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

The exhibit highlighted community efforts in the preservation and adaptive reuse of the Old Joliet Prison.  Through the preservation of stories and memories, objects, and the sharing of ideas and visions, governmental agencies, environmentalists, historians, residents, and other regional stakeholders are working together to reimage the aging facility before it decays beyond repair.  The question remains:  What, ultimately, should the redeveloped prison become?

Learn how a diverse cross section of disciplines is working in tandem to collaborate on preserving not only the site of the Old Joliet Penitentiary, but its unique history as one of the largest, most infamous prisons in the history of Illinois.

Lincoln Landing

December 2016 to May 2017

The exhibit explained the logistic ideals behind the Lincoln Landing’s landscape design and long horizontals which reflect the landing’s history and earlier uses. Visitors can learn about Artist David Ostro and his creation of the life-size three-headed sculpture of Abraham Lincoln that resides within the story circle on Lincoln Landing near The Gaylord Building.

Lockport Summer Art Series Trading Card Exhibit

June – October 2016

Discarded Memories by Kass Copeland

June – October 2016

Unlocking the Past: Larissa Barnat’s Joliet Prison Photographs

February – December 2016

Lockport on View: Canal Community

February – May 2015

The exhibit featured historical photographs of one of the preserved canal communities in the United States.  H.H. Carter photographs are at the center of this exhibit.  Other images from Lewis University’s Adelmann Regional History Center Collection were included.

Adelmann Regional History Center Collection

Visions of the I and M Canal National Heritage Corridor at 30

February – May 2015

Jason Brammer: Time Machines, Relics and Portals

June – August 2014

Abraham Lincoln and the I&M Canal

February 2009 – January 2012

Places, Pieces and People that Matter

September 2011 – January 2012

Lines and Shadows, Discovering the Adelmann Collection

October 2010 – September 2011

Lincoln Landing from Dream to Reality

October 2009 – December 2010

Celebrating Twenty Years: The Gaylord Building on the Public Landing, 1987-2007

October 2007 – September 2010

Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience

June – August 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America

August – September 2009

Jewels of the Past: Historic Preservation in the Corridor

May – October 2007

Worth: The Friendly Village with Small Town Charm

January – May 2007

Generations of Pride: African Americans in Illinois

January – April 2007

Lincoln Through the Years, 1846-1865

December 2006 – January 2007

World War II: Posters of Illinois

October – December 2006

Bar None: 125 Years of Illinois Women Lawyers

August 1 – October 2006

Navy Pier: Gateway to the I & M Canal Corridor

May 2006 – May 2007

Lincoln Landing

Lincoln Landing is an outdoor museum memorializing the history and people of Lockport, and Abraham Lincoln’s I&M Canal connections. Located just outside the Gaylord Building, Lincoln Landing features a bronze statue of a young Abraham Lincoln, and can be enjoyed year-round.

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