Past Event

Spark! Places of Innovation Exhibition in Equality, IL

Visit the exhibition from June 17 through July 22, 2023.

Salt kettle from Great Salt Spring

Exhibition Hours and Location:

Fridays: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. CST
Saturdays: 12:00 – 7:00 p.m. CST
Sundays: 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. CST

Ohio River Visitors Center, 101 West Lane Street, Equality, IL

To schedule a tour of the exhibition during regular and off hours, please contact Mark and Nadine York at (618) 499-3801.

The Spark! exhibition includes the 276 Art Exchange, a not-for-profit venture created through a collaboration with Gallatin County Tourism, the Village of Equality, and local volunteers.  The 276 Art Exchange features hand-crafted items, created, or written by 70 artisans in Southern Illinois.

A local companion exhibit detailing the history of salt extraction in Gallatin County will display alongside Spark!.  The salt springs of this region have been recognized as a valuable natural resource for hundreds of years and have been used by both the wildlife and the people that have inhabited the area.

Visitors can enjoy the exhibitions, learn about the region, browse the 276 Art Exchange, and stop by the Red Onion for a meal — fried chicken Thursdays. Planning a visit to the Shawnee National Forest soon?  Make the Ohio River Visitors Center a stop on your to do list.

Local Lecture Series

Legends and Lore of the Gallatin Salines & the Crenshaw House” – June 18, 2023, at 3:00 p.m.

Archeological Investigations in the Gallatin Salines & the Crenshaw House” – June 25, 2023, at 3:00 p.m.

Native Americans and Salt Springs in Gallatin County” – July 9, 2023, at 3:00 p.m.

Did Black Lives Matter in Early Illinois? Voices from the Brink of Slavery and Freedom” – July 16, 2023, at 3:00 p.m.

In the News

WJPF The Morning Newswatch Interview with Mark York

WSIU InFocus News Interview with Mark York

The Southern Illinoisan

Harrisburg Register

Equality, Illinois by Matt Meacham

WSILTV Article by Julie Williams

About the Exhibition

Spark! Places of Innovation, part of Illinois Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program, highlights innovation in rural America from the perspectives of people who have lived it. Their words, images, and experiences, gathered through an ambitious crowdsourcing initiative, are the heartbeat of the exhibition. The communities featured in Spark! – including seven small towns in Illinois – have enhanced their vitality through innovations in fields such as technology, agriculture, economic development, education, and the arts. Explore the diversity, ingenuity, and tenacity of rural Americans in Spark! Places of Innovation. Learn more.

These exhibitions and lecture series are hosted by the Gallatin County Tourism Committee. For more information, visit or call (618) 499-3801.

Spark! Places on Innovation is presented in partnership with the Gallatin County Tourism Committee, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and Illinois Humanities.

*Featured Image: Saline River scenic view