Find ‘Messages of Hope’ in Nature Art Exhibit in South Suburbs

For a great escape for exercise, art and maybe a little hope, take to the woods. 

Little Red Schoolhouse in the Forest Preserves of Cook County is hosting an exhibit of “Messages of Hope,” a Cabinet of Curiosity collaboration. The boxes are works of art, each with items or scenes depicting hope and posted in trees on a 2-mile walk around the preserve. 

Each box is different and contains items that can survive the elements of being outside in the woods through Sept. 30. 

Families can visit from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily and either take the full 2-mile hike along Black Oak Trail or see a smaller selection through the Nature Center Trail. The roads on the longer hike are hilly and made of gravel and sand; the shorter trail is more conducive to hikers with a stroller.  

Some boxes – like the one put in place by the Little Red Schoolhouse – are at kid-height and designed to be interactive. Another asks for families and art viewers to drop in their own messages of hope (if you’d like to, bring a message with you in case the provided paper has run out). 

One has a mirror to reflect hope in the viewer, another is the scene of a giant dragonfly on a flower and others have dinosaurs! Many of the 61 boxes are higher in the trees and for viewing only at the preserve in the South Suburbs.

Cabinet of Curiosity is an art collective that welcomes submissions for art productions, including theater, dance, visual arts, music and sculpture.

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