Elaine Miller’s artwork highlighting her love for nature is already prevalent throughout Beverly.
Her latest exhibit continues that trend while emphasizing how precious the greenspaces at the Dan Ryan Woods are in urban surroundings.
“Remnants and Remains” debuted at the Beverly Arts Center (BAC) on Sept. 25 and will run through Nov. 8.
Four large pieces depict the four seasons of a year and correspond with a time of day, with about 10 other smaller pieces also presenting a natural theme.
“They’re all inspired by the landscape and vegetation in the Dan Ryan Woods,” Miller said. “I walk in the woods every day with my dog, so it’s like a therapeutic landscape project.”
The large pieces, Miller said, are each 8 by 10 feet. In depicting the seasons of the year, she said, the summer piece is set at noon, while the winter piece, which is the “bleakest,” is set at night.
Miller, who lives near Dan Ryan Woods, said the exhibit is a continuation of a “Remnants” series she displayed on a billboard near 103rd Street and Western Avenue two years ago. That series, which promoted the Beverly Art Walk, also featured Miller’s landscape paintings of the Dan Ryan Woods.
No words were on any of those paintings. The series was meant to offer something different than traditional billboards.
“The billboard [series] was anti-advertising,” Miller said. “It was pro-people getting to realize the importance of what’s left in our ... ecosystem, and protecting it and expanding it, hopefully.”
Miller also recently finished a mural in the parking lot at 95th Street and Longwood Drive that hosts the 95th Street Farmers Market. She added the Chicago skyline to a piece that already featured rolling hills and had a theme of farming and agriculture.
The debut of “Remnants and Remains,” she said, went well, as it had “just the right amount of people” to allow for social distancing.
She praised BAC Curator Jake Saunders for his support.
“I had a lot of really good responses to those big pieces,” Miller said. “They’re best seen in person because they’re so big. They’re meant to be an immersive experience when you’re looking at that.”
Miller said that “all the greenspace that we have in the city” is important for people’s mental health—and the environment. She has been worried about climate change for 30 years, she said, and is happy it has become a publicized concern.
“Now, I’m glad people are waking up to the importance of that,” she said.
Admission to “Remnants and Remains” is free.
For more information, call the Beverly Arts Center at (773) 445-3838 or visit beverlyartcenter.org.