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Of the Earth

A new art exhibition opening at The Morton Arboretum May 26, 2023

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Five large-scale sculptures by Polish American artist Olga Ziemska will be created exclusively for a new exhibition at The Morton Arboretum, Of the Earth, opening May 26, 2023.

The exhibition will explore the artist’s expression and philosophy that, she says, “We are nature.” Ziemska said that her aim is to remind people that “everything in life is derived from the same basic elements that form everything in nature, including ourselves. There is no separation.” In Polish, Ziemska means “of the earth.”

The artist’s work will be created from reclaimed tree branches and other natural materials gathered from various locations throughout the Arboretum’s 1,700 acres. “I am giving reclaimed natural materials a new life and transforming them from nature into new forms,” Ziemska said.

This will be the largest exhibition to date for Ziemska, who lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio. Ziemska has exhibited and created public installations in Poland, Taiwan, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, and other locations globally in a career spanning more than 20 years. Her work entwines and melds the human body with other natural forms, which she notes, “reminds us of our own physicality of seamless connection to the earth and nature.” 

The Arboretum’s tree-filled landscapes inspired Ziemska because areas of the Arboretum remind her of the landscapes of Poland, where she previously lived and the majority of her family remains. She has built her career in the male-dominated sculpture world, exploring her multiple identities as a first-generation child of immigrants, an American, an artist, a woman, and a human.

The exhibition will run through spring 2025. Highlights of Olga’s previous work are provided in the gallery below.

Olga Ziemska, Sculptor and Artist

Olga Ziemska is a sculptor and artist who lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio. Her newest and largest sculptural exhibition to date, Of the Earth, will open at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, on May 26, 2023.

Olga’s work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., as well as in Poland, Taiwan, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, and other international locations. She has had residencies with the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Poland, YATOO International in Korea, RespirArt Sculpture Park in the Dolomite Mountains of Italy, and the Taoyuan Land Art Festival in Taiwan. 

She approaches her work drawing on her multiple identities as a first generation child of Polish immigrants, an American, a woman, an artist, and a human.

Among her prestigious grants and awards were a Fulbright Fellowship and a Creative Workforce Fellowship. In 2007, Ziemska was selected as a Wendy L. Moore Emerging Artist by the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. The Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery selected her as its 2018 Women Artist to Watch. She is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design and an alumnus of the Rhode Island School of Design.


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