Anthony has taken an interest in the local art community. It’s very important that our children have access to works of art that highlight our American culture,” Ashcraft said.