For the past four years, Springfield's DEMO Project has been drawing in artists from New York, California - and many places in between.
It's given artists a chance to experiment with installations in a unique setting. The small house has been carefully adapted to a space for everything from projected videos to hanging sculptures, raccoons traveling on robotic vacuums and a performative hog roast. The list goes on and is gloriously strange.
Allison Lacher, an organizer and artist who specializes in installation work, was one of the founders. Together with Jeff Robinson, she also runs the UIS Visual Arts Gallery. DEMO afforded them a chance to invite up-and-coming as well as established artists to take chances and start conversations in the Enos Park neighborhood, surrounding the Springfield Art Association. "When project spaces or artist-run spaces end, there tend to be two primary factors. Either ... the effort runs out of money, or the artists behind the projects run out of steam. In the case with DEMO Project, neither of those are the case. And DEMO is seeing its end in a very dramatic fashion. There's something poetic and romantic about the whole thing."
Ultimately, all these efforts will culminate in DEMO's destruction. It's part of the expansion of the Springfield Art Association, and everyone knew it was coming. Still - it's certainly a dramatic finale. On Saturday, the final showing and reception will take place from 2 to 5 pm at 732 N. 4th St. -- about 20 artists will have their art on display. Lacher joined us to talk more about that as well as what the future might hold for those who have worked so hard to make meaningful and much needed contributions to the area's arts scene. Listen below: