This exhibition was generated by artists that spent summer 2017 . An open invitation was sent out to the creative community to come to Lockport and be inspired by the “open air”, history and environment. THE RESULTS SHOW is the culmination of the artist’s labor. Eight“mentor” artists were scheduled to be onsite on specific Saturdays tomake art, provide demonstrations, and lead the conversations with the participants. Artists had the option of working on their own or engage with thegroup. A community was formed as residents, and recreational users of the I& M Canal became participants. Artistic media used during theevent ranged from ceramics to sculpture, and photography to thetraditional plein air methods including watercolor, oil paint, pastel and various drawing practices.
Without fail these weekend creative warriors appeared along the I&M Canal and historical downtown Lockport to ply their trade throughout the summer to hone in on their subject matter. Engagement with the community and stewardship of the environmentwere the buzz words throughout the summer. Knowledge of the history of the I&M Canal and the Illinois State Museum proper wastransferred on by participating artists to canal users. This resulted in many first time visitors inside the museum itself.
Also included in the exhibition is the assorted glass bottle collection of Mark and Adam Nelson of Lockport.The glass bottles featured range in age from the 1890’s through the early 1990’s.Starting as a bonding exercise on May 4,1997, Mark Nelson takes his twelve year old sonAdam out into the I&M Canal as scheduled dredging of the waterwaystook place. Father and son proceeded to discover, collect and preserve all matter of glass bottles and other emphemera from out of the canal.
Searching for treasure, the duo secured all nature of glass containers. Milk, whiskey, wine, medicine, soda pop, and carnival glass are represented in this collection. One hundred sixty glass bottlesreflecting 20th century packaging are featured in the exhibition. The Nelsons actions twenty years ago serve to protect history anddemonstrate positive stewardship of the environment.