Art and Interpretation

Openlands wouldn’t be what it is today without the partners that work with us our projects to color the Lakeshore Preserve with local, nature-focused art.

Over the years, Openlands has worked with the youth arts education organization, Marwen. Founded in 1987, Marwen offers free visual arts courses, college planning and career development programs for underserved Chicago youth in grades 6-12. It only made sense to join up with Marwen to beautify the Preserve.

Over the past four summers, Openlands and Marwen have helped students explore the relationship between art, community, and nature through the Art at Work program, generously funded by Exelon.

Photo: Marwen

Art at WorkMarwen’s capstone career summer internship program for 11th and 12th graders, has served as a valuable means to connect young students with the spectacular natural beauty of the Chicago area. The first three years of Openlands’ involvement with the Art at Work program focused on an annual art commission at the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve. The resulting multi-media projects have enriched the visitors’ experience of the existing art at the Preserve, and the recent addition of three student-created, site-permanent murals has established a tangible legacy of the Marwen partnership.


Download the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve Artwork Guide.