If you are looking for an incredible getaway this weekend that isn't too far and allows you to engage with art and the outdoors, please consider checking out Messages of Hope, a Cabinet of Curiosity initiative. This project, hosted by Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center in suburban Willow Springs, is an outdoor walking adventure consisting of over 60 dioramas created by artists from 15 Chicago neighborhoods and five states. Each piece is dedicated to amplifying hope. Messages of Hope is located throughout the Black Oak Trail and is on view August 1 - September 30 at 9800 Willow Springs Rd, Willow Springs, IL.
Local artist and activist, Indira Johnson, shares that her piece, Inside and Outside, "reinforces the concept that if hope dwells inside you, if hope is the lens through which you see the world, then you will see hope everywhere."
Brandin Hurley described their piece, "while we have been sheltering, our natural world has been healing; coming alive and reclaiming some of it's territory. for so long it's been mistreated, but at the slightest retreat it has immediately begun to recover. air pollution levels have dropped significantly, polluted waters have cleared, the birds outside my window have suddenly become the most present sound. this is the soft, lovely patch of hope within months of such sadness and fear. this is what i wanted to illuminate and celebrate; not only the slowing that has allowed nature to heal, but the story it is telling us about resilience."
The artwork is displayed in collaboration with The Cook County Forest Preserve, Little Red School House Nature Preserve, Enlace, and Quetzal Xochitl Aztec Dance. Read more about the installation here.