Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo Sculpture Show Review - First-Ever and Wonderful

I had the delight of seeing Nature in Motion: Sculpture at Lincoln Park Zoo, and it was a wonderful experience-not to be missed. My visit was greatly enhanced by the opportunity to share my tour with Ruth Aizuss Migdal, creator of one of the sculptors in the show.  The two of us were guided by Brian Houck, Director of Horticulture at Lincoln Park Zoo and Jillian Braun.  Brian knew everything about each of the sculptures, and about the people who created them.




Interestingly, when I asked Brian about the placement of each of the sculptors, all of which seemed to be in a perfect location, he shared that a committee chose the spots but that took place in the winter with snow covering everything, so it was his knowledge of all of the plants that are coming up now that lead to the brilliant placement.


Sculptor, Ruth Aizuss Migdal, shared with me that sculpture does not get the attention it really deserves and she feels this is a very good exhibit.  I could not agree more.  It ranged from the unusual to the exciting to magical.  The pieces blended into the setting embellished the areas, and greatly enhanced the experience of being at the zoo.


“The Nature in Motion sculpture show is another exciting way for guests to enjoy the zoo, in addition to our beloved animals and historic architecture” said Senior Vice President of Operations Troy Baresel. “The size, intricacies and colors of the sculptures really seem to pop and bring new life to the zoo’s unique gardens.”





The first of some very special tours begins May 13, and continues each month. For a more intimate and in-depth experience, the monthly Evening Sculpture Stroll will provide an opportunity for an exclusive sculpture tour after-hours. The stillness of the zoo offers a perfect palate to appreciate the art and flora without distractions.  Evening Sculpture Stroll cost $13 ($10 for zoo members) and will take place May 13, June 10, July 8, Aug. 12, Sept. 9 and Oct. 14.




More information about Nature in Motion: Sculpture at Lincoln Park Zoo, the artists and sculptures can be found at the LPZoosculpture website






Lincoln Park Zoo, a historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868, is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience. A leader in conservation science both globally and locally, the zoo exemplifies the highest quality animal care and educational outreach. The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. For more information, call 312 -742-2000 or visit the  LincolnPark website





Each of the sculpture lent something special, creating a rich experience. I was amazed with the size of Ruth’s sculptor, Here, 2012, so she kindly offered to show me her studio and explain how it came to be.  Ruth began by studying painting and then learned about working with clay and moved on to bronze and metal, which she taught herself.  She said her pieces start out small and then they seem to grow.  I found them very impressive. 






Public sculptor enriches the spaces that surround them.  I hope that this show will be the beginning of many more.


Photos: B. Keer unless otherwise noted

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