Mariam Khoury Briggs

I have had an appreciation for art for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are wrapped up in crayon boxes and stacks of white paper just waiting to be colored on. Today, not much has changed. I still feel the energy of that little girl who used to sit and draw for hours without end, in hopes her creations would make the refrigerator door. This hobby turned into my college major and ultimately into my career. Admittedly, I enjoy dabbling in many genres of art: furniture refinishing, murals, portraits, and wall décor. However, I have recently concentrated on smaller scale pieces, such as portrait work and illustration. My passion for exploring these mediums, coupled with a love for all things art, continually stimulate and shape my creativity. It is an expression of everything that I am, everything I was, and everything I will become.

Mariam Khoury Briggs is a 2002 graduate of the University of Iowa, where she majored in Studio Art and Communication Studies. Her career as an artist began by painting nursery room murals, and she has been building an extensive portfolio for 15+ years. Mariam is a freelance artist who works from her home studio, where she resides with her husband and three children.

Instagram: @yellowbrick_creativestudio
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Molly Crusen Bishop

Molly grew up in Peoria’s historic West Bluff. The humble blue house she called ‘home’ was built in 1885 by her great grandparents, Patrick and Ellen McGowan Needham, who were poor Irish immigrants. They left County Leitrim, Ireland, in the late 1860s seeking job opportunities in the United States, and settled in Peoria, Illinois. Patrick worked for the Rock Island Railroad as a clerk, and Ellen was said to have walked all over the West Bluff raising funds to help build Saint Mark’s Church. Molly was the fourth generation to be raised in this home, which is still standing on Barker Avenue. Growing up in a historic district, and surrounded by beautiful mansions and darling cottages, Molly developed a passion for history and an appreciation for historic architecture. This also shaped her love for researching and discovering the stories of our ancestors, and becoming a story teller for these “Tales from the Whiskey City.”