LISLE – Five large-scale sculptures by Polish American artist Olga Ziemska have been created exclusively for a new exhibition at The Morton Arboretum, “Of the Earth,” opening Friday, May 26, in Lisle.
The exhibition will explore the artist’s expression and philosophy, which she describes as “We are nature,” a news release stated. Ziemska said her aim is to remind people that “everything in life is derived from the same basic elements that form everything in nature, including ourselves. There is no separation.” In Polish, her own name Ziemska means “of the Earth.”
The artist’s work is being created from reclaimed tree branches and other natural materials gathered from various locations throughout the Arboretum’s 1,700 acres.
“I am giving reclaimed natural materials a new life, and transforming them from nature into new forms,” Ziemska said in the release.
“Olga will bring a fresh and evocative new display to The Morton Arboretum’s art exhibition program, which has enhanced the guest experience among our tree collections,” Preston Bautista, vice president of learning and engagement, said in the release. “The experience of art paired with nature throughout the Arboretum has been very appealing to both frequent visitors and those coming for the very first time. We are continuing this approach of one-of-a-kind exhibitions aligned with the Arboretum’s mission that really motivate people to get outdoors among trees and explore nature.”
This will be the largest exhibition, to date, for Ziemska, who lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio. She has exhibited and created public installations in Poland, Taiwan, Italy, South Korea, Mexico and other locations globally, in a career spanning more than 20 years. Her work entwines and melds the human body with other natural forms, which she notes, “reminds us of our own physicality of seamless connection to the Earth and nature.”
The Arboretum’s tree-filled landscapes inspired Ziemska because some of its areas remind her of landscapes in Poland, where she previously lived and the majority of her family remains. She has built her career in the male-dominated sculpture world, exploring her multiple identities as a first-generation child of immigrants, an American, an artist, a woman and a human.
Among her prestigious awards is a Fulbright Fellowship, and she is an alumnus of the Rhode Island School of Design.
The exhibition, which will run through spring 2025, is included with timed-entry admission to The Morton Arboretum.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Of the Earth” sculpture exhibition
WHERE: The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle
WHEN: May 26 through spring 2025
INFORMATION: 630-968-0074, mortonarb.org