This year begins with the first-ever collaboration between two pillars of Naperville’s cultural realm when Naper Settlement joins forces with Naperville Art League (NAL) to present “Inspiring Curiosity,” a themed exhibit set to open on January 26. The juried display, to be housed in the temporary gallery space in the Pre-Emption House, 523 South Webster, Naperville, will feature 70 pieces of original artwork by League members.
As a part of its mission, Naper Settlement provides engaging and unique experiences that include both long-and short-term exhibitions reflecting Naperville’s history as it relates to present day.
“We wanted a way to look at the objects in the museum collection in a new way and what better way than to ask local artists for their unique perspective?” said Jeanne Schultz Angel, associate vice president at Naper Settlement. “We have long admired the work of local artists in Naperville and developed this partnership with NAL to expand the access to artists’ work.”
Beata Nowak, board president of NAL, embraced the joint project concept and began recruiting member artists shortly after meeting with Angel. “One of the main reasons individuals join local art organizations is to participate in group shows. Working with the Settlement will not only allow us to offer that opportunity to our artists, but it will also help us attract new members and raise our visibility within the community.”
And that philosophy was right on target. Membership increased with the promotion of the Settlement show, and two of NAL’s newest artists were selected, along with 35 established members. Participants also include founding member Marilyn Polivka who joined NAL in the early 60s. Two of her pieces, a pen-and-ink drawing of downtown Naperville and an oil painting of a rural scene, were created on the Naper Settlement site over 50 years ago.
“Working with the Naperville Art League to highlight the talents of local artists is a wonderful collaboration that we are very much looking forward to this month,” Angel said. Both parties have hopes the relationship will continue to spawn thought-provoking exhibits in the coming years.
An opening reception is tentatively planned for January 26.
January 26 through April 7, 2023
Pre-Emption House at Naper Settlement
523 South Webster Street, Naperville
Admission: Free for members and Naperville residents; $4 – $6 for Visitors