Georgia Schwender, curator of Fermilab’s art gallery, was volunteering at a local art show when she was approached by Lane Allen.
“Lane is a high-energy, dynamic person,” said Schwender. “He starts rattling off about energy and gives these thoughts about how it’d be a great idea to collaborate.”
Allen is the curator of the Gallery at Allen+Pepa Architects in downtown Batavia, Ill. The two talked with Steven Lockwood and Jim Kirkhoff of Water Street Studios, both of whom were also at the festival and just as eager to work together. From this conversation a plan was born.
Titled “Energy,” the ambitious, first-ever collaboration between the three galleries will showcase work from many local artists. “Energy” will be based in Batavia, known as the city of energy for its windmill past and as the home of Fermilab.
Each gallery will focus on one of three types of energy. The Fermilab gallery will concentrate on work inspired by potential energy, which is “stored in a body or system due to its position in a force field,” according to the exhibition announcement. The Gallery at Allen+Pepa will showcase work related to mechanical energy, including the potential and kinetic energy within that system, while Water Street Studios will reference kinetic energy, which relates to motion.
“It’s nice to have Fermilab and local arts involved together as one community,” said Rebecca Allen, the wife of Lane and the one organizing the show for Allen+Pepa. She is hoping for a lot of participation from the local art community.
Another one of the goals of the project is to increase memberships with Water Street Studios. While registration for the show is free, artists will need to sign up for a $45 membership with Water Street Studios, which supports, along with the gallery, a number of resident artists and classes for the general public. The studio first began as a collaborative effort and strives to bring more groups together to build a stronger artistic community.
The event is open for registration until January 27. Guidelines for the artwork are flexible and all media are accepted.
If successful, the new collaboration could lead to further projects for the three galleries.
“When you’re around artists, it brings you to new ideas,” Schwender said.