Art of the Fox
Art of the Fox


"Art must be an expression of love or it is nothing." 
~Marc Chagall


The connection between the painter’s eye, heart, head, and – ultimately – soul, and their subject is deep and unique for each artist. 

We have been privileged to see our Artist-In-Residence Joel Sheesley’s love of and connection to the natural world spill out onto canvas through a program called Art of the Fox.  Joel has created 73 stunning original paintings of Fox River landscapes.


The A Fox River Testimony Art Exhibit is on display now through December 14th
at the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University.
Click here for more information!

Joel Sheesley, Artist-In-Residence for the Art of the Fox Program
(photo by Jed Skillman)

The goal of the Art of the Fox program is to strengthen an appreciation for the Fox River, its ecology and its communities through art.  To that end, we have partnered with Joel Sheesley, a retired art professor from Wheaton College and a beautifully talented plein aire (outdoors) painter.  Joel has spent the last two years painting the Fox River, in all of its moods and meanders and seasons, completing 73 original paintings.  Ultimately, Joel’s work will be exhibited in various locations throughout the Fox River Valley, the first being an exhibit entitled A Fox River Testimony on display at the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University from September 20th, 2018 through December 14th, 2018.   The original paintings are now for sale, and have also been compiled along with Joel's contemplative writings into a coffee table book, A Fox River Testimony, that is available for purchase as well.  High quality prints of 16 of Joel's paintings, signed and numbered, are also available to be purchased.


Joel will also be blogging about his experiences.  Click the button to your left to read his musings, which will also be periodically posted in the Blog section of our website.

If you would like to receive new blog entries straight to your email inbox, click the button below to sign up.

Get Art of the Fox Blog

As the creative juices start flowing through Art of the Fox, we will be arranging several events, including plein aire painting sessions with Joel and other types of lessons and excursions to engage citizens and interested artists (experienced and not!).  We hope that these opportunities to create, share and appreciate the art of the Fox River will increase viewers' and painters' apprecation for - and love of - the Fox.

You can learn more about Joel and see some of his past works on his website,