The Heat Light Water Project

Gary Observatory

About the Project

“I went to the librarian and asked for a book about stars … And the answer was stunning. It was that the Sun was a star but really close. The stars were suns, but so far away they were just little points of light … The scale of the universe suddenly opened up to me. It was a kind of religious experience. There was a magnificence to it, a grandeur, a scale which has never left me. Never ever left me.” ­ Carl Sagan

We want to build an observatory. We want to build a place where members of the community can convene and see the sky. We want to open up a space for city dwelling people to see more than city at night. We want to open up a new world that is not only meant for scientists and astronomers but a world for everyone.


Sarah Belknap (b. 1983) and Joseph Belknap (b. 1979) are Chicago-based interdisciplinary artists and educators who received their MFAs from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Their work has recently been examined by Caroline Picard (ArtSlant), Steven Bridges (exhibition catalogue published by Contemporary Art Council and Hyde Park Art Center), Kate Sierzputowski (Hyperallergic), Janina Ciezadlo (Afterimage) and Karsten Lund (monograph published by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago).
Recent solo exhibitions include Sarah and Joseph Belknap: Chicago Works at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Overview Effect at Seerveld Gallery of Trinity College in Palos Heights, IL and Afterglow at The Arts Club of Chicago.
Major exhibitions include Cosmosis at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, Out There at PLUG Projects in Kansas City, MO, Ultra-Deep Field at Rockford University Art Gallery in Rockford, IL, The Party’s Over at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, MN, and Imperfect Symmetry at  A + D Gallery of Columbia College in Chicago, IL.  In addition, they have presented performances at institutions throughout Chicago, including the Chicago Cultural Center, Hyde Park Art Center, Links Hall, and at the MCA.