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Arthur Towata

Jacoby Arts Center of Alton, IL. is presenting an exhibition of the legacy & artwork of renowned Alton artist Arthur Towata, November 27, 2021 through March 5, 2022 in the Simmons Hanly Conroy Gallery at Jacoby Arts Center. Jacoby Arts Center is honored to share this retrospective exhibit, “Towata: A Celebration of Art” with the community he called home.

Arthur lived and worked in Alton for more than 65 years. He owned the Towata Gallery at 206 W. 3rd St. and Towata Studio on 603 Piasa St., where he continued teaching and showcased other artists and their artwork. Arthur loved to create, his early artwork was inspired by local wildlife, the Mississippi River landscape and dragonflies. After acquiring the Studio, he had the tools and space to experiment and perfect his artwork. 

Born Nov. 7, 1933, in Los Angeles, Arthur passed away peacefully November 21, 2019. Towata spent time in a Japanese-American internment camp in California with his family. Later in life, Arthur based artwork on his experience in the camp. Arthur served in the Air Force before attending Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1962 and a Master of Fine Arts/Master’s in Education in 1971. 

The opening reception falls on “First Friday” a late night art and shopping experience in the Downtown Alton Main Street Area. The opening reception will be held on Friday, December 3rd from 6-8pm in the Simmons Hanly Conroy Gallery at Jacoby Arts Center. Additional receptions will be held Friday, February 4th, 2022 and closing reception will be held on Saturday, March 5th, 2022 from 6-8pm. Due to the large quantity of artwork, pieces will be rotated out multiple times during the exhibition so make sure to visit the gallery throughout the three month showing period. Arthur was instrumental in the founding of Jacoby Arts Center. Select pieces of artwork on display will be for sale throughout the exhibition.

Special thanks to SIUE Anthropology interns: Emma Pritchard, Kaia Cosgriff, and Wren Merz guided by Professor Cory Willmott, PhD. Department of Anthropology at SIUE for their work cataloging and curating this exhibit.

Jacoby Arts Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to nurture and promote the practice and appreciation of the arts through education, exhibits, cultural programs, and community outreach initiatives - Engaging Imaginations, Enriching Lives! Located at 627 E. Broadway in Alton, IL, the Jacoby Arts Center is open Wednesdays-Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, Sundays from 12pm to 4pm, and closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, visit or call 618.462.5222.

Free programming at Jacoby Art Center is made possible by 2021 Presenting Sponsor Simmons Hanly Conroy Law Firm.