Learn how nature and Mexican culture nurtured one of the most significant artists of the 20th century when "Frida Kahlo's Garden" opens Tuesday, January 29, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon.
The free, all-ages exhibition will run through Saturday, March 16. Exhibit hours will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sundays, noon-4 p.m. The stop at Four Rivers will be the first in Illinois and the second nationwide for the exhibition on its five-year tour of the country.
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) created some 250 paintings and drawings during her lifetime. This traveling exhibition explores how Kahlo's garden, the diversity of plant life in Mexico, and the rich cultural history of the country nourished the artist's creativity. “The exhibit takes a fresh look at Frida Kahlo’s art by examining her appreciation for nature, which is something at the heart of the Forest Preserve District’s mission,” said Tina Riley, facility supervisor at Four Rivers. “Whether you are already a fan of Frida and her art, or you have never heard of her, this exhibit has something for everyone to learn and enjoy. We hope that visitors who attend the exhibition will be inspired to see the beauty of their own surroundings, both at home and in our preserves and open spaces.”
The exhibition consists of iconic photos of Kahlo and her home and garden, which were located at Casa Azul (Blue House) in Mexico City; reproductions of several of her paintings; information about native Mexican plants that were grown in her garden; a dress from the Mexican state of Oaxaca; examples of folk art collected by Kahlo and her husband, painter Diego Rivera; and information on Mexican culture, including traditional festivities, food and drink, and agricultural practices. Exhibition panel displays are in both English and Spanish.
This exhibition is made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Frida Kahlo’s Garden” is adapted from the exhibition, “FRIDA KAHLO: ART, GARDEN, LIFE,” organized by guest curator Adriana Zavala at The New York Botanical Garden.
It was made possible with major funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Karen Katen Foundation, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, MetLife Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and Gillian and Robert Steel. It was adapted and toured for NEH on the Road by the Mid-America Arts Alliance.
The exhibition is brought to the Forest Preserve through funding provided by The Nature Foundation of Will County.
“We are fortunate to be able to bring an exhibit of this caliber to Will County and thrilled to offer it free of charge,” Riley said. “I hope that everyone will take advantage of the opportunity to shake off their cabin fever this winter and come spend some time in ‘Frida Kahlo’s Garden!’”
The Forest Preserve also has scheduled a series of programs that complement the exhibition.