The Team

Board of Directors


  • Eileen Leunig

    Doug Leunig

    Mark Misselhorn

  • Maggie Whalen Misselhorn

    Nikki Romain

    Heather Ford

  • York Phillips

Eileen Leunig

Eileen discovered the joy of art early in life and is dedicated to giving everyone the chance to experience and participate in the arts. For the past 10 years, Doug, her husband, and Eileen have donated profits from the sale of their own art to arts organizations. In 2018, they founded Big Picture Initiative to be able to expand the opportunity of art for all.

Big Picture is founded on the belief that public art is essential to a vibrant community and that children should have the chance to help create public art. To that end, Eileen and Doug have partnered with Peoria Public Schools and the Peoria Park District in having artists work with students to create murals for their schools and for public spaces. They also have helped create and install new murals in the community.

Eileen is the secretary and treasurer of Big Picture and is instrumental in pulling together all the artists and arts groups that join together to give the community a day of arts at the Big Picture Peoria Street Festival on the second Saturday of October.

“I think of the festival as one big arts installation with community painting, music, performances, and more. My hope is that people from different walks of life and in different parts of our community come together for the common goal of making Peoria a better place through the arts.” Eileen can be reached at bigpicturepeoria@gmail.com

Doug Leunig

Doug had an early-life experience of winning a prize for a cartoon he drew and it set him on the path of art. Doug had a good role model in his father who worked as a successful commercial artist and funded Doug’s BFA at University of Iowa where Doug studied photography and sculpture.

After 30 years as a corporate photographer for a Fortune 100 company, Doug realized that the inspiration of his childhood art background was still with him and he wanted to make it possible for children today to have art in their lives. He and his wife, Eileen, began by selling their fine art photography and donating their profits to arts organizations . In 2018 co-founded Big Picture Initiative to afford a creative opportunity for others.

Doug serves as President of Big Picture Initiative and enjoys coming up with creative ideas that find fertile ground in the new arts renaissance of Central Illinois. Doug is the artist who created “Abraham Blue,” the 50-foot portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the Peoria County Courthouse, that launched Big Picture in 2018.

Mark Misselhorn

Mark is a proud life-long Peorian, having had a great experience growing up in the Peoria Public School system, before heading off to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana to study architecture. He is an architect and project manager with CORE Construction Services of Illinois, a national company whose offices recently relocated to Downtown Peoria. In addition to serving as Vice President on the Big Picture Initiative Board, Mark serves as the Chairman of the City of Peoria’s Downtown Advisory Commission.  Mark enjoys traveling, watching soccer and has been a St. Jude runner for almost 10 years. He is lucky enough to be married to Maggie Whalen Misselhorn, and the two of them enjoy getting bossed around by their dogs, Lola and Norman.

Maggie Whalen Misselhorn

Maggie is a life-long Peorian and is very proud of her community and the people who make it great. She is a Principal/Owner of Simantel, a marketing firm located in the heart of our Downtown on Peoria’s Riverfront. Maggie has been in the marketing field for over 20 years and especially enjoys the community-focused work she has been part of for local organizations like The Peoria Riverfront Museum, Easterseals of Central Illinois, The Peoria Playhouse, Wildlife Prairie Park, and The Peoria Zoo. In addition to Big Picture, Maggie serves on boards for The Peoria Riverfront Association as well as OSF St. Francis. She is married to Mark Misselhorn and the two of them enjoy getting bossed around by their dogs, Lola and Norman.

Nikki Romain

Nikki Romain is Co-Founder and Executive Director of ART Inc. She is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in Theater. Nikki has an extensive background in the arts as an actor, singer, writer, and voice over artist. She was selected to perform with the well-known Chicago Praise Ensemble and toured throughout northern Italy.

Nikki has performed in musicals and theatrical productions across the country such as “Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Wiz,” “Godspell,” “Steel Magnolias,” “For Colored Girls,” and “Shoe Story.” Nikki wrote, produced, and played in her one woman show, “Lost and Found” (a story about how the arts saved her life) at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in Los Angeles and the prestigious Royal George Theater in Chicago.

Using arts and culture  as a vehicle, Nikki's mission in life is to empower the lives of women and youth, which is why she 

is thrilled to serve on the Big Picture Peoria Board of Directors.

Nikki also serves on the HOI United Way Board of Directors.  She is an active member of the Greater  Peoria Illinois Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Incorporated and the Central Illinois (IL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

She is married to her soul mate and best friend, Jonathon Romain, and proud mother to the lovely Kennedy Alexandra Romain.

Heather Ford

Heather is a member of the Big Picture Initiative board. She helps Big Picture create arts education opportunities for Peoria to heal and bring joy and hope to our community. 

Heather believes that art and design can unite members of the Peoria community who often do not communicate with one another and can create solutions to social problems. She believes that products and solutions created by active, engaged members of the community will be wanted and used--a result of the empowering ownership that occurs in the interactive process. Her goal is to create experiences that will change the way people think, raise awareness, and assist those in need. Ford’s strength and confidence in asking her audience to question social and political issues are evident in her works. She is highly experienced in applying methodologies of user experience design and research to website, mobile, and product development. Heather’s portfolio of work centers on the human condition provoking the audience to face both the beauty of humanity and its ability to cause struggle. She has explored creating innovative and exciting user-centered design experiences, methods, and strategies that involve user interface, user experience, and fine art. 

Heather Ford has been a professional in the design industry with fifteen years of fine art, digital creative, and UI/UX experience in the commercial and academic sectors. Ford is an instructor and coordinator of User Experience Design major within the Bradley University’s Slane College of Communications and Fine Art Department of Interactive Media. She has been a designer for several Fortune 500 clients such as Disney, Maui Jim, NASA, AbbVie, Nike, and Home Depot, utilizing a user-centered design approach. She is co-author of "Mastering Mobile Learning: Tips and Techniques for Success" and has been a speaker for Nielsen Norman Group and the UX Research and Design Summit. Heather is also currently a graduate student at Bradley University pursuing her Master's degree in Visual Communications within the Art and Design Department.

York Phillips
York is retired from a career as an urban planner, working for over forty years up and down the East Coast. Upon retirement, York and his wife, Vicki, moved to Peoria and have been slowly fixing up the house in which Vicki grew up. In addition to volunteering for the Big Picture Festival (Kid Zone), York is a Master Naturalist working on a project for Camp Big Sky in Fulton County and an OLLI class on the "natural history of Peoria." York also helps Vicki (who is a Master Gardener) with projects for the Common Place Community Garden. York and Vicki are also members of the Peoria Herb Guild and the Central Illinois Parrot Head Club. York and Vicki enjoy the arts and are frequent attendees at arts events.

Team


  • Jay Babin

    Darrin Ford, Paint Flinger Extraordinaire

    Couri Thomas

  • Chuck Gabbert

    Darius Donaldson

    Anshuman Reddy

  • Logan Pfalzgraf

    Mike McGarvey

    Perry Ehling

  • Roxy Baker

    Steph Van Doren

    Tom Boylan

  • Kindall Nelson

    Bryan Blanks, Creative Director

    Arthur Hayes, Bloomington Team

  • Natasha Greene, Peoria Drum Circle

    Angelique Racki, Executive Director, BCAI School of Arts, Bloomington

Jay Babin
Darrin Ford, Paint Flinger Extraordinaire
“I had so much fun being part of Big Picture last year. Organizing the Paint Fling was one of the highlights of a wonderful year. We had a street full of artists and participants creating art and having a blast.” Darrin has been practicing Reiki since 1998. After his first attunement, he realized why his hands had been warm since he was a child. In 2004, he received his Master/Teacher degree and has taught multiple first and second-degree Reiki students. Darrin is board president for a spiritualist church in Bloomington-Normal. He believes that Reiki groups are one of the best ways to share and partake in energy healing. Being part of and holding multiple groups has allowed for growth and new experiences in the spiritual energy world. Darrin loves connecting to the life force energy and sharing it with others. With a Bachelors in General Art from ISU, I have learned to see art in all situations and all aspects of my life. My goal is to help Big Picture Peoria provide the opportunity to others to learn art and learn how to use its knowledge throughout their lives.
Couri Thomas
Chuck Gabbert
Darius Donaldson
Anshuman Reddy
Anshuman Reddy is a writer/artist/journalist who wishes to create a better world through what he does especially for those he cares about. He sees his work with Big Picture as a way of making his town a better place and helping those he cares about. He believes that arts are not as appreciated as they use to be and wants them to become part of society again.
Logan Pfalzgraf
I found out about Big Picture through my junior year graphic design final. Hearing the passion of the project and getting the ability to work with Doug and Eileen on a mock project made me realize that this internship would be a great opportunity for me to get real-world design and business experience before graduating. Having worked with Big Picture this summer, I am amazed and humbled at the talent that Peoria is brimming with. I’m excited to continue to work with Big Picture in the hopes that my talents will enlighten others to this talent, and so that they can look at and appreciate the art and culture of Peoria. I look forward to being a part of this and what is to come.
Mike McGarvey
It was a very fun experience to contribute as one of the photo team at last year's Big Picture Festival. The wonderful thing about this festival is that it's truly an "art happening." Festival attendees can watch fantastic chalk art, billboard sized murals and other art projects being created throughout the festival grounds or take advantage of a variety of opportunities to create art themselves or view other artists and performers. Really a unique, new, fall activity option for all of Central Illinois.
Perry Ehling
The best part for me working with the Big Picture was seeing so many diversified people coming together in one spot ;without social or racial barriers. And it allowed me to get out in the mix as I spoke with local businesses about sponsorship. True fun ; my best vocation!
Roxy Baker
Steph Van Doren
Illinois artist Steph Van Doren earned her BFA from Drake University in Des Moines, IA. and her MFA from Bradley University in Peoria, IL, She currently operates an art studio in the Warehouse District in Peoria. She has two kids, two grandkids and a dog named Batman. This is my first year to be involved with the Big Picture Art Initiative. I am proud to be a part of the active arts community in Peoria and to help promote big local events like the Big Picture Arts Festival!
Tom Boylan
Kindall Nelson
Bryan Blanks, Creative Director
"Last year's Big Picture Festival was one of the most special events I've seen in Peoria in many years. The event truly made me so proud to be a Peorian. Big Picture was a perfect example of how art is alive and thriving in Peoria. The Festival gives artists from all walks of life to not only the opportunity to collaborate, but to witness first-hand the great work others are creating. I left last year's Big Picture Festival uniquely inspired on a creative level, and challenged to spread my wings as a local artist."
Arthur Hayes, Bloomington Team
"This is my first year hearing about Big Picture Peoria. After attending my first meeting and hearing about all of the amazing artistry that will be on display this year I just had to be a part of this event. It means a lot for me to be able to highlight hip hop, the culture and the arts associated with the craft at this event. It is an honor and I look forward to exposing this artistry to new people and seeing their reactions. This year's event is going to be epic. I am really thankful to be involved and grateful to be on the Big Picture Peoria team."
Natasha Greene, Peoria Drum Circle
"Coming to Peoria in 2015 was a wonderful adventure after living in northern Wisconsin all my life. The beauty of the river, the people I met, the vibrant art and music scene really drew me in. I have loved being a part of the Big Picture community and meeting so many amazing people. Doug and Eileen bring out the best in people and each other. They are inspiring to know and be around. It's an honor and joy to watch Big Picture become what it is meant to be and see the deep impact it has on the rejuvenation happening in Peoria. I am all in when it comes to pouring out love into Peoria. The Peoria Drum Circle has been another amazing outlet for this and I am so excited to bring it to Big Picture Street Festival this year!"
Angelique Racki, Executive Director, BCAI School of Arts, Bloomington
As a visionary, 24/7 mentor and a big picture, outside-the-box thinker, it was a no-brainer to collab and partner with Doug and Eileen on Big Picture Peoria from the start. My continued involvement as well as my organization (BCAI School of Arts) speaks to this collective mindset. BBP offers a platform for expression, message and a safe space to connect to other artists - to try out various arts you may not have had the opportunity to experience yet. You get to soak in the ambiance of imagination and fruitful interactions. Every square foot of the festival offers various perspectives of Art as a living, breathing entity and energy instead of something just to be viewed from a distance. This in and of itself is enough to stay connected. I'm here and we aren't going anywhere.