An Environmental Artist You Should Know



I spent a glorious, sunny day walking the Chicago Botanic Garden with Vivian Visser, a sculptor who uses plant materials in her work.  She told me she was chosen by the Openlands organization ( ) for the Bartlett Ravine in Openlands Lakeshore Preserve at Fort Sheridan.  The ravine is being restored, and as part of the project five artists were chosen from many applicants to create permanent environmental installations for the site.

This is right up Vivian’s alley:  she specializes in evocative works made from natural materials such as willow branches and seed pods.  She told me that, when she read the call for artists (posted on the Chicago Artists’ Resource website) she was already formulating her proposal before she finished the second paragraph.  Most significantly, Vivian submitted nine proposals with her application.  The RFP (request for proposals) asked for specific ideas for the site, and there was no limit on how many an artist could submit.  Vivian said that it was her ninth idea, which was expectorated by her old printer with its dying breath,  that was accepted.

I am happy to share this good news for my friend, but I would like to point out the extreme effort she made, which resulted in her being chosen from a large and talented pool of applicants.  As I always say about being an artist, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Check out her website:


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