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Christopher E. Holbrook

May 18, 1958 August 16, 2018
Christopher  E.  Holbrook
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Obituary for Christopher E. Holbrook

PEORIA-Christopher E. Holbrook, age 60, passed away at 9:47 a.m., Thursday, August 16, 2018, at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home.

Chris was born May 18, 1958, in Canton, Ill. He was the son of Richard P. Holbrook and Martha “Marty” (Biederbeck) Holbrook Young. Marty, of Dunlap, Ill., survives. Also surviving is Chris’ partner of 12 years, Susanne Nestory, of Peoria, and three stepbrothers: Gregg Young of Midland, Mich., Bill (Mary) Young of Davis, Calif., and Kit (Anita Hagerman) Young of St. Louis, Mo.

Chris’ father, Richard, and his stepfather, Dickson Young, preceded him in death.

Chris graduated from Bergan High School in Peoria in 1976. He obtained his BS in Printmaking and Commercial Design from Western Illinois University in 1981 and his MFA in Printmaking, with emphasis on the intaglio method, from Bradley University in 1992, where he went on to become a much-loved instructor in Fine Art.

Chris had a celebrated career in art and design, including in the corporate world as a designer, graphic artist and illustrator. He taught art for Peoria School District 150 and was a visiting professor in Printmaking at West Virginia University prior to his employment at Bradley.

He was a member of Central Illinois Artists Organization. In 2015 he served as an artist in residence at Prairie Center of the Arts in Peoria. He has taught at University City Art League in Philadelphia and Contemporary Art Center in Peoria. Venues where his work was exhibited include the Peoria Riverfront Museum, Sauk Valley Community College (one-man show), Carl Sandburg College (dual show with Susanne Nestory), and the Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition…among many others.

His work is included in university, museum and private collections nationwide.

Chris’ art might be described as “protean,” from Proteus, the changeling water spirit of the ancient Greeks. His imagination ranged widely, from the cerebral to the surreal. He was constantly refining and evolving his use of subjects, styles and media, at times circling back to prior stages of his career to reveal new insights and techniques. His works included paintings, drawings, illustrations, etchings, collagraphs, monoprints and ceramic sculpture, incorporating elements of nature, the human form, mythology, political issues and popular culture.

Describing his visual strategies, Chris said, “I try to make works that evolve toward a highly crafted finish, yet remain in flux. Working on many different projects simultaneously allows my imagination ample room to breath. Whether working on drawings, etchings, relief cuts, collagraphs, paintings or sculpture, I employ a wide range of tools to test and tweak technical boundaries to suit my vision.”

Chris was, above all, sui generis. He will always be remembered for his playful spirit, free association, wordplay and his unforgettable sense of humor. His personality and art were his gift to the world, offered freely, to bring about a new way of seeing for others.

Read a fascinating interview with Chris here:

Cremation rites have been accorded. A celebration of Chris’ life will be held Sunday, October 28, 2018 from 1–5 p.m. at Contemporary Art Center of Peoria.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria,, or Prairie Center of the Arts,

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook or send private condolences to Wright & Salmon Mortuary,

Previous Events

Celebration of Life




1:00 PM 10/28/2018 1:00:00 PM - 5:00 PM 10/28/2018 5:00:00 PM
Contemporary Arts Center

305 SW Water St
Peoria, IL 61602

Contemporary Arts Center
305 SW Water St Peoria 61602 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Prairie Center of the Arts

1506 SW Washington St
Peoria, IL 61602

Contemporary Arts Center

305 SW Water St
Peoria, IL 61602

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