More than 50 pieces of art accepted into the Forest Preserve District’s inaugural juried art show will be on display from March 12-March 31 at Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township.
The “Vernal Equinox: Spring Awakens Juried Art Competition" collection will be viewable from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Most of the artwork is for sale.
Unique art submissions came from local and out-of-state artists for this inaugural art competition, said Suzy Lyttle, an interpretive naturalist at the nature center.
“Around 270 artworks were entered and, of that, 55 pieces were selected for the show," Lyttle said. "The featured artists are from all over Illinois plus Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Texas.”
The competition features a wide variety of mediums including photography, acrylics, oil, water color, and sculptures made from wood, metal and rock.
Art competition winners will be determined by a jury. The top three art entries will receive gift cards of $500 for first, $250 for second and $200 for third. Members of the public who view the exhibit can also vote for a "people's choice" favorite through March 28.
The winners will be announced during an artists' reception set for 6-8 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at the nature center. Artists will be in attendance and wine, appetizers and desserts will be served. The free reception is for ages 21 and older. RSVP by Thursday, March 28, by calling 708.946.2216.
Competition awards and artists' reception funds are being provided by The Nature Foundation of Will County.
“We hope this art show encourages new artists or current artists to get outside and use nature as an inspiration for their creations,” Lyttle said. “Spring is the perfect time to discover a new forest preserve with wildflowers blooming, birds singing spring songs, mushrooms shooting up on moist nights, and spring peeper frogs peeping to find one another. Even if a visitor doesn’t have an artistic bone in their body, this show has a little bit of everything that will be sure to catch their eye.”
The juried art competition grew out of recent, temporary art exhibits at Plum Creek that highlighted nature themes, said facility supervisor Diane Carson. If this inaugural juried art show goes well, an art competition centered on nature could become an annual event, she added.
“Some of the greatest works of art are about nature,” she said. “Claude Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’ series or Van Gogh’s ‘Irises’ are two examples.”
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