When Humanity and Nature Meet- the Latest Art Exhibition at the Morton Arboretum


Photo courtesy of The Morton Arboretum

Liam Sheriff, Staff Writer

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Five towering man-made sculptures have found a home in one of Chicagoland’s premier conservation parks and natural museums. Ranging from 15 to 26 feet in height, the sculptures in the exhibition, “Human+Nature” (pronounced: human nature), take Morton Arboretum visitors across the entirety of the park, creating a unique relationship between the man-made world of art and the untamed natural world. 

The Morton Arboretum, located in Lisle, has cultivated a symbiotic relationship between art and nature for years. In Jan. 2021, the two year-plus tenure for the famous “Troll Hunt” exhibition came to an end. The absence of Thomas Dambo’s massive recycled sculptures resembling trolls left some park visitors wanting further art installations.

Luckily, Chicagoland residents and fans of the arboretum didn’t have to wait long before a new exhibition was installed within the park. “Human+Nature” opened to the public on May 28, 2021. Inspired by trees, the sculptures within the exhibition were created by Daniel Popper in hopes of bridging the gap between humans and nature. 

The sculptures in Popper’s exhibition, which depict human likenesses in various expressive forms, invite park goers to reimagine their lives in connection with nature. All five sculptures are not only within a tree-filled arboretum, but they also have the appearance of being constructed entirely from wood- a metaphorical depiction of nature’s all encompassing reach, externally and internally. However, each sculpture is made from concrete, fiberglass and steel. 

“Human+Nature” will remain within the Morton Arboretum for at least one year. The exhibition is included in all timed-entry tickets. Ranging from $11 for children (2-17 years-old) to $16 for adults (18-64 years-old), the exhibition offers a perfect outing for the whole family. To visit the park and explore “Human+Nature,” visitors must purchase their tickets prior to arrival at the Morton Arboretum. 

For more information on the exhibition and to purchase tickets to the Morton Arboretum today, visit:mortonarb.org/visit-the-arboretum