University of Minnesota

Artists and Bell Museum collaborate to preserve and restore natural areas

May 23, 2014

A group of 21 regional artists is calling attention to the preservation and restoration of natural areas with an exhibition and sale this summer at the Bell Museum of Natural History. Up to 20 percent of the proceeds of artwork sales will be donated to support natural areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Sheltering Nature exhibition will be presented in two parts: The first half runs Sunday, June 1, through Saturday, July 12, with an opening reception on June 1 from 1-4 p.m. The second half runs from Sunday, July 20, through Sunday, Aug. 31, with a reception scheduled for July 27 from 1-4 p.m. The exhibition is coordinated by Project Art for Nature (PAN).

In preparation for the exhibition, each artist chooses a natural area in either Minnesota or Wisconsin and commits to visiting it regularly over three years. Enriched by personal explorations, the artists created artworks reflecting their discoveries and insights.

“Sheltering Nature explores the inherent beauty and biodiversity of each location and the need to protect it,” said artist Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson, who is participating in, and helping coordinate, the exhibition. “The goal is to call individuals and communities to action. While nature shelters us, we need to shelter nature as well.”

The exhibition will feature a wide variety of artistic mediums. Whether through delicate, detailed drawings; bold, abstract paintings; intricate, hand-pulled prints; or multi-faceted, mixed-media works, each piece of art brings the viewer closer to the multi-layered webs of life that make up our native biomes.

Artists participating in the Sheltering Nature exhibition are: Carla Benjamin, Richard Bonk, Mary Coughlan, Marj Davis, Michael Eble, Denise Friesen, Ann Popadiuk Larson, Suzanne Lewis, Dodie Logue, Rachel MaKarrall, Tom McGregor, Tammi Joy Parsons, John Pastor, Bonnie Ploger, Teri Power, Robyn Beth Priestley, David Spohn, Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson, Noreen Tyler, Diane Wesman, and PAN founder Vera Ming Wong.

About Pan

Project Art for Nature artists create and share artwork to encourage protection, restoration, reconnection, and stewardship of natural communities of native plants and animals. More information is available at

About the Bell Museum

The Bell Museum of Natural History strives to discover, document and understand life in its many forms, and to inspire curiosity, delight and informed stewardship of the natural world. The Bell is part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. For details visit

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