An Arresting Assemblage of Art

Release Date: 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

ISM Location: 

For Immediate Release:

 {Illinois State Museum-Lockport} announces our next exhibition, SURPLUS SCRAP an art exhibition featuring photography, sculpture installation, wood, jewelry and paper from  twenty-three (24) emerging and established artists from Illinois. The artwork has been created from material destroyed in a fire in 2017 at the abandoned Joliet Prison. This exhibition is done in partnership with The Joliet Area Historical Musem

 “Surplus scrap” is the official designation for trash by the State of Illinois.  Utilizing this material in the creation of art demonstrates the need to consider recycling, reusing and repurposing in preservation of the environment.  The exhibit also calls attention to the abandoned Joliet Prison (1858-2002) and the efforts to restore and repurpose the 14 acre property as a museum and site for social justice.

 The work created honors the thousands of lives that have passed through the prison during its 144 year history from inmates to guards to civil servants.  The contemporary perspective that the artists bring reclaims history and contributes to restorative justice. Some of the work honors specific inmates.  A number of the artworks address the cultural perception and reaction of the prison as a construct.  All of the work embodies the character of the source material as seen through the invention of each artist.

Contact Person: 

John Lustig

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: 


Cropped image of "Every Man"  Sculpture, copper, rivets, cement, pipe and wood by Terry Eastham

Release File (pdf): 

Release File (doc):