The Heat Light Water Project

About the Heat Light Water Project

The Heat Light Water Project takes its name from what is currently known as the General Services building.
Who We Are We are artists, cultural producers, thinkers, activists, and community partners

Who We Are

Led by artist-educator Jan TichyThe Heat Light Water Project is a team of artists, cultural producers, thinkers, activists, and community partners who value art, culture and science as conduits for restoration, empowerment and engagement in downtown Gary and its surrounding neighborhoods. Through a collaborative partnership with local and regional artists, community members and city officials, our goal is to help re-energize Gary!

The Name

The Heat Light Water Project takes its name from what is currently known as the General Services building. The building’s given name, when designed by architect George W. Maher, was the Gary Heat Light Water Co. Warehouse. Taking into consideration that heat, light and water are essential elements for life and basic services, we believe that art and culture are essential for any society.

Why Gary

We understand ourselves as cultural facilitators and catalysts who take our direction from the community.

As artists, we believe in working with the people of Gary to not only provide access to the arts but to also help individuals and communities tap into their creativity. We view these workshops as a way to identify the culture that already lives in Gary and to activate what is already there.

Gary is part of our Chicagoland community and a neighbor.
In order to build community you have to share resources, take care of your neighbors and build a network.


Jan Tichy

Jan Tichy is a contemporary artist and educator. Working at the intersection of video, sculpture, architecture, and photography, his conceptual work is socially and politically engaged. Born in Prague in 1974, Tichy studied art in Israel before earning his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is now Assistant Professor at the Department of Photography. Tichy has had solo exhibitions at the MCA Chicago; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago; CCA Tel Aviv; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; No Longer Empty, NY and Chicago Cultural Center among others.  In  2011, he created Project Cabrini Green (2011), a community-based art project that illuminated with spoken word the last high rise building at the Cabrini Green Housing Projects in Chicago during its month long demolition.  Recently Tichy started to work on a long-term Chicagoland community project in Gary, Indiana.

Christopher Bleuher

Christopher Bleuher is an interdisciplinary artist, philanthropist, and businessman living and working in Chicago. He has studied at the State University of New York at Purchase, New York University, Washington and Jefferson College where he holds a B.A. in Finance and Studio Art, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his M.F.A. in Art and Technology Studies. As an artist operating across various media, his work primarily deals with interactivity, memory, temporality, and technology. In 2016, he founded the not-for-profit Improv to Improov Memory Care, which administers and sponsors workshops using therapy-based improvisational theater techniques to help create awareness and facilitate discussion on the topic of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Prior to founding Improv to Improov Memory Care, he held several roles at numerous not-for-profits organizations including the Philip Johnson Glass House and the New Canaan Historical Society where he was an Investment Committee Advisor to the Board of Directors.