Picturing the Prairie

Paintings by Philip Juras
May 8 – September 20, 2020

Sunrise

Sunrise, Nachusa Grasslands, Illinois, 2019, Oil on canvas, 36 x 54 in.

Philip Juras’s exhibition of landscape paintings celebrates the rich aesthetics, ecology, and history of Illinois prairies. Juras explored the Chicago area and beyond to discover—and rediscover—a vision of an ecosystem that has virtually vanished in North America. Traveling from home in Athens, Georgia, he spent five years on the project, guided by some of the foremost prairie conservationists in Illinois and by his own research.

A dozen large studio canvases and many smaller field paintings—depicting remnants, restorations, and imagined re-creations—take the viewer on a journey of prairie landscapes from the Wisconsin border to the southern end of the state. This body of work continues Juras’s exploration of natural landscapes, especially historical grassland ecosystems.