Chicago’s Twelve

Harmonia, by Alfonso Piloto-Nieves

“Chicago’s Twelve,” featuring artists producing environmental works, is now on exhibit at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The Conservatory is worth a visit just to walk through the gardens or experience the fern room! But with the addition of this “must see” exhibition, there is another excellent reason to visit.

I was disappointed that I had missed this show when it was on display this spring at Zhou B Art Center from April 20–June 9; and so, quite pleased to learn that I’d have a second chance to view it at the Conservatory, I went to the opening reception, which took place on Wednesday, August 8. It was a lovely summer evening, perfect for a stroll through the outdoor gardens. Along with the natural beauty that this space holds, it was wonderful to find these environmental art treasures along the way as I walked the grounds and paths inside the structure.

Here is the description of the show from the Garfield Park Conservatory website:

“Through interaction with environmental issues, the re-purposing of found objects, and utilization of non-traditional material, the twelve artists displaying pieces in this exhibit call into question not only our present relationship with our world, but also the possibility of its sustainable future.”


S.E.E.M. by N. Masani Muhammad
photo credit:

“Chicago’s Twelve” will be up through December 9. If you go see this show soon, you can experience the exhibit while the gardens are still open. Or, you could wait until the autumn trees have lost their leaves, and then you can get a dose of chlorophyll for your eyes or bask in the tropical climate of the fern room while experiencing the show.

Some of the works that you will witness in this exhibit are: the surreal, earthy and industrial sculptures of Alfonso Piloto-Nieves; the whimsical and colorful plastic bottle cap totems of Mary Ellen Croteau; the subtle, yet powerful wood and mixed-media assemblages of N. Masani Muhammad; and the star-shaped, re-purposed traffic cones of Victoria Fuller. Other artists included in the show are: Yva Neal, Jason Brammer, Sharon Gilmore, Kim Guare, Salvador Jimenez Flores, Dana Major Kanovitz, Connie Noyes, and Vivian Visser.

The Conservatory is open every day, 9am–5pm, and on Wednesdays from 9am to 8pm, and conveniently located one block north of the Conservatory-Central Park Drive CTA Green Line stop.If you’d like to know what the artists and curator, Sergio Gomez, have to say about the work, there will be an artist talk on September 26th from 5:30pm to 8pm entitled “When Art and Nature Intersect: Reconsidering our Environments.” To reserve your spot at this discussion, email or call 312-422-5580. Maybe I’ll see you there!


Post revised from Chicago’s Twelve | Marginalia by Monica J. Brown.


About mymyriadmuse

Monica J. Brown is a multi-disciplinary artist.
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