June 30, 2013 • 11:21:50 p.m.

The Next Gallery to celebrate Ekwabet’s 25th birthday


The statue of "Ēkwabet,” a Potawatomi Indian, watches over downtown St. Charles. (File photo by Kara Silva -

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Arts Council will present “The Making of Ēkwabet” as part of the neXt Gallery's celebration of Ēkwabet’s 25th birthday at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 30. The gallery's current pop-up location is at 228 W. Main St. in St. Charles.

“The Making of Ēkwabet” will feature Ēkwabet's sculptor Guy J. Bellaver, who will share the story of how the iconic sculpture of a Potawatomi Indian “returned” to St. Charles. Ēkwabet – meaning Watching Over – was dedicated in 1988 and given his Potawatomi name by Billy Daniels of the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe in a naming ceremony in 1989, according to a news release.

“I met Bill Berg of the St. Charles Rotary Club just a few weeks after my family moved to St. Charles in 1985," Bellaver said in the release. "Bill had thought for quite some time that St. Charles needed a commemorative sculpture of a Potawatomi Indian to “return” to St. Charles – and he immediately decided that we (he and the Rotary Club) needed to make this happen. ... It’s a treat to celebrate [Ēkwabet's] "birthday" and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to make this presentation about a project that, in 1985, many people thought would be very tough to make happen in our small, blue collar town.”

According to the release, Ēkwabet is listed in the Art Inventories Catalog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The celebration will feature multiple rooms filled with sculptures, paintings, photography and ceramics – all of which are for sale. The gallery features Native American visual art to celebrate and showcase the heritage of Native American art, as well as its presence and relevance in 21st Century America, according to the release. The gallery also includes the work of local artists as part of the art council's ongoing commitment to provide tangible support to artists.

For more information about neXt gallery's event, Ēkwabet’s 25th Birthday, call 630-443-3794.

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