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“Environmental Concerns” - Exhibitions, Installations, and Public Programs


“Environmental Concerns”
September 26 - November 18, 2018
Opening Event: September 26, 5:00-8:00PM

"Environmental Concerns" is a collaborative project of the Experimental Station and William Hill Center for the Arts. It looks at local intersections between the natural world and social environments. Through exhibitions, installations, and public events, it connects and amplifies neighboring grassroots sites.

The William Hill Gallery is an intimate space for contemporary art located in the backyard of the house that William Hill inherited from his grandfather. It is located at 64th and Dorchester in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago. Hill, an artist, curator, and horticulturalist, has developed several outdoor sites: the William Hill Sculpture Garden, Dorchester Botanical Garden, and The Woodlawn Botanical Nature Center (at Hyde Park Academy High School).  All within a few blocks of his home and gallery, Hill has thoughtfully cultivated spaces filled with plants, functional objects, and art.

Located three blocks north of Hill’s gallery, the non-profit Experimental Station was built on a legacy of environmental and artistic activity.  Its building was home to Chicago’s first recycling center, Kenn Dunn’s Resource Center, and then became a hub of activity around the studio of artist Dan Peterman, whose work is centered around reuse.  Today, Experimental Station fosters a dynamic ecology of cultural programs and initiatives to meet local needs. It does so through running a community bike shop as a youth program, a farmers market, a program doubling the value of food stamps at farmers markets, and arts and culture events, while also incubating businesses and hosting community journalism projects.

William Hill at his Dorchester Botanical Garden next to sculpture and benches he created

William Hill at his Dorchester Botanical Garden next to sculpture and benches he created

This project highlights the existing artistic and horticultural efforts at these sites and further activates them through installations, exhibitions, and events by artists connected to Hill and Experimental Station. Included are:

  • a live-plant installation and “Plant Your Fears” project by Cream Co.

  • urban and nature landscape and still life paintings by Gerald Sanders and students

  • outdoor bike-part sculptures by Alice Smith-Jones with youth from Blackstone Bicycle Works

  • sculptural light and sound installation by Alpha Bruton with William Hill, sculpture by Peter Gray

  • an extinct animals zoo made by Rhonda Ghoulston and her students at Hyde Park Academy

A series of free, public events will take place during the run of the exhibits. They will take place Experimental Station (6100 S. Blackstone) unless otherwise noted.

Organized by Alpha Bruton (Phantom Gallery Chicago), William Hill (William Hill Center for the Arts), and Matthew Searle (Experimental Station).

For more information, contact Matthew Searle, Assistant Director of Experimental Station: or 773.241.604

Project Sites

  • William Hill Gallery and Sculpture Garden - 6442 S Dorchester Ave. (indoor/outdoor)

  • Dorchester Botanical Garden - 64th and Dorchester (outdoor)

  • The Woodlawn Botanical Nature Center - 6300 Stony Island (outdoor)

  • Experimental Station - 6100 S. Blackstone (indoor)

  • Blackstone Bicycle Works - 6100 S. Blackstone (outdoor)

Participating Artists:

William Hill
Alpha Bruton
Rhonda Gholsten and Hyde Park Academy students
Alice Smith-Jones with Blackstone Bicycle Works
Peter Gray
Gerald Sanders with students
Sasha Earle and Brett Sweeney of Cream Co.
Norman Long
South Side Projections
Patric McCoy
Erik Peterson

William Hill is an artist, gallerist, and maker of green spaces. Some of these green spaces can be found here: Dorchester Botanical Garden and Woodlawn Botanical Nature Center

The William Hill Gallery, located in the Woodlawn-Hyde Park community of Chicago, exhibits the work of distinguished visual artists who are devoted to the critical investigation of nature, culture, race, gender and the postcolonial imagination. With an emphasis on painting, photography, sculpture, video and installation art, these artists highlight postmodern strategies, which challenge traditional modes of representation. William Hill Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition, scholarship and acquisition of 21st century contemporary art. 

Alpha Bruton creates environmental art installations where objects and images are selected to “serve as cultural mirrors" and the sites in which they are situated serve as part of a broader cultural commentary. She is also an art consultant, and chief curator for the Phantom Gallery Chicago. 

Gerald Sanders, a self taught artist, has been drawing since the age of five. His work has been selling since eleven. He has been teaching art since age fifteen. Before he graduated from High School, Mrs. Rose Kennedy, mother of the President, Senator Edward M. Kennedy & the Sears Foundation were owners of a Sanders original. Currently his artwork can be found in collections across the United States. After numerous exhibitions, sales & awards, Mr. Sanders has been recognized as one of the most successful teachers & developer of professional artists outside of an institution in the city of Chicago. He is one of Chicago's "Best Kept Secrets".

Peter Gray: "Art in Science - At his Metal-i-Genics Studio in Chicago, Gray captures the aesthetics of genetics, microbiology, and physics in bronze and steel sculptures. His goal is to create something that has both an aesthetic value as a sculpture and then also leads to further questioning by the viewer. “In science, you should always keep in mind that in what you're observing there is a true inherent beauty. I often felt provoked by the artistic qualities of the images I encountered in the lab,” Gray says. “Artists, scientists, and technologists look at structure and pattern in the universe, whether visible or invisible to the naked eye. His exhibitions explore how some of today's scientific fields of systems science, chaos, fractals, genetics, molecular science, plus nature itself, are used to create two - and three - dimensional art of provocative and sumptuous pattern. (Science Issues & Perspectives)"

Gray's residency in Marseille, France and extensive travels in Asia bring additional influences to the artistic aspects of science into the realm of each person. Works depict key aspects of genetic structure, antibody action, or genographic migration. Gray received training at the Delaware Art Institute and a graphic design firm in New York City. He continued artistic development while conducting biomedical research with degrees from the University of Delaware, Northwestern University Medical School, and The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the M. D. Anderson Tumor Institute. Biomedical research focused on ribosomal structure and assembly and biochemical dysfunction in Huntington’s Disease. Gray also helped obtain approval for the first genetically engineered IGF (insulin-like growth factor) approved for human vaccine production, and developed chlorine dioxide generating polymeric films.