An Exhibit of Illinois' Endangered Species
Opening Reception: Sunday, April 23, 2017
When hearing "endangered species" or "threatened species," it is easy to quickly think of plants and creatures far away--large and obvious animals like white rhinos or Siberian tigers. But what about the plants, insects, and animals in our own backyards? Or, rather, the plants, insects, and animals that used to be in our backyards? Illinois has almost 500 endangered and threatened plants and creatures and this diverse collection of dwindling populations can be easily and unfortunately overlooked or forgotten. However, every one of these almost 500 is an important part of Illinois ecosystems and their preservation is key to the health of our natural spaces.
In 2004, nature photographer Carol Freeman began a more than decade-long mission to photograph all 483 threatened and endangered species in Illinois. Her creative work showcasing these species is an effort to inspire their protection and preservation. Freeman's photographs have been featured in Chicago Wilderness Magazine, Outdoor Illinois Magazine, filmed for Chicagoâ€™s Very Own on WGN news, and are an important archive of the most fragile species native to Illinois. On April 23, Brushwood Center's gallery will open Freeman's exhibit, titled Endangered Beauty, and the show will run until June 5. Endangered Beauty will also be the feature art exhibition at Brushwood's 34th Annual Smith Nature Symposium.
Those who view Endangered Beauty will, without doubt, be surprised at the stunning and unique species that were once common throughout Illinois. Flowers that look as if they belong on Caribbean islands rather than Illinois' prairies and woodlands, insects with wings like Rorschach tests, and large, impressive birds of prey were all common residents in the Land of Lincoln at one time. These species are not yet completely removed from Illinois' natural spaces and work can be done to improve their populations. First, though, awareness of local species' plights needs to be brought to communities and it is through the creative work of artists like Carol Freeman, through aesthetic introductions, that people can be inspired to action. Learn More about Carol Freeman here.
Opening Reception: Sunday, April 23, 1-3pm
Free. No registration required.
Exhibition runs April 23 - June 5, 2017