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1527 Otto Blvd
708 754 2601
Free to the Public
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Gallery is a
Union Street Gallery was founded in 1995 as a working Arts Incubator and Gallery as part of a small business incubation project, subsidized by the Chicago Southland Economic Development. In 1998, the first Gallery Director resigned and the Studio Artists stepped in and began to develop the artistic programming, recognizing the gallery’s potential to be a resource for artists all over the nation, and an arts resource for Chicago Heights and the region south of Chicago. The scope of the Gallery increased with the addition of national juried arts exhibitions and educational programming such as field trips and classes.
In 2004, the Chicago Southland Economic Development lost most of its funding and shut down the project, including Union Street Gallery. The artists realized the importance and positive impact of the gallery on the community and worked together to keep Union Street Gallery functioning.
In 2005, Union Street Gallery became a not-for profit 501(c)3 corporation and a standalone visual arts agency incubating 16 artists.
Later in 2005, Studio Artists and the Board of Directors secured the building in Chicago Heights with the help of local government officials. The three-story historic landmark building was rehabilitated and retrofitted specifically for use as a gallery and artists’ studio space, opening in 2006 with two floors of gallery space and a third floor of artists studios inhabited by a working artists’ collaborative. The artists remained in control of the artistic programming.
Thanks to increased funding, in the summer of 2010 the gallery hosted its first ever curated solo exhibits featuring the art of internationally recognized painter Nina Weiss and local photographer John Spomar. The purpose of these exhibits was to introduce the community to the art of both a well known internationally recognized artist and a well known local artist that the community otherwise may not have ever been exposed to.
Left: images of the building during the rehab
Today Union Street Gallery is the premier arts resource for the Chicago southland serving 3000 people per year through diverse art exhibits, classes and workshops, and art outreach projects. There are 16 studio artists, 20 guild artists, and 30 volunteers, all at varying ages and ethnicity.The Gallery continues to grow and establish itself as a sustainable arts and culture resource for the south suburbs.
History of the Building
Read the below article on the history of 1527 Otto Blvd published in the December 2010 issue of Historic Illinois by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
Assistant to the Director
Gift Shop Coordinator
Friends of Union Street Gallery
About Town Partners
Chicago Heights Park District
Salon Gallery, Park Forest
The Drama Group, Chicago Heights