Drawing To Benefit Thorne Creek Nature Center

Prairie Chapel
A signed and numbered print of the graphite drawing “Prairie Chapel” by local artist Marikay Peter Whitlock is available with a donation to Friends of Thorn Creek Woods of $75 or more to benefit the Nature Preserve. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- An original graphite drawing by artist Marikay Peter Witlock titled “Prairie Chapel” is available with a donation of $75 or more to Friends of Thorn Creek Woods. All proceeds will benefit Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve, the inspiration for the drawing.

“Funding for the operation of the Preserve and Nature Center continues to be a bare-bones budget,” according to Judy Dolan Mendelson, Secretary of Friends. “Marikay’s generous donation of the “Prairie Chapel” print is the perfect gift for art lovers, nature lovers and supporters of Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve.” 

Intrigued by the promise of a patch of prairie, Witlock visited Thorn Creek Nature Center in the late summer of 1988. She left that visit with a vision of prairie and chapel woven as one, and a profound sense of the sacred in the land. 

“Prairie Chapel” became the first in a series of over 35 drawings combining architectural elements with the grasses and forbs of Illinois.

Witlock is a local professional artist and volunteer for the arts. Her artwork is available through The Illinois Artisans’ Shop, Chicago and Union Street Gallery in Chicago Heights.

In 1861 the Immanuel Lutheran Church congregation christened a “large beautiful church” in Richton Park. Over one hundred years later the old structure was moved and became Thorn Creek Nature Center, at the entrance to, what is now, the fifth largest nature preserve in Illinois.

Artist Marikay Peter Whitlock’s work has been featured in over twenty-five solo shows including exhibitions at the prestigious Arts Club of Washington, Washington DC and The Union League Club of Chicago. In 2002 Witlock was selected as Artist-In-Residence, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Her pastel interpretation of the Indiana Dunes won the 2003 Allied Artists of America Award at the Pastel Society of America’s Annual Exhibition in New York City. Witlock teaches pastel painting and graphite drawing in both classroom and private studio settings through her Chicago Heights studio at Union Street Gallery. Her studio is open to the public by appointment.

The “Prairie Chapel” print is a limited edition of 300 signed and numbered prints, with image size of 13” x 17” and finished size of 18” x 21”. It is printed on acid free 80 lb. paper. 

Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organization. Donations to Friends, over the value of the Prairie Chapel print (valued at $75) are tax-deductible. 

For more information: Thorn Creek Nature Center, 708-747-6320 or [email protected] or our website: tcwoods.org. To view a framed “Prairie Chapel” print, visit Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, Friday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.