Monday, June 27, 2011

Phantom Gallery

The Phantom Gallery space!
I have been working on a very exciting project with the art organization that I am involved with. North Central Illinois ARTworks has decided to open a "phantom gallery" in downtown La Salle. It was a hard decision to close our gallery at the Willows Hotel in Utica but this was the best decision for the group. The owner of the Willows has been very generous to us but the gallery was difficult to staff with members. The phantom gallery gives us the option to display our work in the windows of a lovely old building in La Salle without staffing problems. The old, two story Blakley building which is for sale abd once housed a wonderful clothing store in the 50's and 60's will be our new home. Hopefully from time to time we will be able to use the downstairs space for special events and artist openings. The building has been vacant for sometime and we have swept, dusted, cleaned and freshened. It's perfect for gallery space in the future and the upstairs which was once a restaurant that could be used as a venue for music, private parties, events, etc. So cool. So expensive to buy. We need an art "sugar daddy".

The clean up begins with major window washing to make them sparkle.

I am thrilled as are our other members for this new opportunity and the city has embraced us and our attempt to rejuvenate the downtown area. Across the street is Stage 212 and we hope to open on the same evening that "Chicago" debuts at the theater on Friday, July 22.

One of our members has created a photo of what the gallery will look like when complete.

This new venue has given our art members some new life. It's hard to keep a non for profit organization running. Sometimes we get discouraged. We wonder if it is all worth it. Are we doing the right thing? Do we have the support we need? One of our officers has kept an amazing scrapbook that we look at when things don't seem to be going as planned. As we flip through the pages and see all that has been accomplished we say..."it's worth it."

Please help support this new gallery in downtown La Salle. Enjoy the art that will be on display. Tell your friends about us. Make a donation. Ask how you can help. Purchase some art. Join our group. Realize the importance of art and cultural activities and their impact to a vibrant community.

You can read more about the phantom gallery here.


  1. I ate at the restaurant once. It was a very neat space and a shame when it closed and sat empty. I'm glad someone moved in!

  2. I loved it when Mezzanotte was the restaurant upstairs. Several other people tried to make a go of it after that but were not successful. It still has the very long 40's bar, tables and chairs all set up to go.

  3. Might I say that The Awakenings Project is excited just to have a little space in the midst of Breast Cancer month (October), since the first full week in October is also known as Mental Illness Awareness Week. We will have a show at IVCC, which will run concurrently. We're looking forward to this.