DEMO Project was a contemporary art gallery in Springfield, Illinois. Exhibiting artists interpreted the non-traditional exhibition space as they self-directed, and were offered considerable latitude to experiment and present without risk. DEMO Project supported contemporary art projects, champions artists, and offered the Capital City of Illinois a venue to see and consider contemporary art practices. The DEMO Project facility, a space donated for use by the Springfield Art Association and directed by artists affiliated with the University of Illinois Springfield, was slated for demolition from the start and was demolished in February 2018.

managing members of DEMO Project:

Brad Balster
Brytton Bjorngaard
Shane Harris
Allison Lacher
Jeff Robinson

supporting members:

Grace Katalinich
Darrin Simmons


DEMO Project is a small white house that is located on the Springfield Art Association (SAA) campus in Springfield, Illinois. The house was built in the early twentieth century (pre-1920) as a dwelling for the servants of Alice Edwards Ferguson, who lived in the Ferguson Mansion on North Fifth Street, and where a community garden is now located. After the first occupants moved away, the house was occupied by caretakers of the oldest home in Springfield: Edwards Place, now a historic house museum, which sits adjacent to DEMO Project.

Over the past decade, however, the DEMO Project house had been unoccupied and relegated to storage space. The SAA, with a capital campaign currently underway, intends to demolish the house in the future to accommodate a new ceramics and glassblowing facility. Until the time of its demolition, which is scheduled for January or February of 2018, the SAA has offered this vacant space to locally based contemporary artists to direct as an outlet for contemporary art. The central living space of the house has been modified into a versatile exhibition space to fulfill the mission of DEMO Project, which was launched in September 2013, by founding members Brad Balster, Shane Harris, Judah Johnson, Allison Lacher, and Jeff Robinson.