Activism ‘illuminated’ by art on display at RAMP in Rockford

RAMP celebrated 40 years with a re-opening of its Market Place location in 2020.
RAMP celebrated 40 years with a re-opening of its Market Place location in 2020.(WIFR)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 3:01 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A work inspired by a moving moment in U.S. history is now on display at the RAMP building at 202 Market St. in Rockford.

Local artist, Dustin Eckhardt, hand-built a 12′ x 6′ project mirroring an image from the Tom Olin Collection documenting the Capitol Crawl on March 12, 1990―when a group of activists abandoned their mobility aids and dragged themselves up the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

The act brought to light some of the mobility obstacles that people living with disabilities face each day.

This display is part of a project that showcases historical photos of the Independent Living Movement.

Eckhardt is a longtime supporter of RAMP. “RAMP has always been special to me. I practically grew up at RAMP and was so honored when they asked me to do this project,” said Eckhardt.

He’s also completed a mural for Rockford CRE8IV and received the Emerging Artist award at Greenwich Village Art Fair, a two-day event hosted by the Rockford Art Museum.