Opening: Friday, Jun 17, 2022 5:30 – 8 pm
Friday, Jun 17 – Jul 30, 2022

1957 Sheridan Rd.
Highland Park, IL 60035

The Art Center Highland Park wades into the age-old debate: Nature VS Nurture (Or is it Nature PLUS Nurture, Nature TIMES Nurture?)

As a starting point for this upcoming exhibit, curator Caren Helene Rudman derived from the writing, ‘The Age-Old Debate of Nature vs. Nurture’ by Kendra Cherry:

Nature refers to all of the genes and hereditary factors that influence who we are—from our physical appearance to our personality characteristics.

Nurture refers to all the environmental variables that impact who we are, including our early childhood experiences, how we were raised, our social relationships, and our surrounding culture.

The Main Gallery will highlight the exhibit,  'famil-E', with featured artists/guest jurors Sheila, Joyce and Joshua Elias who are exhibiting together for the first time. Audiences will be able to draw their own conclusions pertaining to the question of whether artistic ability is genetically inherited, passed through generations, or is creativity a product of environmental factors. Sheila Elias, mother to Joshua and Joyce, instilled a love of art, exposing her children to her own process throughout their lives. 

It is impossible to know for sure, sparking the theme for our adjunct exhibition, Nature VS Nurture. The Art Center invited artists to submit work that explores the interaction between inherited traits and environmental effects. In addition to the work, artists were asked to include statements containing their influences and/or stories that show how their own family trees have shaped their work.

The Art Center also offered submitting artists the option to expand from the context of human development to the exploration of environmental factors on our planet and how we may or may not influence the “nature” of things. In other words, does behavior affect the ‘natural’ order and, if so, how? With over eighty submissions, the Elias team selected sixty artists’ works that embody how these questions come to life; including a mother- son collaboration by Vonna Contino-Maslanka and Michael Contino.

Nature vs. Nurture is a free-admission exhibit on display at The Art Center Highland Park, 1957 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, from June 17 through July 30th, with gallery hours from 10 AM - 4 PM, Monday through Saturday. The Artists’ opening reception will be held on Friday, June 17, 5:30-8 PM, free admission (masks required). 


NOTE: The Elias family members will each conduct a workshop on the weekend of June 18, 12-3:30pm. The event is FREE but RESERVATIONS are required:

12-1:30pm, Joshua Elias Workshop. For info and reservations: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/354606978017

1:30-2pm, Sheila Elias Presentation. For info and reservations: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/354787146907

2-3:30pm, Joyce Elias Workshop. For info and reservations: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/354626636817

The Art Center, a not-for-profit organization, is the North Shore’s home for artistic discovery and creative exploration. Through innovative programs, exhibitions, and classes designed for all levels and ages, The Art Center provides a welcoming space for our diverse communities to experience and participate in the arts.

Media contact: media@theartcenterhp.org, or call 847-432-1888.