Lake Lover Blog

Information and Insights on Lake Michigan 

Using art to inspire students

In May, I had the honor of speaking to students at Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago. As one of many speakers at the school’s first-ever Earth and Learn Symposium, I talked about how I integrate environmental advocacy into my art practice.

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Patagonia Store Event


Stop by the Lincoln Park Patagonia store this Thursday, August 30th from 6:30-8:30 pm to help celebrate their 15th anniversary at that location. Nelson and I will have some of the Surface Tension images displayed and be mingling and talking with attendees. There are other non-profits and organizations participating as well. The store is at 1800 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614. Hope to see you there.

Beach Clean Up Scheduled for September 15


Great Lakes beaches and shorelines are kept clean by volunteers like you. Big things happen when friends, families, and communities all around the region come together. 

Be a part of a movement 15,000 strong to make the Great Lakes beaches clean. Thousands of Adopt-a-Beach volunteers from all over the Great Lakes will take to their local shorelines on September 15th.

Come on out to help clean up South Boulevard Beach in Evanston after the summer season. 

Click here to register: South Boulevard Beach Clean Up

Going (Back) to the Lake

Yes, that's me in the photo, clearly enjoying Ottertail Lake with my brother Jon, circa 1964.

Yes, that's me in the photo, clearly enjoying Ottertail Lake with my brother Jon, circa 1964.

Lake Michigan was not my first true love — as far as bodies of water go. That distinction belongs to Ottertail Lake in Minnesota. My family has had a cabin there since the early 1900s. 

I spent parts of every summer "at the lake" from birth through college. The visits have become much more sporadic, but I always love to go back to the cabin, and it is a true cabin. It still doesn't have insulation, dry wall or (god forbid!) air conditioning, but the family did cave and install indoor plumbing somewhere along the way.

Now my mother spends her summers there — exactly as she did in her youth. (See a collage I made for her of images from the lake.)

Visiting my mom is the perfect excuse to go back. In fact, today I am returning to my first lake-love for a week of family time, swimming, sailing and bird watching (bald eagles and osprey!).

As we start the last month of summer, I hope you, too, can return to a place you loved as a kid. Or maybe discover a new place where you and your family can build a new connection and make memories together.  


A victory for the Great Lakes!

"One Quarter"

Yesterday was a good day for aquatic life (and humans!) in and around the Great Lakes and waterways across the country.

As of July 1, 2018, the sale of any product containing microbeads is prohibited in the United States. Microbeads are the tiny plastic particles used in cosmetics, toothpaste and other everyday products.
This is a major victory and promises a healthier environment for fish, birds and other species. It also means safer drinking water for us.
The microbead ban shows that the hard work of a thoughtful and dedicated group of people can put an end to a harmful practice. Everyone who helped make this happen should take a bow (and as long as you're down there, pick up some plastic trash!).
Thanks for reading, and have a safe and plastic-free Fourth!

Finding Inspiration...

When my wife and I were in Boston the other week visiting our lovely niece, one of our first stops was the Museum of Fine Arts. What an amazing place! I could have spent days there and still not covered it all.

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