Midewin Prairie: Where Earth Meets Sky

After months of work, Nora Renick-Rinehart and I have finally installed our big show! Midewin Prairie: Where Earth Meets Sky represents 60 feet of hand dyed and silkscreened fabric, multiple gallons of wallpaper paste, twelve photographs, and blood, sweat, and tears now hang in Lillstreet Art Center‘s Annex Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. Come check it out!

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, just 70 miles Southeast of Chicago, is the first national tallgrass prairie in the country. Previously the site of the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, the National Forest Service and volunteers have been hard at work, restoring the heavily polluted land to the complex mix of prairie ecosystems that once dominated the whole of Illinois.

On August 31st, 2013, Nora and Liz visited the park for 24 hours, each surveying an aspect of the landscape, split by the horizon.

Liz drew from that which grows in the earth, the plant life that filled the landscape: prairie restoration, crops, grass, and weeds. These paintings became the wallpaper that now fills the gallery.

Nora turned her gaze upward to the sky, photographing the sky every two hours. Using household paint swatches, she captured the exact color of the sky in each particular moment. These photographs hang around the gallery.

Between the two, the artists capture the nuance of experience among the landscape that gives The Prairie State its name.