Celebrating 20 Years!

Celebrating 20 Years!


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University (OLLI) is a group of more than 1,000 individuals, age 50 and over, who learn together through three distinct programs: OLLI Classes, OLLI Learning Trips, and OLLI Study Groups.

Here, members can discuss what they learned, what they enjoyed, and offer suggestions to enhance future program offerings.

Take a look at the photos we're taking, and the discussions we're having as OLLI members.

Whether we're in class, in town, or out of town ... we're on the go, having fun, and constantly learning.


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Monday, November 30, 2009

Art Doubleheader -- November 17, 2009





OLLI members got a double dose of local art during our visit to a pair of art studios for private tours and demonstrations.

We first traveled to McNeil Pottery, located in the former Murray's Building in downtown Peoria. During the demonstration, Jerry McNeil told the group that he discovered his passion for pottery at age 17, and sold his first piece (to a stranger) at age 22. After that, he used his self-taught marketing skills and validations from other artists to open his own studio in 1992.

In a typical day, he can make 3-4 vases or 8-10 bowls. Most of his work is commissioned from the Peoria area, but he also sells to galleries in Galena, Iowa City, and has done custom-ordered pieces for people from Italy, England, and Scotland.

Our second stop was the glass blowing studio owned by Hiram Toraason, an OLLI favorite. He talked about his education at Southern Illinois University and subsequent art experience in Asheville, North Carolina. His passion for glass art brought him back to Central Illinois, where he is currently remodeling a new studio on Evans Street.

During his demonstration, he created a large bowl made from transparent and opaque colored glass.

Many thanks to Jerry McNeil and Hiram Toraason for opening their studios to OLLI!

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