Terry Evans & Aimée Beaubien discuss their collaborative piece "With the Bur Oak, 2020"

Terry Evans and Aimée Beaubien discuss their piece "With the Bur Oak, 2020," which is currently on view for "Photography & _____." The two artists met once before the lock down and very quickly landed on a bur oak tree as their subject. They took their time meandering around how their visualized gestures might come together to embrace this 300-year-old tree. A photo-montage grew to envision far reaching winter branches overhead with a sprawling root system underground. 

For their collaborative piece, Terry and Aimée collected oak leaves from the Wooded Island (the site of the bur oak tree) and then photographed each one. These leaves were then printed and hung with paracord within the installation.

All is connected with a netted system conveying our ties to the essential contributions trees make to our ecosystem.


The prairie ecosystem has been a guide for Terry Evans since 1978. She photographs the prairies and plains of North America, the urban prairie of Chicago and other landscapes. Combining both aerial and ground photography, she delves into the intricate and complex relationships between land and people, especially advocating for the land itself and for local people who suffer environmental racism and injustice. She currently photographs ancient protected prairies and a particular Bur Oak in Jackson Park, Chicago. Evans has exhibited widely and her work is in many museum collections. She has five books, including Heartland: The Photographs of Terry Evans and Prairie Stories. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of an Anonymous is a Woman award.

Aimée Beaubien is an artist living and working in Chicago. Her cut-up photographic collages, photo-based installations and artists’ books explore collapses in time, space and place, while engaging the complexities of visual perception. Beaubien’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Beaubien is an Associate Professor of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL where she received her MFA in 1993.

View more of Terry Evans' work.

View the entire "Photography & _____" exhibition.

Image: "With the Bur Oak, 2020" by Terry Evans & Aimée Beaubien

Image: Detail of "With the Bur Oak, 2020" by Terry Evans & Aimée Beaubien

Image: Detail of "With the Bur Oak, 2020" by Terry Evans & Aimée Beaubien