In the past, art in our community was a novelty. It was something brought out once in a great while, to entertain for a moment, only to vanish again into the background. It was just a pastime that was not considered important, an avenue that was a dead end.
In 2013, an art gallery opened in Morris, Illinois, that opened eyes and minds to the fact that Grundy County has more to offer in the arena of art. Out of the shadows came artists, art lovers, and an art community that most were not aware of.
Artists from all walks had a place to show their work, take classes to learn new skills, and meet like-minded others to exchange ideas. The public had a unique opportunity to witness the artistic voices in our community. A vibrant atmosphere had been created. As this exciting movement was just beginning, the doors closed. And like a brilliant flash of lightning, it was gone.
As time rolled on, budgetary cuts hacked away at arts in schools. These areas took the first shot to the bow, as our state economy faltered. The recognition of a community's arts and cultural assets (and the marketing of them) is an important element of economic development.
Creatively acknowledging and marketing community assets can attract a strong workforce and successful firms, as well as sustain a positive quality of life. Yet, classes were slashed, teachers let go, and students' educations left as casualties. The six founding members of EXibit looked around at the situation and said, "No." They banded together to create an organization that would educate the young, inspire the adult, and enrich our community through the arts. It is this effort that brings us to you. We cannot do this alone, we need your help. Together we can create a positive tomorrow, today, through the arts!
The EXibit Fine Art Center and Gallery is an established 501(3)C Not for Profit organization.
Robert J. Engle
The EXibit Fine Art Center and Gallery
2022 Board of Directors