Feb. 1 is the deadline to submit applications for the Forest Preserve District’s “Vernal Equinox: Spring Awakens Juried Art Competition.” All art mediums are welcome, including 2D and 3D pieces, except for performance art and film.

“Since the application process opened in late fall, around 100 different artworks have been submitted,” said Suzy Lyttle, an interpretive naturalist for the District. “It has been really inspiring to see all of the different mediums. We have photography, watercolors, acrylic and oil paints, wood block relief prints, ink, charcoal and more. Plus, it is exciting to see where the artists are located. We have people submitting from Crete, Romeoville, Park Forest, Shorewood, Bolingbrook, Glenview and Chicago, to name a few.”

Artists will be notified by Feb. 8 if their submissions have been chosen for the competition. Selected artworks will be on public display from March 12-31 at Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. Art competition winners will be determined by a jury. The top three art entries will receive gift cards of $500 for first, $250 for second and $200 for third. Members of the public can also vote for a “people’s choice” favorite through March 28.

Art exhibit hours will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. The winners will be announced during an artists’ reception set for 6-8 p.m. March 30 at the nature center. Artists will be in attendance and light refreshments will be served. The free reception is for ages 21 and older; registration is not required. Competition awards and artists’ reception funds are being provided by The Nature Foundation of Will County. To submit art for consideration and to review all of the competition’s rules, visit bit.ly/juriedartshow.

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