Gary artist has new solo exhibit in Chicago, collaborated on educational adult coloring book

Local artists Corey Hagelberg and Melissa Washburn created the adult coloring book "Rethink Your Lawn."

Miller-based artist Corey Hagelberg has a new solo exhibit at a Chicago gallery and he teamed up with Valparaiso-based artist Melissa Washburn to create a newly released adult coloring book about the environment.

Hagelberg will display black-and-white woodcut pieces he created over the past seven years at the Uri-Eichen Gallery at 2101 S Halsted St. in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. "The Effects of Bad Government" addresses the environmental issues that are a recurring theme in his work.

"The large-scale black and white woodcuts emphasize the tension between the natural and manmade environments," he said. "They seek to emphasize the beauty and supremacy of nature. They tell stories and depict the Northwest Indiana landscape."

An opening reception will take place between 6 and 10 p.m. for the solo show, which will be on display for one month. The gallery is open by appointment. Hagelberg also will appear from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16 to talk about his work and do public demonstrations.

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The gallery will sell smaller wrapped prints and the new adult coloring book "Rethink Your Lawn: Tips for Helping Your Soil, Rethinking Pollinators, Feeding Your Family and Fighting Climate Change." He collaborated with Washburn – who's done major public murals, ran the Community Supported Art Valpo program, and hosted "Art on the Air" radio show with Gregg Hertzlieb –  on the coloring book, which is intended for all ages.

"It encourages people to think about the space they occupy in relationship to nature and how they can change in small and large ways in their own backyard," Hagelberg said. "It covers how the lawn is a blank canvas with unlimited potential for feeding a family or creating a greater sense of community, and getting outside to work in the neighborhood on collective action. It's an educational tool and can be a manual for fighting climate change. Climate scientists say that we must make dramatic changes in the ways we use the land to prevent devastating effects and that our lawns can be a major key to feeding the world and fighting climate change."

The 12-page illustrated book offers tips on planting edible native species, planting orchards and making composts for the neighborhood.

It will eventually be available at Green Door Used Books in downtown Hobart, as well as at other local bookstores and art galleries and online at Washburn's Etsy page.


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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.