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updated: 6/6/2013 5:05 PM

neXt Gallery celebrates Ēkwabet's 25th Birthday with June 15 reception

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  • The neXt gallery Celebrates Ekwabet's 25th Birthday

      The neXt gallery Celebrates Ekwabet's 25th Birthday
    Gary Brown

 
Elizabeth Bellaver

St. Charles, IL, June 6, 2013 -- The neXt Gallery Celebrates Ēkwabet's 25th Birthday is hosting an opening reception on Saturday, June 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. The gallery will be open Wednesday to Sundays, June 15 through July 6. Specific hours are posted on the gallery web site. Refreshments will be available, and all of the artwork in the gallery will be for sale.

The gallery address is 228 W. Main St., St. Charles (the northeast corner of Route 64 and Third Street). Parking is available on Third Street, and in a number of municipal parking lots around the area. The gallery web site is nextgallerystcharles.org, and the phone number is (630) 429-0973.

It features multiple rooms of fabulous sculpture, painting, photography, and ceramics -- all of which are for sale. The South Room of this gallery brings the vision of Meg Bero, executive director of the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures to the neXt Gallery program. Ms. Bero has invited four prominent Native American visual artists from all over the country to participate and has titled this gallery First Voice.

Curator's Statement: "So often American Indians are relegated to the past. Using irony and humor these artists translate their experiences, acknowledging the past in present day vernacular. Through the juxtaposition of traditional Native American iconography and that of popular culture, they challenge stereotypes and address the issues of Native American identity in the 21st century."

The juror for the North Room of this gallery is Guy J. Bellaver, the sculptor of Ēkwabet. This gallery features both invited Native American artists and juried local/regional artists, whose work has been submitted to the theme Native -- and includes many fascinating explorations of all of the meanings of that word.

Ēkwabet's 25th Birthday

The two-year project to bring Ēkwabet to the banks of the Fox River in St. Charles culminated with the sculpture's dedication in May, 1988. It was named Ēkwabet -- which means "Watching Over" -- by Billy Daniels of the Forest County Tribe (Crandon, WI) of the Potawatomi Nation at a naming ceremony in 1989. The neXt gallery Celebrates Ēkwabet's 25th Birthday celebrates the sculpture's "birthday", as well as the city's artistic, historic, and cultural heritage. Ēkwabet is listed in the Art Inventories Catalog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among other historic and cultural records. The gallery features Native American visual art to celebrate and showcase the heritage of Native American art, as well as its presence and relevance in 21st century America. The gallery also includes the work of local artists as part of the SCAC's ongoing commitment to provide tangible support to artists.

The gallery will be at 228 W. Main Street, St. Charles, IL -- on the northeast corner of N. 3rd Street and Route 64 in downtown St. Charles. The gallery web site is nextgallerystcharles.org, and the phone number is 630.429.0973. The St Charles Arts Council and the neXt gallery committee would like to extend their thanks to Meg Bero and the Schingoethe Center for Ms. Bero's vision, knowledge, and time; the City of St. Charles who supported the gallery's promotion; Dr. Denise Kissell (Dickens, Mason, and Kissell, D.D.S.) and Tim Crandall (Crandall, Crandall, and Baert, CPA) and The St. Charles Group for their financial sponsorship; Shima Sushi for donating food and wine for the Opening Reception; Tom Hansen and Gary Brown who provided graphic design work; and N. Henry and Sons who donated the gallery signage.

For more information about neXt gallery Celebrates Ēkwabet's 25th Birthday check the gallery web site -- or call 630.443.3794 (St Charles Arts Council office).

The St. Charles Arts Council is a 501(c)(3), registered not-for-profit Illinois corporation whose mission is to create an organization that serves and promotes the arts and cultural activities in St. Charles, to the mutual benefit of the arts and the community. The SCAC is staffed entirely by volunteers.

About the neXt gallery program:

The neXt gallery Pop-Up Art Gallery program is a collaboration that promotes local/regional artists, the SCAC, and the St. Charles business community. The program is called neXt gallery, because you never know where it will pop up next!

About Ēkwabet:

For more information about the sculpture and the public art project, go to Ēkwabet.com and the St. Charles Public Library web site - http://www.st-charles.lib.il.us/history/ekwabet.htm or https://sites.google.com/site/stcharleshistoricbuildings/main_page/local-buildings---alphabetically/ekwabet-statue. Ēkwabet is also listed in the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Search Center and the Art Inventories Catalog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Illinois Secretary of State's "Illinois Digital Archives", and many media outlets.

About the Schingoethe Center and Meg Bero:

Meg Bero, the Executive Director of the Schingoethe Museum for Native American Cultures at Aurora University (Aurora, IL) is the gallery's guest curator. Ms. Bero and the Schingoethe Center have won Awards of Excellence in Exhibitions from Illinois Association of Museums, Awards of Superior Achievement from the Illinois Association of Museums, and the Illinois State Historical Society.

About the St. Charles Arts Council:

The SCAC will serve all those individuals (professionals, amateurs, and students) who produce tangible, consumable works of the imagination and all organizations, businesses, and groups that include and represent those people. This would be arts and cultural activities in their broadest sense, including graphic, plastic, and decorative arts, architecture, crafts, literature and poetry, music, theater, and dance. The primary long-range goal is the transformation of St. Charles into an arts community/an arts magnet/a nationally-known arts market. Ultimately we foresee a municipal arts center, more working artists and opportunities in arts education, many privately-owned galleries, performance venues, and related arts businesses, and a downtown architecture and streetscape conducive to both the aesthetics and business of art. Contact the SCAC for information at 630.443.3794 or info@StCharlesArtsCouncil.org

About the City of St. Charles:

St. Charles, Illinois, located in both DuPage and Kane County, is 35 miles west of downtown Chicago. Over 2,100 businesses employ over 34,200 people, consisting of a balanced mix of retailers, restaurants, and manufacturing facilities. The City of St. Charles was recently named one of the "150 Great Places in Illinois" for the combined architectural work of the City Municipal Center, the Main Street Bridge, and the historic Hotel Baker.

The City's recently completed 2014 Strategic Plan includes the following Action Plan: Market and promote St. Charles as a friendly, appealing destination, characterized by activities, events, arts, and culture. Capitalize on artistic and cultural resources by supporting local talent and lively venues and activities. Encourage collective civic endeavors to broaden the variety of attractions and events.

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