You don’t have to be an artist to find beauty and inspiration in the Fox River Valley.
There is artistry everywhere you look, in the river itself, in the vibrant communities along its banks, and in the majestic woodlands, verdant prairies and fertile farm fields surrounding those communities.
But sometimes when something is a part of your daily comings and goings, you stop seeing it fully.
As a part of The Conservation Foundation’s Fox River Initiative, this collection of Fox River paintings by artist Joel Sheesley is designed to help us and all Fox River Valley residents see and appreciate our river more fully, to open our eyes to the Art of the Fox.
The goal of Art of the Fox is to help people see the Fox River more deeply. We believe the more they see their river, the more they will connect with it, enjoy it and help care for it. We also believe that no artist could more exquisitely accomplish this than our Artist-In-Residence for Art of the Fox, artist Joel Sheesley.
Joel spent 2016-2018 painting the Fox River and its tributaries in Kane, Kendall and LaSalle counties, capturing all of its moods and seasons in a series of 72 original oil paintings, which you can browse here. While the originally anticipated body of work is finished, Joel is continuing to enjoy the deep connection he has made to the Fox River, and continues to paint it to this day!
The original paintings are for sale, and we have compiled images of them, along with Joel’s thoughtful writings from his field experience, into a beautiful coffee-table book called A Fox River Testimony.
The book and high quality prints of a few select paintings signed and numbered by the artist are now available for purchase.
The complete collection of original works of A Fox River Testimony were exhibited at the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University from September 20 – December 14, 2018 to great appreciation. In 2019, The Conservation Foundation partnered with several organizations to bring smaller exhibits of selected A Fox River Testimony work to additional locations along the Fox River. The final A Fox River Testimony exhibit will be held September 14th through November 15th at the Elgin History Museum.
Trish Beckjord is Program Manager for the Fox River Initiative. Feel free to contact her at any time with questions and ideas, and if you are interested in purchasing an original painting. She can be reached at 630-428-4500, Ext. 206 or by email.