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The Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery offers more than just a quiet retreat to contemplate critically noted exhibitions highlighting the art and visual culture of Illinois. Special events, talks, guided tours, and informative presentations provide background information and insight, bringing the each installation alive.


The Lockport Gallery features rotating exhibitions highlighting the art and visual culture of Illinois.


Edgewise, open through May 27, 2023.

This exhibition amplifies the voices of formidable women, queer, and non-binary people who have found ways to get a word in edgewise in a male-centric society. The Museum celebrates the voices and achievements of those Illinoisans who would not be silent.

The stories told in this exhibition are the words and deeds of those Illinoisans who have made waves: artists, scientists, designers, teachers, homemakers, mothers, authors, performers, and dreamers. We honor their struggle, courage, fortitude, and passion. Some of the stories speak to power, fighting injustice, and violence. Others are personal stories embedded in the determination to succeed or survive. Yet, all of them shine a light into the time and place where they lived, showing us the obstacles they had to overcome as well as the triumph of getting a word in edgewise.

Organized by Elizabeth Bazan, Erika Holst, Tracy Pierceall, and Doug Stapleton

Upcoming Exhibitions

Philip Juras | The Long View

Prairie Paintings from Illinois Nature Preserves

June 9, 2023 – October 21, 2023

This exhibition features paintings from 23 nature preserves across Illinois by artist and conservationist Philip Juras.  The work celebrates the 60-year legacy of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and offers a window into the past and present ecology of the Prairie State.

The prairies featured in Juras’ paintings range geographically from the shore of Lake Michigan, Lockport, and down through the southern end of Illinois. They show the visual variety found in remnant prairies based on physical characteristics and the ephemeral qualities of weather and season. Juras remarks that, ‘together, they represent multiple aspects of the tallgrass landscape I’ve come to cherish. For example, as a southerner more accustomed to densely forested environments, I find the long views in prairies irresistible.’

Together with Juras’ paintings is another exhibition, Prairie Companion. This exhibition features artwork and specimens from the Illinois State Museum collection that highlight aspects of prairie ecology and how our actions have consequence for prairie survival. While Juras’ exhibit celebrates the wide vistas of the prairie, this exhibition considers individual species and details of places that define this vital ecosystem.

‘As an artist, I’m enthralled by tallgrass prairie. Its beauty, rich ecology, and fascinating history are the essential ingredients in what I believe makes a compelling landscape. It is moving to set foot in a true prairie remnant where I can ponder the profusion of flowers and grasses and imagine how the patch of prairie in front of me could once have covered millions of acres.’  Philip Juras