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Impressions of Emiquon

Watercolor Paintings and Drawings by Nancy A. Jones

January 24 - March 13, 2007

Featured in the Fulton County Arts Council gallery are watercolor paintings and drawings by Nancy A. Jones, of Macomb, Illinois. Nancy was born and raised in Pittsburg, PA, lived in England for a time, and has been a resident of Macomb since 1968. She is a retired teacher of Philosophy and Sociology, Art and Art History, and English as a Second Language. She has taught at Chester College in England; Robert Morris Jr. College, Spoon River Community College, Monmouth College, and the Western Illinois University Center for International Studies.

In 2005 Nancy was involved with the Emiquon Corps of Discovery Project. Emiquon is the Nature Conservancy's wetland restoration project located near Dickson Mounds Museum and Havana. The Emiquon Corps of Discovery, created in partnership with the Nature Conservancy, Illinois Natural History Survey and Dickson Mounds Museum, is a group of 45 volunteers who have engaged with Emiquon in ways that go beyond the scientific documentation of the wetland restoration. They are writers, artists and photographers who commit their time and talents to documenting, in very personal ways, the restoration experience at Emiquon.

The Emiquon Corps of Discovery group met at Dickson Mounds throughout the winter and spring of 2005 where skill-building workshops in nature photography, drawing, watercolor painting, and creative writing were presented. Using these skills and others, members of the Corps of Discovery traveled to aesthetic points and pathways on the Emiquon Preserve and compiled a body of "creative data" such as journal entries, poetry, wood carvings, sketches, paintings, artistically composed photographs, and other collected materials that offer impressions of the landscape from non-scientists.

Emerging from Emiquon Corps of Discovery members is an artistic record of the restoration that is as intimate as it is thorough. Journal entries and essays speak of the hoarse cries of snow geese at twilight and paintings capture the beauty of morning light that turns the still waters of the Illinois River to polished bronze. These are the personal stories of Emiquon told by people who are learning to see themselves connected to the land through their knowledge of its natural rhythms and their experience of its change.

The paintings and drawings here are perspectives of Emiquon created by Nancy Jones. Nancy successfully captures beauty hidden in the seemingly mundane scenes of fields, drainage ditches, trees, and flowering plants. Nancy's work challenges the viewer to look and also see the beauty in all that surrounds us.

Becoming a member of the Emiquon Volunteer Corp was a partial solution to turning a personal interest in environmental restoration into a regional communal endeavor. By recording, through art, patterns of evolving changes in the tapestry of cultivated fields to wetlands, the hope is to create for the viewer a sense of closeness with the land that can be enjoyed now and in the future. Nancy Jones, 2007

Additional paintings by Nancy Jones will be on view at Dickson Mounds Museum in February as part of an exhibit featuring the Nature Conservancy's Emiquon project and the Emiquon Corps of Discovery. For more information contact Dickson Mounds Museum at 309-547-3721. For more information on Nancy Jones contact the Fulton County Arts Council at 309-645-7109. The Fulton County Arts Council is partially funded by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

 

Fulton County Arts Council -- P.O. Box 254 -- Canton, IL. 61520

© Fulton County Arts Council 2006

 

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