Joseph Lunetto, Chicago Member Since April 2008 Artist Statement Everyone has seen countless photos of beautiful natural scenery in locations like Colorado, Utah or California. As a photographer who loves to take nature photos I often envied those who have such grand vistas in their backyards. However .... I came to realize one day that nature on any scale can hold great beauty and often is closer than I think.
Some time ago I was looking for something interesting to photograph and even though I have lived on the northwest side of Chicago for more than thirty years I had never been to the Nature Center located within the North Park Village complex. As I roamed the forty six acres of the preserve I could not help but be amazed that such a place exists in the middle of our city. There are prairie areas with tall grasses waving in the breeze and savannas with giant 100 year old oak trees. The main trail curves around to a wetland area containing a pond that is alive with many species of birds and aquatic animals. There are thickly wooded areas that are filled with an abundance of white-tailed deer and other wildlife. If you did not know you were in the heart of a big city you would think you were walking in a remote area of Wisconsin or Michigan.
Since my trip to North Park Village and the North Park Village Nature Center I have been exploring other wilderness areas located in and around Chicago. As I go along in this exploration I am assembling a series of photographs featuring Chicago’s Urban Wilderness. My hope is to share a realization and an appreciation of the diversity of natural beauty that we have in abundance throughout our great city.