What We Do

Art at Riverside Park

Stories of Symbiosis and Synchronicity
October through December 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 11th, 2018 | 5 - 7 pm

Melissa Courtney Melissa’s work is interdisciplinary in paint, print and textiles. She believes in connection: that as in nature, we all need each other to live. This series of abstract work is about pieces that need each other to “survive”, and feed off each other visually. She symbolizes things found in nature that are essential in symbiotic relationships; i.e., water, nests, roots and oxygen. Thick paint and short, deliberate brush strokes create a feeling of movement; in nature, something is always moving, evolving. Water rushing, wind blowing, life growing.

Marly Gisser Marly has always been drawn to old, patinated wooden surfaces, and finds materials in cast-off urban trash, recycled found items, and natural items such as pine needles, shells, stones, bark. The active searching for materials amidst discarded items aligns with the Urban Ecology Center’s tenet to recycle whenever possible. Putting these things together to create an assemblage often involves story-telling with the objects. This process of assembling seems one of synchronicity; where there is an intuitive feeling for what belongs together and what does not.

Kc Harrison Kc observes other living beings with open intentions, hoping to learn from them, imagining the many unique ways life is experienced. With the resourcefulness and craftiness of many animal species in mind, she mimics their gathering instinct and uses found and repurposed material, working intuitively, instinctively, and sustainably. Her drawings describe the process of making sculptural ‘stagings’ of stories in nature, asking the viewer to imagine from the beast’s point of view, to be receptive to new interpretations, and always to empathize with the subject.

October2018 1Melissa Courtney

October2018 3Kc Harrison

October2018 2 Marly Gisser

Everything is Energy and Interaction
January through March 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 10th, 2019 | 5 - 7 pm

Kelli Greentree Kelli loves the outdoors: a breath of air after rain, the warmth of the sun on her skin, the sounds of the forest, the taste of wild mulberries, the view of the sunset from up high, the sheer joy she experiences while riding her bicycle. And, she loves color: bright and cheery, dark and creepy, she loves it all, and enjoys putting colors together - to jump of the canvas and make it breathe. These inspirations drive her art, allowing her to share her vision of what surrounds us.

Phyllis Bankier Phyllis has been volunteering with the UEC’s ROOTS for several years and along the way, getting to know the wildflowers that bloom in Riverside Park and Rotary Arboretum. While seeing the prairie and woodlands thrive with diverse flora and fauna, Phyllis appreciates the dedication and knowledge of UEC staff to preserve and enhance these natural areas. Phyllis’ photographs are like portraits, capturing the essence of beauty within a moment in time, enabling viewers to see the intricacies and details of nature, encouraging a walk outside.


Kelli Greentree


Phyllis Bankier

So Much Life through Photography
April through June 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 11th, 2019 | 5 - 7 pm

The long-standing Photo Club at the Urban Ecology Center is a talented and dedicated group of photographers. With this exhibit beginning during Earth Month, in the time of spring wildflowers, breeding herptiles and migrating birds, their photographs of the wildlife in our midst and throughout the year will inspire you. See through photographers’ eyes: native flora, winter ice, migrating birds, and more - and nature from travels afar, too. Maybe you will look more closely, enjoy the outdoors with new eyes and perspectives, celebrate all the life of the Urban Ecology Center, and maybe pick up a camera yourself.

April 5

Ian Dickmann

April 2019 Art

Diane Rychlinski

April 2019 Art

Jack Kleinman


Phyllis Bankier

April2018 4

Diana Duffey

The Art of Mending The Earth
July - September 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 11th, 2019 | 5-7 pm

Ney Tait Fraser: Ney’s very large, personal paintings of close-up wildflowers will cover the gallery’s walls. And this exhibit is also an opportunity to consider and discuss the nature of Art. Ney says, “In a world already smothered by objects, perhaps it is time to start making living, conceptual art that mends the web of life. Small creatures such as birds, butterflies and spiders could be given habitat with indigenous plants.” Over a period of several decades, Ney has improved Big Bay/Buckley Park by removing invasive plants, and she says, “This landscape is now a living, conceptual piece that sustains wildlife.... Loss of pollinators is one the most import issues of our time. Instead of making more interior decoration, Art [as native plant landscapes] could address this problem.”

Because of the influence of local natural landscaping hero Lorrie Otto, Ney wrote and illustrated a book called Mending the Earth in Milwaukee which includes sixteen stories of extraordinary, pioneer gardeners who created mini Edens by replacing lawn and exotic plants with native plants.

Ney Tait Fraser

Ney Tait Fraser

ney tait fraser 2

Ney Tait Fraser

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

NEW! October Nature Rangers – Awesome Autumn! (Monday sessions)

Riverside Park

Monday, October 22nd

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

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Riverside Park

Monday, October 22nd

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

More Details...

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