Upcoming Events

Choose Your Own Adventure: Art Safaris!

Complete this very short four question survey by July 18 to help identify the best locations for our upcomingArt Safari series. These Chicago region field trips will help artists learn about opportunities to work with environmental organizations and partners.

Climate Change Xchange
TBA 2014
Chicago, IL

We all play a part responding to a changing climate. Working as artists or conservationists, we can change our own behaviors and influence others to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to changes that are already being felt. This climate workshop will present the latest research on climate change, local impacts, effective strategies for community engagement and introduce major conservation initiatives in the region. We’ll also discuss ideas at the intersection of art and the environment: How can art inspire and motivate people to do something about climate change? How can we create art with a small climate footprint?

Members will learn about the science of climate change, how the climate is changing locally and strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Girded with this knowledge, artists may be inspired to create new work, reduce their carbon footprint & find out about organizations, communities in the Chicago Wilderness region working on climate change. There may be opportunities for future collaborations among artists, educators and conservationists in the region.

Cost: Every effort will be made to keep the workshop will be free, but it may be necessary to charge a small fee (less than $10) to cover expenses.


Past Events 

Connecting Artists with Nature and Conservation
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614
5:30 - 7:30 p.m., May 29, 2014

Artist Michelle Kogan will give a presentation about her exhibition Narratives of Nature: Watercolor Paintings. The thematic focus of the exhibition is conservation, the environment, and human interaction with flora and fauna, much of it in Chicago. After the presentation, a Nature Museum biologist will lead attendees on an outdoor tour of the Museum's grounds. Attendees will learn about local plant and animal species to inform their own work.

RSVP by May 26 to adultprograms@naturemuseum.org.

Cost: Free

Chicago Wilderness Congress: How to Partner with Artists
University of Illinois at Chicago Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago
April 3, 2014

Artists Vivian Visser and Kathleen Garness will lead a dynamic roundtable on "How to Partner with Artists" at the April 3 Chicago Wilderness Congress on behalf of the Xchange. They'll share best practices and examples of past projects where artists have been critical partners on environmental or nature-based projects.

Cost: Registration to the Chicago Wilderness Congress is $95

Making a Natural Loom
North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 North Pulaski, Chicago, IL
October 24, 1-3 p.m.

Winter is looming, and you should be too! With about ten sticks, twine and dormant prairie plants you can weave your own natural tapestry. Join us at this perfect point between the seasons to collect, construct and create. You can make mats, wall hangings, or panels of any size. We’ll also show some other weaving techniques with natural material. It is a great group activity for all ages that is as aerobic as it is artistic.

All material will be provided. For more information contact Sean Shaffer at 312-744-5472.

Thirsty Flood: impermeable
Fountain Square, 1601 Sherman Avenue Evanston, IL 60201 near World of Beer)
November 3 (rain or shine!), four short performances happening every 20 minutes starting at 2:30 p.m.

Thirsty Flood: impermeable, is a performance featuring dance and sound. In this piece about urban flooding, we will tell the story of water trying to enter the ground. At first unsuccessful because of the large amount of impermeable pavement, the water finally enters the earth after tree toots crack open the cement.

For more information, visit lakedance.org.
Cost: Free

Rooting: Regional Branches, Global Concerns

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL
October 11-13

This symposium will highlight emerging programs and projects by artists, cultural workers, radical chefs, rural and urban farmers, and small businesses. The program will spotlight creative responses to the extreme environmental, social and economic changes, facing local and global communities with a focus on the Chicago region in the United States and New Delhi and other regions in India.

The Rooting initiative fosters new ties between New Delhi and Chicago, exploring the cities' mutual desire to grow, distribute, and eat sustainably. In addition to the symposium focused on urban agriculture, an exhibition will be held in tandem at venues throughout the city, including the Chicago Cultural Center, featuring lectures, workshops, tours, vendors, and a keynote presentation by New Delhi-based artist, Akshay Raj Singh Rathore.

Cost: Symposium and Exhibition are Free, Meals: $35-65 Tours: $30
Image credit: Amber Ginsberg's Meal Palimpsest Placemats at Polyculture Meal, Ken Dunn's City Farm

Trail Mixer: Art & Environment Featured Projects 2013-14
Tuesday, October 8, 7:30-9 p.m.
Marwen, 833 North Orleans Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610

Art is a powerful tool for connecting people with the plants, animals, water, and food that we need to survive. Join “Trail Mixer 2013” for a sneak peek of upcoming art and environment projects in the Chicago region, and to learn more about new opportunities for partnering with artists and environment groups! 

Trail Mixer is the Global Alliance of Artists Environment Xchange's annual kickoff event celebrating art and environment projects in the region. Attendees will enjoy previews of the upcoming featured events, refreshments and opportunities to connect with these cutting edge artists and organizations.

This event will include:
7:30-8:00 p.m. Refreshments, Fun, & Mixing
8:00-9:00 p.m. A Preview of Upcoming Projects

The event is free of charge although donations are appreciated.
Trail Mixer is generously hosted by Marwen and coordinated by the Global Alliance of Artists. Marwen is a nonprofit organization that provides free visual art courses, college planning and career preparation programs to Chicago's under-served youth.

Openlands Lakeshore Preserve Art Tour 
August 18, 2013
Highland Park, IL

The Openlands Lakeshore Preserve at historic Fort Sheridan is home to three unique ecosystems, numerous forms of wildlife, and several awe inspiring art installations - some of which were completed by Xchange artists.

Join this Art Stroll on August 18, from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm for a tour of the art installations within Bartlett ravine lead by the artist themselves. Each artist will talk about her work while strolling through the landscape. The featured works of art include: Oliva Petride’s Lake, Leaf and Earthbark Prisms, Vivian Visser’sErode, and Sharon Bladholm Soil is Alive. Openlands Staff will also discuss the Chicago Public Art Group’s Arc of Nature and Kate Friedman’s Reading the Landscape.

Come out and embrace this unique opportunity to hear the artists’ thoughts and inspiration as they lead the Art Stoll though Bartlett Ravine. Limited parking will be available at the Preserve’s parking lot on Patten Road.

RSVP: The event is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP no later than August 16 to John Cawood at jcawood@openlands.org.

Cost: No Charge

GARLIC & GREENS Shoebox Lunch Launch
July 17, 2013
625  N. Kingsbury St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Come celebrate the final GARLIC & GREENS book-in-a-box, SHOEBOX LUNCH! 

GARLIC & GREENS offers programs, stories, and multi-sensory materials showcasing the intersections between food heritage, migration history, social justice, the arts, and disability studies. Right now it is focused on connecting vegetable gardening to cooking traditions through a tactile documentary book. It makes a special effort to reach audiences with low or no vision because Black Americans are at a higher risk for sight loss from glaucoma, diabetes and hypertensive retinopathy. 
Copies of the book will be available but quantities are limited. Your purchase will allows the book to be shared for free with people who are low or no vision.

RSVP to Archeworks: archeworks.org/event_rsvp.cfm

Art for the Birds 
Chicago, IL

Most of us have heard or seen a bird strike a window— and bird collisions with glass pose a significant hazard to birds that migrate through cities and towns every spring and fall—across North America, 100 million to 1 billion birds die from collisions every year. During the day, birds can fly head-on into windows, confused by the reflection of trees, clouds, buildings, or skyline in building facades—but designers and scientists have been discovering how to use design to break up these reflections to help birds ‘see’ glass. Artists will be invited to submit their designs to the “art for the birds” competition. Artists will design and install patterns on windows to reduce collisions, then submit digital photographs of retrofitted windows to be reviewed by a panel of experts on bird collision, art and design; the top three designs, judged on creativity, effectiveness and artistic merit, will win cash prizes ($50-$100) and all entries may be used for educational program on bird-friendly buildings. To help artists prepare, artists will have access to information about design strategies that help birds to avoid collisions with glass; recent research has shown that birds will avoid glass when the glass has been overlain with a pattern that leaves gaps less than 4” wide or 2” tall (hawk silhouettes are not enough!).

Xchange members will have an opportunity to use their creativity—exploring a new medium: glass, the context of a window— to have a direct, immediate benefit to the environment, community and migrating birds. Members will receive recognition for their work— credit will be given to the artist (and photographer) when their photos are used for education and outreach. And— 3 people will win cash prizes and additional recognition for their creative solutions to bird collisions.

Joe's Garage
December 8, 2012
1:00-4:00 pm
The garage at 2505 W. Hutchinson St., Chicago
Click here for more details

Reduce, reuse & recycle– art supplies! Joe’s Garage provides a venue for exchanging art supplies where artists, teachers and others can bring in the materials they don’t need and take new-to-them materials that they can use.

Looking to pick up some cheap / free art supplies? Looking to pass on materials that don’t quite do what you expected?

Come to Joe’s garage to swap supplies with other artists, puppeteers, craft-makers, teachers and people who feel crowded by the very materials they try to wrestle into creative meaning– or just really pretty pictures.

Bring art supplies and materials that you don’t need– and pass them on to someone who may find that it’s just the thing to finish a masterpiece.  And search for your missing piece amid the treasures others have shared.

Cost: Free to attend the exchange.  Most materials are free (for anyone who has brought in materials to exchange or who pledges to responsibly recycle or pass on materials when they are done with them) or pay $5 a bag (for people who haven’t brought in exchange materials or choose not to make a pledge).

Fragile Relations: Art, Nature and Environment 
October 2, 2012-February 8, 2013
Chicago, IL

The Fragile Relations: Art, Nature, and Environment exhibition highlights the work of Illinois artists who focus on issues relating to both exterior and interior environments. Nature and the environment is a starting place for the work to begin. The artists interpret their environment and are inspired by it using sculpture, photography, mixed media, video and installation.

The exhibition and special programming will open a dialogue between artists and the general public about the issues artists are concerned about relating to their environments and the world around us. 

Cost: No Charge

Art Outside: The Tour 
October 13, 2012, 10am-2pm
Cook County, IL 
Meet at Forest Preserve District of Cook County General Headquarters, 536 N. Harlem, River Forest, IL
There is a parking lot behind the building off of Bonne Brae.

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) is interested in exploring the intersection of art and nature and the potential use of arts as a tool for the interpretation of nature/environment/environmental issues by providing artists and arts groups with the opportunity to create work in, on and about its holdings. Art Outside: The Tour is the beginning of an exploratory process that we hope leads to Art Outside events at FPDCC sites. The Tour is an opportunity for artists and arts organizations to see a number of FPDCC sites with FPDCC staff and other artists/arts groups. The possibilities for collaboration and partnership, we think, would best be realized as artists see sites and venues and get inspired by the sites themselves. The FPDCC is offering a 4 to 6 hour bus trip with staff to a number of sites, with some sit down time for brainstorming and other discussion about ideas and possibilities. 

Xchange members will see unique sites where they may be inspired to create or develop new artistic pieces and collaborations. Xchange members will have direct access to FPDCC staff who are interested in the alliance between the arts and nature and using the arts as an interpretation tool. Xchange members will better understand the opportunities, challenges and considerations that come into play when collaborating with a governmental agency whose focus and mission are on protecting natural areas and connecting people with nature.

Space is limited & RSVP is required; please email jacqui.ulrich@cookcountyil.gov or call 708.771.1189 to reserve a spot.

Cost: No Charge

Vote 2013 Revealing: GAA’s Environment Xchange One Year Anniversary
A Year of Events Revealed!
Thursday, September 20, 2012
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Chicago Cultural Center, Fifth Floor Garland Room, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL

Register for the Vote 2013 Revealing, a sneak peek of the Global Alliance of Artists Environment Xchange featured art and environment projects for 2012-2013 and celebration of the Xchange's first year in Chicago.

Attendees will enjoy mini-presentations about the featured projects followed by a reception and desserts. Several stations, hosted by the featured projects, will be available around the event to help attendees learn how they can partner or participate in the coming year’s projects.

Participants will leave with a calendar of the coming year's events, prizes, and a free hat!

Event Schedule:
6:30 Registration opens
6:40 Welcome 
6:50 Mini-Presentations by Featured Projects (Pecha Kucha style)
7:40 Desserts and Stations
8:15 Raffle 

Interested in volunteering at the event? Contact chicagoxchange@gmail.com for more information.

Event Sponsors:

Thank you to Sharprint for sponsoring this event.

Thank you to Consolidated Printing for providing printed materials for the event.

Thank you to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for supporting the A+E Xchange Launch through the Chicago Cultural Center venue.



Winter 2012 Xchange Xclusive: Sustainable Practices and Partnerships
Sunday, February 19th
3:00-6:00 pm
The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Want to take your art and environment partnerships to the next level? Build sustainability into your practice? Be inspired by an award-winning play? ! Attendees enjoyed Filament's performance of The Drawer Boy and participated in a post-performance Q&A and networking session. They received discounted tickets to the performance as well as access to networking and discussion.

Sponsored by:

A+E Xchange Launch
Thursday, August 25, 2011
8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL
Fifth Floor, Washington & Garland Room

Chicago's Arts + Environment Xchange Launch gave members opportunities to network, build partnerships, and learn more about the possibilities for collaboration amongst art and environmental fields.  The event featured speakers' insights from the Field Museum, Marwen Art Center, Lincoln Park Zoo, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago in addition to interactive networking opportunities.

Launch Partners & Sponsors

Thank you to the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture for supporting the A+E Xchange Launch through the Chicago Cultural Center venue.

Thank you to Chicago Wilderness for helping to promote the Launch.

Thank you to Sharprint for designing and donating proceeds from the Xchange t-shirt.

Thank you to Caribou Coffee for providing coffee and breakfast items.

Thank you to Rodan for space and food donations.