The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago:
ER2 Refreshes A Hallowed Heritage

When you have to represent the story of a 128-year-old sisterhood that has sacrificed so much for themselves in service of the less fortunate, you have a gigantic responsibility to tell that story in the most powerful way from a visual standpoint.

ER2 Image Group was tasked with this heavy role in tandem with our partners at Matrex for the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, refreshing an exhibition to convey the timeline of the church’s journey, even long before its founding in 1894 here in Chicago.

Franciscan Sisters of Chicago

Heritage Hall: A Story With Six Powerful Chapters Of Faith

From the very beginning, when eight dedicated women formed Franciscan Sisters of Chicago and developed a congregation, the Sisters knew the extraordinary importance of preserving their own rich history. They saved documents. Books. Articles. Letters. Photographs. And they kept these wonderful artifacts well intact so that people could fully appreciate where the Congregation began through its growth to the modern day.

This great collection celebrating the Sisters’ legacy of compassion found a true home with the opening of Heritage Hall in 1992, an exhibition split into six entirely different sections.

Franciscan Sisters of Chicago

Anyone is able to visit Heritage Hall to reflect, pray, meditate and be inspired by the enduring story of Mother Mary Theresa Dudzik, who migrated to America in the 1880s with her family.

More than a religious environment, Heritage Hall is a step back in time to view Chicago, home to the largest Polish community in the country, just as it was at the turn of the century. For example, we see photos of city streets such as Milwaukee. Ashland, Division and Noble. We see orphan records and property maps. Even a letter from then-Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison.

Franciscan Sisters of Chicago

ER2 And Matrex Teams Supply Fresh Inspiration

When ER2 Image Group was called in for a refresh project of Heritage Hall, we saw the opportunity to do more than put on a new coat of paint. Our production and installation team worked closely with Matrex to create an environment with new elements and materials that brought the full display to life like never before.

Uniform colors of beige and yellow gave way to purple, burgundy, blue and green. Cut-out displays and lettering brought character over a flat look. Acrylic frames made the story more accessible and inviting to the visitor. ER2 utilized ¼” clear acrylic that was printed with the texture on the backside of the acrylic and the text on the front side of the acrylic to create depth. We also utilized ¼” white acrylic with first surface print only to mimic the white points of the nuns’ original handwritten letters.

Photos were reproduced, enhanced and enlarged to bring greater focus to key individuals, structures and events. Wallcoverings from our partners at Dreamscape, in particular their Dreamscape Silk and Terralon Smooth line, created a display utilizing two different textures that truly brought many different aspects of design together. Dreamscape Silk was used for the bulk of the wall, having a fine textile-like hand while the photographs were machine-cut to fit into display-like puzzle pieces. 

It’s an honor to have helped chronicle the history of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago. If you’re in the Lemont area, make sure you take a moment to visit Heritage Hall to experience the work of ER2 Image Group and our partners at Matrex and Dreamscape.

A special mention of thanks to our incredible design, production and installation team on this project, including Brad Hoogerhyde, Chris Lemley, Chris Eyers and Johanna Ficner.

Do you have an institution or corporate office that could use a powerful display of your company timeline – or a significant refresh like this one?

Its presence makes a huge difference for everyone who sits foot in the building, from prospective customers to existing customers to every on-site employee. Or in the case of religious institution, passersby, worshippers and congregational members.

Talk to ER2 Image Group today about how we can use our resources of design, production and installation to boldly transform your environment.