Latest class of inductees features wide range of talent, achievements

The Aurora-based Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame announced the names of the six inductees in its latest class of honorees last week.

The Class of 2014 includes:

D. Lee DuSell (Visual Arts) was born in Aurora and studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Over the course of his long and productive career, he has been a painter, printmaker, woodworker, metal.smith, architectural fabricator, and Professor of Industrial Design at Syracuse University.  His work has been exhibited at galleries across the country, is part of the permanent collection of Boston’s Museum of Fine Art, and has adorned sites ranging from the campus of Harvard University to the Shiga Sacred Garden in Shigaraki, Japan. 

Jim Gibson (Performing Arts), a native of Aurora, has had a long and successful career as a musician and as host of a variety of pageants and TV programs. He performed and toured with the Grammy Award-winning Bill Gaither Trio and with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra.  He hosted the Emmy Award-winning program “Windy City America” on WCFC Chicago and was nominated for an Emmy for hosting the Miss Illinois Pageant on WGN-TV.  His first book, Six Rings from Nowhere, an account of the career of six-time Super Bowl participant Don Beebe, has recently been published. 

Elvina Truman Pearce (Performing Arts/Arts Education) is a longtime resident of Naperville, where she both maintains a piano studio and has served as founding director of North Central College’s Division of Preparatory and Community Music. A national leader in the field of piano pedagogy, Ms. Pearce was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Awards for the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy in 2011 and is the author of the forthcoming book The Success Factor in Piano Teaching. Her performing career has included recitals at the National Gallery of Art and at Carnegie and Steinway Halls in New York and appearances with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Philharmonic. 

Jane Peterson (Visual Arts), born and raised in Elgin, exhibited widely during her long career, including shows at the Art Institute of Chicago and galleries in New York and Boston.  She traveled with Louis Comfort Tiffany, painted alongside John Singer Sergeant, and authored a book on Flower Painting in 1946. Paintings by Jane Peterson hang in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Baltimore Museum of Fine Arts. Her work appeared on the covers of such publications as The Journal of the American Medical Association and Garden Magazine. 

George Shipperley (Visual Arts), a long-time resident of Aurora, has devoted the decades since his retirement from a career in sales to the pursuit of his passion for painting, a pursuit that earned him the distinction of being named the first Signature Member of the Oil Pastel Society. His work has been exhibited widely throughout the Midwest, has frequently been designated “Best of Show,” and has been included in the corporate collections of Amoco Oil Company, The Mayo Clinic, and both Aurora and Benedictine University, among many others. 

Randal Swiggum (Performing Arts/Arts Education) serves as conductor and music director of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, in which role he has achieved national and international recognition as both performer and educator.  Under his direction, the EYSO has performed with such distinguished instrumentalists as Midori and Yo-Yo Ma, appeared at the Ravinia Festival, and undertaken an ambitious Civil War tour throughout the southeastern US.  Swiggum has also conducted other ensembles throughout the US and Europe and has authored several books about music education. 


–News Bulletin news sources