COLLECTION OF ROLAN JOHNSON MOSAIC CHRISTMAS CARDS ON DISPLAY
A collection of Rolan Johnson Mosaic Christmas Cards will be on display through January 4 at the Time Gallery, located on the third floor of the Clock Tower Place building in the East Peoria Levee District.
The collection was treasured for many years by Phyllis Dittmer, who passed away in 2016.
Her son, Bob Dittmer, is an Executive Vice President of Morton Community Bank, which owns the Clock Tower Place Building, home of the Bank's Fondulac Bank division. The Bank sponsors the Time Gallery by providing space and staff support for its local art gallery.
Rolan Johnson was a screen-print artist and owner of The Rolan Johnson Company, a screen printing company located on South Adams Street in Peoria. For decades, beginning in the 1960s, he personally designed and created one-of-a-kind mosaic print Christmas cards for very limited distribution. The original distribution list was only a few hundred people, but that eventually grew to more than 2,000. Because the original list was so small, complete collections of his work are rare.
The cards are much larger than ordinary Christmas cards, measuring up to 12 X 18 inches.
The Gallery is open to the public during the hours Fondulac Bank is open. With the exception of holidays the hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday and 9:00 am to Noon on Saturday.
The holiday Christmas card tradition ended when Rolan Johnson passed away in September, 2000. However, Johnson's work continues to be available each holiday season through a series of Christmas ornaments sold by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception, West Peoria. In 2000, Mr. Johnson gave the Sisters exclusive permission to use his unique Christmas card designs for these ornaments. Each year a new ornament is produced and made available to the public.
Ornaments can be purchased at a number of area locations, including branches of Morton Community Bank. For more information about the ornaments and a complete list of locations where they are available, visit http://www.westpeoriasisters.org on the web.