Peggy studied printmaking and earned an MA in Museum Studies at Western Illinois University. She holds a certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration from the Morton Arboretum (Lisle, Illinois) and is a University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist. She teaches Book Arts at Bradley University and is a member of the Peoria Print Co-op. Her work is included in the collections of Ball Seed Company, the Western Illinois University Art Museum, Prairie State Winery, and private collections. She has exhibited throughout Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri and has accumulated awards for her prints and drawings including best of show honors at the St. Peters Missouri Cultural Arts Center (2017) and the Peoria Art Guild Members Exhibit (2019).
Peggy West’s drawings, prints and artist books advocate for nature and conservation with a spotlight on native plant and bird species of Central Illinois. Each work represents a convergence of personal memory, public advocacy for the environment, and a deep respect for science and natural history. Inspired by the pages of antique field guides, the typography of wood and metal type, and the history of botanical art, her works give voice to the struggle, growth, unique nature, and resilience of our prairies and woodlands and draw attention to each species’ potential as teacher and life coach.