Check here for the latest "Art of the Fox" events.
To learn about "Art of the Fox" on The Conservation Foundation website Click Here:
To read the "Art of the Fox" blog on the TCF website Click Here
To read the essay, "Heaven and Earth: Reading Gilead through the Landscape of the Fox River" Click Here
A Fox River Testimony - Will be available soon! The book is going to press!
Endorsements for the book:
“A Fox River Testimony is not a collection of paintings; it is a journey, one that immerses readers in the ceaseless play of a river-carved landscape and its tributaries of meaning. Sheesley creates an intimate portrait of the everyday glory of these life-giving waters as they wend their way through forest, prairie, and city. He shows us how to face a river, open to the possibility of love. Readers will feel the humility of an artist who reverences the living landscape and wonders if he is up to the task of doing it justice. Open this book, enter its flow, and you’ll see for yourself that he does.” Gavin Van Horn, Director of Cultures of Conservation for the Center for Humans and Nature, and author of The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds
Sheesley's paintings are beautiful and insightful meditations on the Fox River landscape. His essays that accompany each image are even more profound, setting up an inner dialogue that we share with him about the process of looking at and capturing a place in time. This book reminds us of the wonder of our immediate world and carries a gentle admonition to understand our agency and responsibility to our environment.
Doug Stapleton, Associate Curator of Art, Illinois State Museum
Joel Sheesley’s A Fox River Testimony fills me with a sense of longing for this world, in all its moods and turns and sudden openings, and for something just beyond it, whispering through it. How did the painter know to place himself in just this relation to the river’s sheen and seams and secrets, and how did he quiet himself enough to respond so deeply and so well? I find myself asking this with each painting, as if learning to look and feel and love with this sort of embedded openness was not only what we were put on the earth to do, but as if now, finally, when it mattered most, I had someone willing to show me how. Thomas Gardner Alumni Distinguished Professor of English, Virginia Tech
Through Sheesley's close attention to wind and weather, muskrats and mallards, slants of light, patterns of motion, and the contrasts between brokenness and beauty, we are drawn into the life of the river and the Illinois communities that push into its shoreline. His images and evocative words provoke a passion in us for the Fox River itself, and prompt a deeper desire to care for this and other vulnerable---and sometimes overlooked---places. Sheesley stunningly completes the task he has set for himself with this transformative project: "..to make what is visible evoke the invisible." Cindy Crosby "The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction" and "Tallgrass Conversations: In Search of the Prairie Spirit."
GRAND OPENING AND EXHIBITION OF FOX RIVER PAINTINGS
Schingoethe Center of Aurora University - September 20 - December 13, 2018
MAY ARTIST OF THE MONTH - CENTER FOR HUMANS AND NATURE
READ THE INTERVIEW
I'm delighted to have been chosen as "MAY ARTIST OF THE MONTH" by the Center for Humans and Nature. Check out my interview and learn about their work here: https://www.humansandnature.org/the-life-of-a-river-an-interview-with-joel-sheesley
CENTER FOR HUMANS & NATURE: Expanding Our Natural & Civic Imagination
THE LIFE OF A RIVER: AN INTERVIEW WITH JOEL SHEESLEY
Here's a short video about the Fox River/Gilead project.