LOCKPORT – Gallery Seven will reopen Thursday in Lockport, where it’s the latest addition to a project aimed at blending the arts with downtown revitalization.
The art gallery was forced to leave its space in the Two Rialto Square building in Joliet in December with efforts underway to lease the storefront space to a paying tenant.
But the gallery may have found a welcome home in downtown Lockport, where it has become part of an effort to tie the arts to commercial activity.
“It fits really well with the scope of our current programming,” said Pam Owens, executive director of the Gaylord Building.
Gallery Seven will have limited hours: Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m.; and the first Sunday of each month from noon to 3 p.m.
While Gallery Seven opens this week, a grand opening with refreshments will be held 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 10.
Gallery Seven will open on the second floor of the Gaylord Building, an 1838 limestone building that originally was used as a warehouse and now houses the Public Landing restaurant, the Artist Guild of Lockport, and a ground-floor gallery devoted to the Illinois & Michigan Canal.
Owens said the Gallery Seven addition “is really activating that space in a way that I think will draw people in.”
Gallery Seven, which did not pay rent in Joliet, is not paying rent at the Gaylord Building for at least its first year there. The rent is being subsidized by the city of Lockport and Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Gaylord Building, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is in the midst of a project called unLock, which is using a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to try to use art projects to stimulate commercial activity downtown.
This week, the Gaylord Building announced 10 finalists among the proposals for unLock, including murals, sculpture and other art possibilities downtown.