Brushwood offers free access to virtual exhibit

Virtual reality experience is a collaboration between artist and conductor

RIVERWOODS – Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods recently debuted a 360-degree virtual exhibit, TIDES: A Prelude, the first-ever virtual reality experience at Brushwood and the first collaboration between artist and advocate Arica Hilton and conductor Vladimir Kulenovic.

The collaboration is a story of finding peace, healing and reconnection through the arts.

The Chicago-based artists’ interdisciplinary multimedia exhibition explores nature through music, poetry and paintings.

The user is able to remotely “walk” through the hallways of Brushwood and explore each room’s paintings, videos and poems, as if doing so in person. Alongside each piece is a short audio explanation about the work, recorded by the artist. Original music from Hector Rasgado-Flores accompanies the virtual viewing experience.

Artist, poet, global advocate and conservationist Hilton also is curator of Hilton | Asmus Contemporary gallery in River North and former president of the Poetry Foundation of Chicago. Internationally renowned conductor Kulenovic, who was named the Chicago Tribune’s 2015 Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music and the 2019 Illinois Conductor of the Year, is among the leading conductors of his generation worldwide.

“At Brushwood Center, we have witnessed the powerful role of art and nature during this pandemic,” executive director Catherine Game said in a news release. “Arica Hilton and Vladimir Kulenovic’s work evokes the vitality of nature and reminds us of our own strength and adaptability in the face of change.”

The moon, water and other natural elements lie at the heart of the inaugural event in Brushwood Center’s new Nature in Concert series. Concert dates and tickets will be released on the Brushwood website,, pending COVID-19 state guidance.

“As artists, generally we have to create art with empathy, and we have to elicit empathy from others,” Kulenovic said in the release. “Then we hope that this empathic process transforms the way people live their lives.”

Even through a virtual platform, the artists’ collaboration is one of Chicago’s most unique and intimate artistic experiences available since COVID-19 restrictions began.

There is no cost to register and access the 360-degree virtual tour.

The exhibition of Hilton’s work, inspired by her collaboration with Kulenovic, will run through Jan. 31.

Register for the tour at