Allerton In Residence program

The original 28” clay model for the Primitive Men statues (fall statue seen here) were created by Glyn Warren Philpot, one of Robert Allerton’s many houseguests who found inspiration while visiting the estate.

Allerton Park & Retreat Center’s In Residence program will take flight this winter as the Monticello park hosts Chicago-based multimedia artist, educator and University of Illinois alumnus John E. Bannon.

The In Residence Program offers artists and naturalists the opportunity to live and create at the Allerton estate. The program will not only support and highlight the meaningful work of creators and researchers, but bring awareness to the unique characteristics of the park and continue the legacy of Robert Allerton, who often hosted great thinkers and makers at his home. Besides creating while on-site, the resident will host a program that involves the public in their work and process, as well as donate a work intended to further engage visitors once their residency is done.

Since I was an undergrad in the 1980s, I would come to Allerton to be inspired. I would spend time sketching ideas for pieces as I walked through the gardens. It is hard not to think creatively in such a peaceful and interesting setting. The opportunity to spend weeks here thinking proposing, and creating is something I used to imagine in those days as a student,” said Bannon.

Long time Allerton users and supporters Joan and Peter Hood donated an endowment which will provide yearly funds to be used for the resident stipend and some staff support, and Central Illinois natives Dana Brehm and Larry Baumann supported the renovation of Robert Allerton’s ice house, which will serve as lodging for the resident.

Allerton is a very special place that can provide an alternate venue for education and learning outside the university campus and in the community. We are looking forward to seeing this incredible new program come to life, and watching it evolve over time,” said Joan and Peter Hood.

Work and studio space available to Bannon will include:

Auditorium: Located in a repurposed greenhouse, offering a view of the Meadow and easy access to the formal gardens.

The Dome: Located on the Wetland Boardwalk in the Formal Garden area of the Park, the Dome overlooks the Reflecting Pond and historic Allerton Mansion.

Solarium: This window-lined ‘back porch’ of the historic Allerton Mansion features original brick floors and overlooks the Koi Pond, Reflecting Pond, and Meadow.

Music Barn: Set amid the beauty of an idyllic nine-acre farmstead, this converted two-story Dutch hay barn, with its exposed timbers and 30-foot ceiling, offers a rustic and charming atmosphere.

More information about Bannon is available at

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