Publish Date
Exhibit runs July 28 through October 17.
Exhibit runs July 28 through October 17.
Photo: Chicago Park District

The Artist's Garden will feature the flowers and fruit that inspired the paintings of the African American artist; Exhibit runs July 28 through October 17

The Chicago Park District’s Garfield Park Conservatory in partnership with the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance (GPCA) announces the opening of the outdoor exhibit to the general public, Still Life in Real Life: Charles Ethan Porter in the Artist’s Garden, on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Garfield Park residents and GPCA members are invited to a preview of the exhibit, July 23-25. The newly curated living display at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., gains its inspiration from the works of the renowned African-American artist, Charles Ethan Porter, who specialized in still life paintings and captured the vibrancy of nature in his works.  
The 29,000 square foot Artist’s Garden is the same outdoor space at the Conservatory that came alive last year and morphed into a facsimile portrait of The Flowers of Monet. This year, the garden will once again transport visitors to the turn of the century to experience life from Porter’s perspective, which his paintings thoughtfully depict.  
Fruits and flowers picked from Porter’s most famed still life paintings will embellish the garden. Visitors will stroll past strawberries, carnations, violets, sunflowers and much more. The living wall will pay homage to Porter’s painting entitled Autumn Landscape, which features grasses and flowers of different textures and colors that inhabit the landscape in this painting.  
The exhibit opens July 28 and runs through October 17, and will be remain open while weather permits and plants remain in good condition. 
Through August 20, every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., visitors will learn about the garden from an Urban Roots docent. The teen docents will be available in the garden during these times to share details about Charles Ethan Porter, the plants and more. 
Timed entry reservation is required to visit the Still Life in Real Life: Charles Ethan Porter exhibit. Reservations are available online at The timed ticket is valid for 30 minutes. The Artist's Garden is accessible through Horticulture Hall.  Reservations are required and are added each day at 10 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday.  
The Garfield Park Conservatory is open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 pm. and Thursday thru Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and located at the intersection of Central Park Ave. and Lake St. Admission to the Artist’s Garden exhibit is $5 for adults and free for children, Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance members and Garfield Park neighbors. Community residents may call (773) 638-1766 or email for more information. 
While the main indoor and outdoor gardens are free and open to all, donations are welcome at the time of booking your visit or on-site. To visit the Main Gardens, including the City Garden, the Sensory Garden and the Urban Demonstration Garden, please reserve your entrance time at Visitors may book their timed entry to the indoor and outdoor gardens and the Charles Ethan Porter exhibit for the same day.  
As the health and well-being of children in our parks is our highest priority and with most of the children in our programs not eligible to receive the vaccine, we will continue to require that face coverings be worn by everyone who enters our indoor spaces when children are present. If children are not present, vaccinated persons may remove their face coverings. 
We encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of public health officials from the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and unvaccinated persons should continue to wear a face covering in crowded outdoor settings or in instances where social distancing cannot be maintained. 
Information about the Garfield Park Conservatory and this exhibit is available online at