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updated: 6/19/2013 12:13 PM

neXt Gallery Celebrates Ēkwabet's 25th Birthday -- Presents Native AmericanStorytelling

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Elizabeth Bellaver

St. Charles, IL, June 18, 2013 -- The neXt Gallery Celebrates Ēkwabet's 25th Birthday - a program of the St Charles Arts Council, in partnership with the St. Charles Public Library is presenting storyteller Donna Dettman at the gallery on Sunday, June 23rd from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Ms. Dettman will share Native American tales chosen to entertain the entire family, including a tale based on local legend that includes song.

The gallery address is 228 W. Main St., St. Charles (the northeast corner of Main St. (Route 64) and 3rd St.) Parking is available on 3rd Street, and in a number of municipal parking lots around the area. The gallery web site is, and the phone number is 630.429.0973.

neXt Gallery Celebrates Ēkwabet's 25th Birthday features multiple rooms of fabulous sculpture, painting, photography, and ceramics -- all of which are for sale. The "South Gallery" brings the vision of Meg Bero, Executive Director of the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures to the neXt Gallery program, and the juror for the "North Gallery" is Guy J. Bellaver, the sculptor of Ēkwabet. Please enjoy the visual art in the gallery before and after the storytelling.

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 St Charles Arts Council and the neXt gallery committee would like to extend their thanks to the St. Charles Public Library for bringing Ms. Dettman to St. Charles.

The SCAC also thanks 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 Ē and the St. Charles Public Library web site - or 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 St. Charles Public Library:

The St. Charles Public Library is an integral part of the community that has met the information and resource needs of St. Charles residents for almost 100 years. The Library's role has grown from a simple book lending service in 1906, to a multi-service library and information center using 21st century technology.

The Library is recognized for its outstanding collections and programs. Its Youth, Reference, and Special Services programs and staffs have won state-wide awards for excellence. The community's high use and support of the Library are indicative of the value residents place on it.

Philanthropy has played an important role in the Library's past, from funds for the first Library, the 1908 Carnegie building, to grants from the Norris Foundation to remodel the original 1908 facility. The St. Charles Public Library Foundation continues this tradition of philanthropy and service to the community.

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

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.