Union Street Gallery was founded in 1995 as part of a small business incubation project, subsidized by the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation. In 1998, the studio artists formed a collaborative to run the gallery. The artists worked to develop the gallery’s potential as a local and national art resource based in the south suburbs.
Sadly, in 2004, the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation lost most of its funding and closed the project, including Union Street Gallery. The artists rallied to maintain the organization by finding temporary spaces and filing for 501(c)3 status. With significant help from city of Chicago Heights officials, the artists were able to secure the current building in 2006.
The three-story historic landmark building now houses fifteen artist studios and two floors of gallery space. The concept of being a collaborative is still an integral part of Union Street Gallery. However, much of the artists’ hard work running USG has been passed on to the board, staff, and volunteers, allowing the artists to return to making the art that has drawn around 3000 people to the gallery per year.