Arts at the Arboretum on display

Arts at the Arb will feature Jean Black's photos of "Kids in Nature." Photo courtesy of Jean Black

Take a leap off the beaten path to discover an art gallery without walls at Clinton’s Bickelhaupt Arboretum. The Clinton community is incredibly fortunate to have an annual art event, sponsored by the Arboretum, that brings art into our lives in such an accessible way. This year’s exhibit features over 100 photographic prints depicting the beauty, joy and creativity children bring to our world.

A self-guided walking tour through the beautiful grounds will only take 20 to 25 minutes to complete. Maps are available at the kiosk by the lower parking lot to guide you to the areas where the prints are displayed on our 15-acre grounds. You’ll find prints hanging from branches, in garden beds and even on clotheslines strung from tree to tree, so pay close attention! Additional prints are displayed in storefront windows in the Wilson Building next to Zirkelbach on Fifth Avenue in downtown Clinton and 95 Main Ave. (the former Post Office) in the Lyons District.

This year’s featured artist is Jean Black, an accomplished portrait photographer who has called Clinton her home for nearly 30 years. She has completed similar projects in the past, including “Hats Off to Clinton” in 2013, “Hats Off to the Future” in 2014, and “Hats Off to the Arts” in 2015. Jean and her husband, Russ, raised their family just a few blocks away from the Bickelhaupt Arboretum and their children spent countless hours exploring every little corner. Jean created this collection of portraits in collaboration with each subject to create images that merge imagination, creativity, dreams and the natural beauty of the Arboretum.

“We are looking forward to this year’s Arts at the Arb as it gives us an opportunity to highlight the work of a local artist in a wonderful setting," said CCC President Karen Vickers. "We are hopeful that the community will join us as we celebrate Jean’s work.”

The Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau, David Sivright and the Paul B. Sharar Foundation are sponsors of this event and have been partners in the planning of this opportunity to view a vision of Clinton’s youngsters on the beautiful grounds of the Bickelhaupt Arboretum.

Sunday, Aug. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. is family day. Jean Black will speak at 3 p.m., followed by an ice cream social. All are welcome to come and view the portraits around the grounds.

Robert and Frances Bickelhaupt, who started the Arboretum in 1970, would be pleased to see that the Clinton Community College is carrying on past programs and adding new events and educational opportunities for all to enjoy. The Arboretum is located at 340 S. 14th St. in Clinton. The Arboretum is open year round from dawn to dusk. All are welcome, so come and enjoy.

Margo Hansen is the director of Bickelhaupt Arboretum.