Despite drawing closer and closer to winter, Chicago has been unseasonably warm and beautiful lately. So I decided to go to the Morton Arboretum to soak up some sun and and fall color before the cold and miserable weather sets in. While I was there, I made a point to check out the arboretum’s art exhibit, Nature Unframed. The Arboretum invited 11 artists to create site-specific work that encourages viewers to experience nature in a new way. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of critical thought that went went into these works – it was clear that the artists seriously considered their location and subject when approaching this project. What follows are a few of my favorites.
Lichen it!, Carol Hummel.
Yarnbombing continues to gain momentum as a serious artistic movement. I’m always drawn to colorful work, and this is no exception. What is particularly fun about this project is that other little yarnbombs can be found on trees and objects around the arboretum.
Purification, Thomas Matsuda.
There is something so eerily beautiful about this work. The charred wood is dead and hard, yet it seems to glow with an inner life. It blurs the lines between destruction and rebirth, reminding us that nothing is inherently good and bad, but it’s all a matter of perception.
Wall in Blue Ash Tree, Letha Wilson.
This piece is by far my favorite. Some of the other pieces wrap around or confine the trees, yet this work allows the tree to seem powerful, as if it is bursting forth.
Nature Unframed runs through November 27.