neXt gallery Hosts Panel Discussion on “Art and Economic Development”

The neXt gallery at Shelby and the St. Charles Arts Council are sponsoring a Panel Discussion on “Art and Economic Development”. Panelists are Hennie Reynders (panel moderator), Henry King, and Chris Aiston.

Online PR News – 06-June-2011 – – St. Charles, Illinois, June 3, 2011 – The neXt gallery at Shelby is sponsoring a Panel Discussion on “Art and Economic Development”. Panel moderator is Hennie Reynders, Ph. D, Associate Professor of Architecture, Interior Architecture & Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Other panelists are Henry King, MA, Global Relationship Manager at Doblin, and Chris Aiston, Economic Development Director, City of St. Charles, IL.

Reynders sees cultural expression and economic development “tied in the same knot [which] can create significant opportunity when strategically understood [but] if ignored…can destroy the very well-being of a community.” Says Aiston, "Cities and Villages up and down the Fox River Valley are recognizing and exploring ways to enhance art awareness and appreciation in their communities. It makes good sense from an economic development perspective, as having a rich local artistic culture serves to attract and retain creative people - the heart and soul of entrepreneurship". The St. Charles Arts Council encourages interested citizens to attend and participate in the discussion on this important subject.

The event is on Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the gallery. Light refreshments will be served.

The gallery address is Suite 100, 210 South Fifth Street, in the Shelby Building. The gallery web site is, and the phone number is 630.429.0973. The SCAC and the neXt gallery committee would like to extend their thanks to Batavia Enterprises, the owners of the Shelby Building (and Batavia Enterprises’ Austin Dempsey) who are partnering in this location with the arts council.

During the month that neXt gallery at Shelby is open, there will be events such as this panel discussion, as well as artist demonstrations, music, and the Fridays @ 5 receptions, a fun cross promotional program with Prasino in St. Charles. From the Memorial Day weekend through the end of June there will be an incredible amount of arts programming in St. Charles – and the SCAC encourages residents and visitors to come to the city to enjoy all that is planned. Check out the neXt gallery web site for a Calendar of ARTS Events in St. Charles.

The neXt gallery is a “Pop Up” gallery, which, if you haven’t heard of the idea before, is typically an empty storefront/office building that is transformed into a temporary art gallery for a short period of time. The neXt gallery program is an initiative of the St. Charles Arts Council designed to create energy, excitement, and opportunities for artists – as pop up galleries have done in Chicago’s Loop, Evanston, and cities around the world – and to provide opportunities for artists to showcase and be compensated for their talent.

The neXt gallery program is a collaboration that promotes local/regional artists, the SCAC, and the St. Charles business community. The first pop up opened in the Shelby Building on May 27th and will run through June 26th. The program is called neXt gallery, because you never know where it will pop up next!

The Arts Council encourages building owners, volunteers, art supporters, and art collectors to get involved in this program to support the arts and St. Charles, and encourages artists to contact the SCAC to learn about neXt gallery opportunities. Contact the council at 630.443.3794 or
The St. Charles Arts Council is a registered not-for-profit Illinois corporation whose mission is to create an organization that serves and promotes the arts and cultural activities in St. Charles, to the mutual benefit of the arts and the community.
About the Panelists:
Hennie Reynders
Dr. Hennie Reynders is an architect and Associate Professor in Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As architect and designer his work crosses disciplinary boundaries and includes art installations, product design, architecture, community and landscape urbanism projects. His research and teaching focuses on spatial relationships, citizen infrastructure, design theory and interdisciplinary thinking and making at the intersection of art, design and science. He has exhibited, lectured and acted as moderator in Chicago, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Johannesburg and other cities internationally. Hennie and Andrea Reynders have moved to St. Charles Two years ago. Hennie holds BArch and March degrees in Architecture, Landscape Urbanism and Activist Practice and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Henry King
Henry King is a global relationship manager at Doblin with two main responsibilities: to lead Doblin’s work for a small number of strategic clients, and to build capabilities through the development of new methods, tools and techniques. Prior to joining Doblin he held the CIO role at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the architecture firm, and earlier at various technology startups, ecommerce dotcoms, and professional services organizations. King previously spent 12 years with Accenture and Deloitte Consulting where he led large scale IT strategy and systems development projects in Europe, USA, S.E. Asia and the Middle East. King has also provided advisory services to a number of highly creative individuals, including the futurist John Naisbitt and the artist Miroslaw Rogala. King holds MA and BA honors degrees in Literae Humaniores (Classical Greek and Latin Studies) from Oxford University, England.

Chris Aiston
Chris Aiston is the Director of Economic Development for the City of St. Charles, IL, having been appointed to this position in the fall of 2009. Prior to taking his position with St. Charles, Aiston served 11 years as Economic Development Director with the City of Geneva, IL. While there, Geneva realized an increase in the development and occupancy of an additional 1.75 million square feet of new commercial and nearly two million square feet of new industrial building space, while at the same time, annual retail sales tax revenues increased form $160 million to $535 million. Aiston also has nearly fifteen years experience in regional planning and economic development positions, working in such capacities for both Kane and DeKalb Counties in Illinois. Aiston holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University with an emphasis in Urban Management. He received his Bachelors of Arts, with Honors, from the University of Arizona. He is a graduate of the International Economic Development Council’s Economic Development Institute and has completed advanced studies in the areas of Development Impact Fees, Small Business & Entrepreneurial Development, and Fiscal Impact Analysis.

About the St. Charles Arts Council:
The SCAC will serve all those individuals (professionals, amateurs, and students) who produce tangible, consumable works of the imagination and all organizations, businesses, and groups that include and represent those people. This would be arts and cultural activities in their broadest sense, including graphic, plastic, and decorative arts, architecture, crafts, literature and poetry, music, theater, and dance. The primary long-range goal is the transformation of St. Charles into an arts community/an arts magnet/a nationally-known arts market. Ultimately we foresee a municipal arts center, more working artists and opportunities in arts education, many privately-owned galleries, performance venues, and related arts businesses, and a downtown architecture and streetscape conducive to both the aesthetics and business of art.

About Batavia Enterprises:
Batavia Enterprises has been in business since 1959, serving customers throughout the Fox Valley. With properties in Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, West Chicago, Elburn, Rockford and Sugar Grove, we offer new and historical buildings for lease in all five categories of the rental market: residential, retail, office, warehousing and manufacturing.
Batavia Enterprises offers development sites throughout the Valley along Kirk Road, Route 38, Route 47, Main Street in Batavia and Randall Road. The company's Land Acquisition Department has amassed several large and mid-size industrial, commercial and residential sites available for development in the 21st century.
Our goal is to serve our customers by providing them with the best business location within the Fox Valley, enabling them to generate the highest return for their efforts. We wish to compete for the privilege of filling your real estate needs.

About prasino:
prasino is the Greek word meaning “green.” We serve clean food in modern, environmentally conscious settings.
Located west of the city in LaGrange and St. Charles, IL, prasino also debuts in Chicago’s Bucktown/Wicker Park in Spring 2011.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner selections celebrate artisanal flavors with a nod to local growers. Grilled and braised meats, ocean-friendly fare & organic produce are menu features.
Global-influenced beer, wine & spirits are offered and “fresco at prasino” - organic espresso-juice-smoothie bars located within each cafe - offer delicious and healthy “on-the-go” tastes.
prasino’s committment to sustainability is incorporated in each cafe’s eco-chic design. Tabletops and floors incorporate reclaimed wood and light fixtures are crafted from recycled wine bottles and corrugated cardboard boxes. Food is prepared in kitchens designed to reduce energy and water use, to incorporate recycling, and eco-friendly cleaning products.
prasino is a reflection of its founders, the Maglaris family. The third-generation restauranteurs are committed to supporting local growers, artisanal food producers, and organic agriculture. Eat Green, Live Well.

About the City of St. Charles:
St. Charles, Illinois, located in both DuPage and Kane County, is 35 miles west of downtown Chicago. Over 2,100 businesses employ over 34,200 people, consisting of a balanced mix of retailers, restaurants, and manufacturing facilities. The City of St. Charles was recently named one of the “150 Great Places in Illinois” for the combined architectural work of the City Municipal Center, the Main Street Bridge, and the historic Hotel Baker.

The City’s recently completed 2014 Strategic Plan includes the following Action Plan: Market and promote St. Charles as a friendly, appealing destination, characterized by activities, events, arts, and culture. Capitalize on artistic and cultural resources by supporting local talent and lively venues and activities. Encourage collective civic endeavors to broaden the variety of attractions and events.