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Artists Being Sought for 'Nature Takes Flight' Juried Art Show

Photo for: Artists Being Sought for

Photo via Shutterstock

The application process for the Forest Preserve District's spring 2020 juried art show is now open.

January 31 is the deadline to apply. Art selected for the competition will be on public display from March 3-April 3 at Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. 

This year's show has a "Nature Takes Flight"  theme.

"This theme could include so many things," said Suzy Lyttle, an interpretive naturalist at the nature center. "While most people might instantly think of birds, so many other things can take flight. Butterflies, bees, beetles, grasshoppers and other insects all have wings that flutter.

"Also, think of leaping frogs taking flight from the edge of the pond into the water," Lyttle added. "During fall, leaves and seeds of all sorts take flight on the wind. Even spiders can use their silk to balloon from one place to another."

Lyttle said she is hoping to get a wide variety of art for the 2020 show. 

"Diversity is what makes this show so fun," she said. "I hope to see all types of art mediums: acrylic, oil, watercolor, mixed media and sculptures."

There is no entry fee for the art competition, which enables artists of all levels to get involved, Lyttle said. 


And hosting juried art shows allows the Forest Preserve to build relationships with talented local artists, added Diane Basile, facility supervisor at Plum Creek Nature Center. 

"The show's 2019 winner, Richard Schmidt, was our guest artist for the month of August and at our 'Hummingbird Fest and Nature Celebration,'" she said. "And one of the show's favorite sculpture artists, Jennifer Meyer, was chosen to exhibit her found object public sculptures on Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve's Snapper Pond Trail from April 3, 2020-March 31, 2021."

Lyttle said last spring's "Vernal Equinox: Spring Awakens" juried art show  – which was the District's first juried art show – was a hit with artists and visitors alike. This year's show will be a bit longer, based on feedback, and there will be more information on display about the artists and their artwork, Lyttle added.

What you need to know

Competition winners will be determined by a jury. The top three art entries will receive Visa gift cards in the amounts of $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $200 for third place. Awards are being provided by The Nature Foundation of Will County. Members of the public can vote for a "people's choice" award.

If you are interested in applying to be a part of the competition, fill out the online form and attach a digital JPG photo of the artwork. Artists will be notified by February 11 if their art has been selected. Artists must be at least 18 years of age, and there is a limit of three entries per artist.

Here are additional rules and dates to keep in mind:

  • Both 2D and 3D pieces can be entered; performance art and film cannot.
  • Maximum dimensions are: 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide for 2D, 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide for 3D and 30 pounds for all artwork.
  • 2D art must be ready to hang.
  • Estimated value of artwork must be included for insurance purposes.
  • Indicate on the application form if the artwork is for sale. Artists will receive 100% of the sales.
  • Delivery dates for artwork are February 18-25 and the pieces must arrive by February 25.
  • A closing reception featuring artist awards will take place from 6-8 p.m. April 4.
  • Artwork pickup dates are April 4-12 during Plum Creek Nature Center hours.


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