Exhibits and Programs at the Gaylord Building

Current Programs & Exhibits

The Gaylord Building has featured a range of exhibits on the history of the canal, the people who built it, the towns that prospered along it, and the landscape that was shaped by it.

Life Along The Canal: The Art of John M. Lamb

The first-floor gallery of the Gaylord Building hosts the permanent exhibit Illinois Passage: Connecting the Continent. This exhibit examines the impact of the Illinois & Michigan Canal on the development of northeastern Illinois. Blending artifacts, historic photos, and engaging interpretive text, the exhibit provides visitors with an introduction to the role that the I & M Canal played in shaping Illinois’ destiny. The Illinois State Historical Society awarded the exhibit a Superior Achievement for exhibitions. Part of the citation states, “Based on extensive and impeccable research, the exhibition is a model of high-quality design in service of sound educational goals.”

Illinois Passage: Connecting the Continent

The first-floor gallery of the Gaylord Building hosts the permanent exhibit Illinois Passage: Connecting the Continent. This exhibit examines the impact of the Illinois & Michigan Canal on the development of northeastern Illinois. Blending artifacts, historic photos, and engaging interpretive text, the exhibit provides visitors with an introduction to the role that the I & M Canal played in shaping Illinois’ destiny. The Illinois State Historical Society awarded the exhibit a Superior Achievement for exhibitions. Part of the citation states, “Based on extensive and impeccable research, the exhibition is a model of high-quality design in service of sound educational goals.”

Past Exhibits

unLOCK: Merging Art & Industry in Lockport

January 2018 – October 2018

unLOCK was a citywide multimedia art experience that commissioned new works by eleven artists to interpret the region’s unique history and engage audiences through public installations and arts programming.

Through the arts, this project galvanized the city’s unique heritage as an industrial hub to propel revitalization efforts of the city’s historic downtown.  Through unLOCK, both community members and visitors gained a richer understanding of the role that Lockport and the region played in revolutionizing the development of the Midwest and how this industrial heritage can contribute to fueling future economic growth and building community identity.  This project was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

rePORT: Introducing the Artists of unLOCK

May 2018 – August 2018

This exhibition brought together the existing works of the eleven artists who were selected to participate in the unLOCK summer art series, unLOCK: Merging Art & Industry in Downtown Lockport, IL.  rePORT showcased the eclectic practices and creative strategies that were employed to create new installations.

Unlocking the Past: From Prison to Vision

October 2016 – January 2018