LOCKPORT – City officials are calling on local artists to help fill the now-barren walls of the Illinois State Museum in Lockport – emptied out earlier this month because of the state’s budget impasse and lapsed insurance.
“I think it’s the ultimate reaction to [the state budget crisis],” said John Lustig, gallery manager. “Even if the state does reach a budget deal, it would still take another two months to get another exhibit in here. So this will fill the space. It makes all the sense in the world.”
The city issued a news release Friday calling on artists to submit their work for display during the city’s Summer Art Series. The space was cleared out earlier this month when the Illinois State Museum system’s insurance – which covers traveling or loaned items – lapsed due to the state budget impasse.
Lockport Mayor Steven Streit said the goal is to fill the walls from floor to ceiling, end-to-end, fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle – a way to send a message to lawmakers and Rauner.
The city is calling the exhibit “The People’s Show.” At no cost, the city’s insurance will be extended to cover the Lockport Gallery.
According to the news release, the only requirements are that the artwork is framed before dropping it off at the gallery. The artist must also pick be able to pick up his or her artwork at the conclusion of the show.
“How long will the show run? Unknown,” Streit said in the news release.
“That depends on whether or not Springfield can pull it together.”
Artwork can be delivered to the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery beginning July 27.
Contact John Lustig, manager of the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery, at