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Applicants Sought For 2021 'Sculpting WILD' Juried Art Show

Photo for: Applicants Sought For 2021

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The Forest Preserve District is seeking submissions for its 2021 “Sculpting WILD” juried art show competition.

Apply online by submitting digital photos of your work. The submission period will run from November 1 through January 29. 

Once the artwork is chosen and artists are notified, the show will be held from March 2-April 2 at Plum Creek Nature Center. Winners will receive $500 for first place, $250 for second place, $200 for third place and $100 for a people’s choice award. The contest is sponsored by The Nature Foundation of Will County

This year’s "WILD" theme was picked to reflect the Forest Preserve’s mission, said Suzy Lyttle, a program coordinator for the District. 

“We are here to protect and enhance our local ecosystems while also educating and connecting people to nature,” she said. “When thinking about art, I want us to be inspired by our wild sides! The side that gets goosebumps when you see a deer on a hike. The side that smiles at the sight of the first spring flower. The side that loves the smell in the air after it rains. I can’t wait to see what it means to be 'WILD' for the artists.”

This will be the third juried art show hosted by the Forest Preserve. “The first one was all about the spring season,” Lyttle said. “The second was all about nature taking flight.”


The 2021 competition is all about sculptures. 

“Previously, we have accepted all sorts of different mediums for the art competitions,” Lyttle said. “This time, we are focusing in on sculptures with a bigger picture in mind.”

The idea to feature sculptures grew out of the “Found Objects Sculpture Trail” exhibit currently on display along Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve's Snapper Pond path. The sculptures were created by artist Jennifer Meyer.

“It has been a great success and we want to rotate exhibits along that trail more often,” Lyttle said. “I hope to find more sculptors in our area with the potential of having their works spotlighted along the trail.” 

For the "Sculpting WILD" competition, Lyttle said she would love to see a wide range of scuplting mediums including wood, ceramics, rock, metal and upcycled materials. Artists could build habitats, carve wild animals or mold beautiful wildflowers. 

“I could see 'WILD' entrants representing natural habitats including trees, forests and prairies,” she said. “It is all up for interpretation.”

Once the artwork is chosen for the show, it will be displayed inside the nature center, or possibly outside in the nature garden areas, until the show concludes on April 2. Artists are allowed to sell their pieces and they will receive 100 percent of the sale price, but the sculptures must remain on display throughout the show. 

Artists who submit their work for consideration will be notified on February 9 if it has been chosen for the show. Pieces must be delivered between February 16-23 and picked up April 4-11 after the show concludes.

Artists must be 18 years of age or older to enter the competition. For more information on the competition, including all the rules and how to submit your artwork for consideration, visit the "Sculpting WILD" page. 


Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.


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