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  Fragile Relations: Art, Nature, & Environment   

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For more information contact:
Jane Stevens


Fragile Relations: Art, Nature, & Environment

Fragile Relations, the newly installed contemporary art exhibition, is at the Illinois State Museum. The thoughtfully curated exhibition, which opened Sunday, March 23 and runs through August 31, highlights the work of fourteen Illinois artists inspired by nature and the environment.

The exhibit is curated by Jane Stevens, Associate Curator/Gallery Administrator of the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery. There will be a members’ reception Thursday, March 27 at 5:30PM in the second floor galleries of the museum. Several artists will be available to answer your questions, the curator will provide brief comments, and wine and light refreshments will be served. Not a member? Sign up today:

March 23-August 31
Museum Hours:
8:30AM-5PM, Monday-Saturday
Noon-5PM, Sunday

Fragile Relations:
Art, Nature, & Environment
Contemporary Art Exhibit

Illinois State Museum
502 S. Spring Street
Springfield, IL 62706
Second Floor Galleries

“How we treat and take care of our personal spaces affects the public spaces we live in. Our landscapes need to nurture our lives and we need to find a balance between human and natural environments.

The artists in this exhibition experience both urban and natural landscapes. They explore the world through their eyes and senses and create art that reflects their perceptions of the world we live in.

Many of the artists recycle materials that most people would discard and through a process of reclaiming they transform the objects into beautiful works of art. In their work we can see another use and value in these pieces. Xavier Nuez captures bleak environments in his Alleys and Ruins Series and shows us transformed settings that give dignity to what has been rejected. Nuez’s Glam Bug Series shows us magnified bugs that have a beauty that is sometimes overlooked. The bugs take on a magnificent presence with brilliant color and shape. Mary Ellen Croteau’s CLOSE uses recycled plastic caps and becomes a brilliant portrait of almost gemlike pieces. Carole Komarek’s fish pieces use found objects from earlier times. The objects show signs of age and use and are transformed through her imagination. Michele Stutts’ Cabrini Green project Series includes found remnants from the demolition aftermath. The work shows reverence for the discarded objects the same reverence the Cabrini Green community holds for their former homes. Toby Zallman addresses the impact that our discarded computers will have on our environment.

Denise Bellezzo’s organic shapes from land patterns, plants, bulbs and roots evoke a primitive response from the viewer. While, Barbara Cooper’s wood sculptures respond to the stresses and obstacles they confront. Jeff Crisman looks at the nature of spaces in which past and present narratives overlap. Donna Hapac focuses on the structures and patterns found in the natural environment. The blossoms and roses in Jean Sousa’s photographs capture the life cycles of all life. They are metaphors for our internal and external experiences of growth and decay.

Nora Lloyd presents us with images that represent balance and imbalance in our natural world. While, Marjorie David captures a strong sense of survival natural life forms need in order to exist. Alex Lopez’s installations invite the audience to experience an environment that is both beautiful and slightly disturbing. The soft blue light is inviting, yet the landscapes cause one to pause and consider what is occurring.

We all experience both private and public landscapes and it is my hope that we will create nurturing spaces where life can survive and grow.” - Jane Stevens, Associate Curator of Art

The Illinois State Museum inspires discovery and caring about Illinois’ cultural and natural resources and heritage. The Museum integrates its original research and diverse collections to advance knowledge and create thought-provoking exhibitions and educational programs and resources. These offerings engage people of all ages in their own discovery and lifelong learning about the natural and cultural heritage of Illinois and its place within the world. The Museum promotes stewardship of this heritage to improve quality of life and ensure a sustainable future.


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