Through paper making, this artist duo creates portraits of watersheds and ecosystems through the amalgamation of scavenged and natural materials. By foraging and processing both invasive and endemic species into their handmade paper map installations, Babcock and Singleton investigate how local and regional watersheds carry clues to the rich histories of industrially altered water ways, changing agriculture practices, and shifting biodiversity in the region.
Invested in the tradition of plein air painting, Capettini renders landscapes and architecture to consider the social and historical narratives around her subjects. She turns her eye to Lockport’s unique buildings along State Street for her contribution to unLOCK. With a cleverly designed scavenger hunt, Capettini invites visitors to meander downtown to connect the architectural vignettes in her paintings with their real counterparts. Through this playful game, she teases out the historic functions of the depicted buildings by holding them in contrast to their contemporary uses. Capettini invites close examination of Lockport’s architecture to draw into light their complex and overlooked stories.
Informed by a deep commitment to representational painting, Carrelli examines Lockports integral role in the region’s cultivation and distribution of grains through his fascination with repetition. For unLOCK, he creates a series of stylized, semi-transparent wheat stalk sculptures along the I&M canal as a ghostly totem to the trade that allowed Lockport to thrive.
Carrelli is a Chicago-based artist and teaches at DePaul University. He has exhibited work extensively for over 20 years, and his work is in a variety of collections, including the Illinois State Museum, the City of Chicago, Elmhurst College, Northwestern University and DePaul University.
Developing a unique cryptocurrency for Lockport, bLOCKcoin, Fish recalls the complex history of labor and speculative currency that defined the construction of Lockport’s I&M canal. Taking cues from silicon valley and tech start ups, Fish’s enterprise collaborates with local, Lockport businesses to sell branded paraphernalia that can only be purchased with bLOCKcoin. To find out more visit the official website:
Dylan Fish holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he was a full-merit scholar. He has received grants from the province of Nova Scotia, the Shapiro Center and the University of Chicago. His work has been exhibited in Canada, South Africa, Germany and the United States.
Love is sourcing language and poetry from the Lockport community through workshops and collection boxes to create a poem that captures the diverse perspectives and unique histories of the city. Love distributes the results throughout the community with wheat pasted poems and zines. The elastic medium of language allows Love to tap into Lockport’s collective consciousness and share the product through graphic street art.
Samuel Love is the secretary of the Calumet Artist Residency, a non-profit arts organization founded in Gary in 2012. He draws upon 15 years teaching in higher education. He organized the Gary Poetry Project in 2017, hosting 50 workshops and collecting 1000 lines of poetry from 700 Gary residents.
A community member submits a contribution to the city-wide poem
An artist-led poetry workshop
Examining the history of labor, industry, and subsequent abandonment of the I&M Canal, Lyons constructs a “Lab” that seamlessly integrates with Lockport’s namesake, Lock 1. Historically, Lock 1 controlled passage and flow along the canal, and now as part of Lyons’ installation, acts as a center for Lyons to conduct a series of experiments and activities that trace the Canal’s obscured social, economic and environmental histories.
Colin Lyons received his BFA from Mount Allison University and MFA in printmaking from University of Alberta. His work has been shown in 25 solo exhibitions across Canada and the USA, as well as group exhibitions internationally. He is an assistant professor at Binghamton University (SUNY).
Solar powered lighting highlights the lab at night
Community members examine the chemical reactions
Data etchings in Lab's roof
Examining the iconography of prominent figures in Lockport’s history, McDavitt collaborates with the community to execute a mural in the White Oak Library. Dedicated to unpacking the collective history of Lockport, he works with library patrons to create mural that generates conversation of about Lockport’s history and launches past into the present.
John McDavitt is best known for large murals created in real-time where passersby’s are encouraged to engage with him as he works. His preferred method is traditional painting over canvas in acrylic. Themes of ‘overcoming’ are woven throughout John’s imaginative and joyful imagery.
Mural in progress
Mednicov lifts language, forms and images from Lockport’s historical archives. She then transfers these fragments of collective memory onto wallpaper in an elaborate collage that shifts between abstracted textures and discernible vignettes of Lockport’s history. By fusing moments of collective and individual memory with decorative wallpaper, Mednicov spotlights the lived experiences of past residents and the ways they continue to shape Lockport’s still unfolding story. Her wallpaper murals are installed in three locations throughout downtown Lockport: The Gaylord Building lobby, the White Oak Library: Lockport Branch, and Embers Tap House.
Jaclyn Mednicov has her BFA from University of Kansas and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has attended residencies and selected exhibitions include The Painting Center, NYC; NIU Art Museum, Dekalb, IL; PLHK, Chicago. Her work has been published in New American Paintings.
Ryan puts his trompe l’oeil painting skills to the service of the Lockport community by devising a mural to commemorate the city’s history as a transportation hub. Through this highly visible mural at Dellwood Tire, Ryan creates an iconic image over the course of the summer that distills Lockport’s identity.
Sketch for Mural
Dotting the trees along the I&M canal with otherworldly, sculptural spheres, Siblik transforms the everyday into the fantastical. Siblik asks us to examine the landscape around us and the ways we relate to it through sculptural installation.
John Siblik, Director, SOAD NIU, M.F.A. SIUC Selected GRANTS 2012 Iowa Art Council, Major Grant, NEA Funded, River Weaving, 2007 Iowa Arts Council, Iowa Department of Education, co-written, North Fayette S. D.$138,000, Illinois Arts Council Regional Arts Grant 1998-02