The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s second annual art competition will feature 55 pieces of art inspired by the phenomenon of flight. The public is invited to view the “Nature Takes Flight” exhibition from Tuesday, March 3, through Friday, April 3 at Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. Nature center hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. All the exhibited artworks will be judged by a jury, and the top three entries will receive Visa gift cards in the amounts of $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $200 for third place. Members of the public who attend the exhibition are invited to vote for their favorite piece, and the winner of the “people’s choice” award will receive a $100 Visa gift card. Funding for the awards are being provided by The Nature Foundation of Will County, willcountynature.org.
“We have new artists this year to give the show a new perspective,” said Suzy Lyttle, interpretive naturalist with the Forest Preserve District. “Plus we have a new theme. Last year was all about spring, and this year it is all about flight!” The exhibit pieces were selected from 143 submissions. They include a variety of mediums, including oil and acrylic paintings, photographs, textiles and metal sculptures. Most of the artworks are for sale. “Yellow Jacket” is among the pieces made from upcycled items. Artist Steve Kost, a combat veteran who began creating metal sculptures as a therapeutic outlet, created a bee sculpture from found metal objects and parts from a dismantled typewriter.
Another upcycled piece, titled “Do You Hear the Bluebird,” is made from old encyclopedias. One of the hanging pieces, titled “2171,” is an installation of 435 paper moths and butterflies that represent just a fraction of the native Lepidoptera moths and butterflies native to Will County. In addition, some of the art is interactive. “Locomotion” appears to be birds at first glance, but when exposed to ultraviolet light new animals appear.