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Homecoming King

Decatur, the "Soybean Capital of the World," is trying to plant a different image of itself in people's minds.

Preston Jackson was prepared for the worst when he returned to hometown Decatur in 2004 for an art show featuring his work. But the city's multimillion-dollar conversion of a downtown building into an arts center wowed the renowned sculptor and impressed him with the quality of the city's art venues.

It's an impression Decatur officials hope will repeat itself again and again as this struggling industrial town recasts its image as an artist-friendly city.

The completion of the 14,000-square-foot Madden Arts Center in 2004 is the cornerstone of that new image. Complete with galleries, classrooms and studios, the center also serves as the headquarters of the Decatur Area Arts Council. All images courtesy of Decatur Area Arts Council.

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125 N. Water St., Decatur, IL 62523

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See how Decatur is turning its downtown around.

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A few words about Decatur Arts from reknowned artist Preston Jackson.

 

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Visitors to the Madden Arts Center discuss the work of Decatur sculptor Preston Jackson.

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The renovated Madden Arts Center.

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Part of the Eugene Carriere exhibit to stop in Decatur in 2006. The city was one of three cities – along with Paris and Tokyo – to host the exhibit.

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A painting by musician and artist Robert "Baabe" Irving III.

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Visitors look at the photographs of Howard Buffett.

 

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