Of Earth and Spirit: Sharon Bladholm and Monica J. Brown

Opening: Friday, Oct 27, 2023 6 – 9 pm
Friday, Oct 27, 2023 – Jan 13, 2024

1527 N. Ashland
Chicago, IL 60622

The exhibition at SoNa Chicago Contemporary Art, “Of Earth and Spirit" features artists Sharon Bladholm and Monica J. Brown who explore connections between nature and our physical, spiritual and emotional past, present, and future.  

Sharon Bladholm has long explored the interfaces of art, nature, science, and conservation in numerous series of artworks in diverse mediums including glass, bronze, ceramic, and works on paper. She has participated as an artist on scientific expeditions to remote ecosystems of the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon. She finds peace and connection by spending time in the natural environment where she documents known and unknown species and finds inspiration for drawings,  paintings, ceramics, and sculpture. When she speaks about her work she will often discuss climate change and the need to protect the environment. The exhibition will also feature several major pieces, her bronze hearts, brains, and lungs. They are shown with seedlings and embedded live flowers and vines to convey that our hearts, minds, and physical being are interdependent and connected to nature.

Monica J. Brown is an interdisciplinary artist who explores the intersections between visual art, sound, movement, poetry, prose and performance. She is interested in how stories of our personal history live in our bodies and also how the stories of our ancestry shape the way in which we view the world and our place within it. Her work is an investigation of genetic memory and generational healing. She explores how the experiences from the past, knowing them, and sharing them can be a means for releasing learned dysfunctional patterns and for embracing inherited strengths and gifts. The portraits of her ancestors are moving and beautiful and we view them as if through keyholes or through veils to glean the wisdom they can convey to us. Brown's illustrations of seeds, sticks, stones, and trees represent her spiritual connection to the earth, the elements of nature, and the wisdom of her ancestors.  

SoNa Chicago is proud to feature the work of these two wonderful artists.  


The work of other SoNa Chicago artists is also currently on view in the Gallery Annex. They include Kermit Berg, Tita Brady, Jill Kolker, Loralyn Kumlin, Tom Robinson, Nicholas Sistler, and Paul Somers. Beautiful jewelry by artists Melle Finelli and Christy Klug are also featured at the gallery.


The exhibition "Of Earth and Spirit" runs from October 27, 2023 – January 13, 2024. The opening reception is on Friday, October 27 from 6-9 pm.



Upper left: Sharon Bladholm, Brain Seedling, cast bronze and glass, 8" x 9" x 9"

Lower right: Sharon Bladholm, Seeds, ceramic, size varies, approx. 5" x 3.5” x 2"

Upper right: Monica J. Brown, Layers of Perception, oil pastel on paper, 9" x 12"

Lower left: Monica J. Brown, Aura Ray (Beyond the Veil), acrylic and collage on wood, 8" x 8"