Bring Izaak Walton Preserve into your living room for the winter


The commentary below represents the ideas, observations and opinions of the author.

I know some folks visit Izaak Walton Preserve year-round. It's as nice a place for a winter walk as for a spring stroll.

Selma Lisit of Chicago Heights
discusses her watercolor 
paintings at the Izaak Walton
Art Show Saturday, Oct. 18.

(Photo by Eric Crump/The

But for those who prefer to huddle indoors when vicious winds blast the meadows and woodlands of the preserve, there's a way to bring a little of nature's beauty with you for the duration: The sixth annual Izaak Walton Art Show.

The show features nature-related art by area artists. Most of the work on display is painting or photography, but there are several sculptures this year by Harvey art teacher Stephanie Monroe. Monroe's work includes a piece made by Saggar firing, using a glaze made from natural materials like salt, leaves and other natural material from the south suburban area.

Assistant show organizer Francis Fullam said he believes some of the material in one of Monroe's pieces used leaves from the preserve in the glaze.

Michael Wasniowski shows
one of his cyanotypes during
the sixth annual Izaak Walton
Art Show.
(Photo by Eric
Crump/The Chronicle)

Several artists were on hand Saturday to discuss their work, including Selma Lisit of Chicago Heights. Her watercolors vividly portray scenes you might see any day on an Izaak Walton walk, close looks at leaves and flowers or scenic vistas. One painting on display will be a familiar sight to Izaak Walton visitors, a fisherman working the shoreline of one of the preserve's ponds.

She explained materials and processes she uses and noted that one particularly striking painting of a burning bush involved painting each individual leaf. That painting is no longer available, I'm afraid. (It's on our wall.)

I was interested in photographer Michael Wasniowski's explanation of how he creates cyanotypes using leaves and branches to create delicate white-on-blue shapes.

Other artists with work on display include photographers Tim McGrath, Fullam and more.

The show is over for today, but it will be open again at the preserve in Senior Hall, 1100 Ridge Road, Homewood, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19.

Not that all the scenes on display are literally from Izaak Walton, but they are the kinds of things commonly seen on walks or bike rides in the Homewood preserve. The show is a great opportunity to see our beautiful surroundings through the eyes of local artists. And if you take some of their work home, you can see those natural vistas all year round without having to endure the cold.

More information:
Homewood Izaak Walton Preserve

Contact Eric Crump at [email protected]


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