Garfield Park Conservatory Artist in Residence Program

Chicago Artist Claire Pentecost to Offer Unique Perspective at the Garfield Park Conservatory

Visitors to the Garfield Park Conservatory will be offered a new lens through which to view and learn about the Conservatory’s vast botanical collection. The Conservatory is launching a new Artist in Residence program to present the work of Chicago-based artists whose practices are established within the realm of nature, science and/or conservation.

The program provides a rare opportunity for local artists to enrich their practices through hands-on investigation of the Conservatory’s raw plant materials and access to its horticulturists and naturalists; and provides them with a public platform for sharing their work. In turn, exhibits and presentations of artists’ research and interpretation will provide the public with unique perspectives and new insights into the Conservatory’s collection and related topics. The residency will bring one new artist to the Conservatory each year.

“Our goal is to enrich an artist’s practice through access to our experts and resources,” said Natalie Clark, Exhibits Manager for the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance. “We also hope that the artist’s work will offer our visitors and neighbors a new perspective on our collection and help them make new connections to nature, science and conservation.”

Artist Claire Pentecost, a professor in the Department of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has been selected for the Conservatory’s first residency, which runs August – December 2017. Pentecost’s practice often focuses on nature and artificiality, with recent projects examining industrial and bioengineered agriculture and the hidden costs of the global corporate food system. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

Claire Pentecost, ‘For the Body Without Organs to Sense.’

“Claire’s work offers a fresh lens into our relationships to the natural world. Her practice of ‘learning in public’ shares that perspective with others through an extremely relatable and visually stunning form. We’re thrilled that her work as a resident at the Conservatory will share that perspective with our visitors, providing a new way to connect to our collection,” Clark said.

Pentecost’s residency will be followed by a public presentation of her work, which will be exhibited at the Conservatory April – October 2018. The first Artist in Residence program at the Conservatory is funded by The Albert Pick Jr. Fund and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council.

Opened in 1908, the historic Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Park Ave.) showcases 2,000 varieties of plants ranging from Midwest natives to exotic species, as well as fountains, ponds and a prairie-style waterfall, inside stunning glass houses designed to replicate desert and tropical environments. The Conservatory’s 14-acre campus also boasts three outdoor gardens, an expansive rolling lawn and a stone terrace.

The Artist in Residence was selected by the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, Chicago Park District staff and a Selection Committee including Elizabeth Corr, Doug Fogelson, Levette Haynes, Keith Kelley, Jenny Kendler, Barbara Koenen, Peggy Macnamara, Amanda Williams.

For more information, contact Natalie Clark, Exhibits Manager:, 773-638-1766 ext. 18.

Please join us for upcoming AiR programs:

April 26, 2018 – October 31, 2018: The Persistence of the Unsorted, an exhibition of new work by Artist in Resident Claire Pentecost is on view in the Palm House at the Garfield Park Conservatory. More info HERE.

Thursday April 26, 2018: The Persistence of the Unsorted opens to the public on Thursday April 26, 2018, and will be celebrated that evening (7pm – 11pm) at Protect This Land, an event presented by the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, Land and Sea and the Natural Resources Defense Council. More information and tickets available for purchase HERE.

Saturday April 28, 2018, 12pm – 2pm: Free and public lecture with Claire Pentecost and guests  Jay T. Johnson and Soren C. Larsen. Learn more and register HERE.