What We Do

Art at Riverside Park

The Urban Ecology Center – Riverside Park is seeking artists interested in showing their work in our Community Room gallery. The deadline is January 30, 2020.

Read more and apply here

Jeff McAvoy, Heidi Koester and Maggie Szpot

January - March 2020

Jeff McAvoy

Golden Crowned Kinglet by Jeff McAvoy

Golden Crowned Kinglet
Digital Painting, created in Procreate App on iPad

Jeff McAvoy is the Urban Ecology Center’s Director of Marketing and Communications and has been fortunate enough to have Riverside Park just steps away from his desk and regular occasions to visit Washington and Three Bridges Parks for the past ten years. Jeff has been able to draw creative inspiration from these three parks for the graphics and branding of the Urban Ecology Center in his marketing role and more recently in his personal digital fine art practice. He loves choosing subjects for his digital paintings that can be observed in the natural world in Milwaukee and beyond. Jeff’s digital paintings have a traditional oil painting feel but his brush strokes are created with software and a stylus. Also on display will be a selection design and illustration work done for UEC programs over the past decade.

Heidi Koester

Heidi Koester has always had a great love for animals, insects, and art. She enjoys combining her love for these by exploring them in her creative process. They have served as a source of fascination, in both their form and hidden beauty. Through painting, photography, illustration, and printmaking, Heidi has reached an entirely new level of observation and understanding. She hopes to share this with others so that they too will begin to appreciate these creatures if only for the small glimpses of splendor they offer wherever they are found. Heidi’s artwork focuses on the animals and critters that live and thrive in our Milwaukee neighborhoods.


Dragonfly by Heidi Koester

Acrylic painting

Maggie Szpot

Moose in the Living Room by Maggie Szpot

Moose in the Living Room
Inkjet Print

Cranes in Condo
Inkjet Print

Maggie Szpot is an emerging visual artist based in Milwaukee. No matter the medium, her goal as a visual artist has always been to inspire the viewer to share her passion for wildlife and the natural environment. She does this by depicting animals and nature in spectacular, unusual ways, whether it is through the vibrant colors and loose strokes in her paintings or through the entertaining edits in her photography and videos. The Wild House exhibition originally started as an experiment in digital composting. Maggie began by photographing taxidermy exhibits from various local natural history museums and then digitally compositing images of the home, creating a striking dichotomy between the “wild” and the “domestic”.

Rebecca Jabs & Peter Schultz

April - June 2020

Rebecca Jabs

Rebecca Jabs believes art and science share a basic similarity: their purpose is to investigate and interpret our world for an audience. Rebecca’s interest in this intersection led her to a career in scientific illustration. Her work is an observation of nature with a hint of narrative, representing Wisconsin’s native flora and fauna in a manner that strives to be accurate, interpretive and elegant. Each piece tells a story that enriches our connection with the natural world: how do migrating birds navigate? What does a pelican eat? Which wildflowers grow in a forest or prairie community? Research for Rebecca’s work is gathered through hours of bird watching, hiking and thumbing through field guides. Her wish is to create work that awakens interest and wonder for the nature existing in our world and in our own backyards.

RebeccaJabs Art

Left: The forest floor, Right: Set your course by the stars

Peter Schultz

Peter Schultz was confronted with thousands of acres of wilderness in northern Wisconsin and was motivated to preserve, through photography, the land and its details that may be lost to view in the present and the future. When Peter moved from the north he found himself in search of the same wilderness, this time in the small, hidden places surrounded by what he thinks of civilization. Peter isn’t sure whether photography, itself, is art. He says, “Nature is an inspiration for art through photography and he seeks to capture and share the art in nature.” Peter hopes his photographs encourage the viewer to search out and enjoy the natural places close to home and motivate some to find and experience the wilderness before it disappears.


aspen sky

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Early Morning Bird Walks (Washington Park) - Cancelled

Washington Park

Wednesday, April 8th

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

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ROOT - Menomonee Valley - Cancelled

Menomonee Valley

Wednesday, April 8th

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

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