The Forest Preserve District will kick off its 47-day “Frida Kahlo’s Garden” exhibition with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center.
The ribbon cutting is open to the public. Representatives from the Forest Preserve, the Village of Channahon and the Spanish Community Center in Joliet are expected to attend. Refreshments, including Mexican pastries and coffee, will be served. The visitor center is located at 25055 W. Walnut Lane, off of Blackberry Lane south of Bridge Street, in Channahon.
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is considered one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. The exhibition focuses on Kahlo’s home and garden and Mexican culture, which all inspired her and influenced her art. The exhibition consists of photos of Kahlo and her home and garden; reproductions of several of her paintings; information about native Mexican plants; a dress from the Mexican state of Oaxaca; examples of folk art collected by Kahlo and her husband, painter Diego Rivera; and information on Mexican culture, including traditional festivities, food and drink, and agricultural practices.
The free, all-ages exhibition will run through Saturday, March 16. Exhibit hours will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sundays, noon-4 p.m. Exhibition panel displays are in both English and Spanish. The traveling exhibition’s stop at Four Rivers will be the first in Illinois and the second nationwide during a five-year tour of the country. Complementary programs scheduled at Four Rivers in conjunction with the exhibit are:
- Showings of the PBS documentary, “The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo,” at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 2 and March 16; and 5:30 p.m. Thursdays, February 14 and March 14.
- “Frida’s Flowers Bingo,” 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9. Learn about the flowers and plants in Frida’s garden and in her art.
- “The Scoop on Succulents,” 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 16. Kevin Eberhard, chief horticulturist from Bird Haven Greenhouse and Conservatory, will discuss succulents and their general care.
- “Botany and Art in Conservation,” 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. Learn about botanical illustrations.
- “Art Lecture – Frida 2020: Contemporary Connections,” 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9. Justin Witte, director and curator of Cleve Carney Art Gallery at the College of DuPage, will deliver a presentation about the continued relevance of Frida Kahlo in contemporary society.
- “Upcycled Flowers Craft Workshop,” 10 a.m. Saturday, March 2. Make flowers from repurposed materials.
- “Weekends in the Garden,” scheduled all weekends during the exhibition. Musical performances, artist demonstrations, cultural experiences and more are planned.
- “Frida’s Garden Studio,” ongoing during the exhibition. Stop by the studio to create your own masterpiece.
For program registration information and more details, visit the District’s Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org or bit.ly/fridakahlogarden. Also, for Snapchat users, the Forest Preserve will have two different filters as well as a special Frida Kahlo lens available for the duration of the exhibit as a fun way for visitors to share their experiences on social media.
“Frida Kahlo’s Garden” is brought to the Forest Preserve through funding provided by The Nature Foundation of Will County. The exhibition is made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Frida Kahlo’s Garden” is adapted from the exhibition, “FRIDA KAHLO: ART, GARDEN, LIFE,” organized by guest curator Adriana Zavala at The New York Botanical Garden. It was made possible with major funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Karen Katen Foundation, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, MetLife Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and Gillian and Robert Steel. It was adapted and toured for NEH on the Road by the Mid-America Arts Alliance.