Scarecrow Art Exhibit Descends Upon Community Rain Garden

One of the more serious themed grumblings on social media last winter was a lack of creative ideas and events making it into our community.  Quite a few threads were used to deposit ideas of what people might be interested in participating in, but it can be said that no one came up with the idea of creating an analog interactive art exhibit out of the newly improved rain garden in downtown Midlothian, Illinois.

As Team Floodlothian worked hard to lock down the last actions needed to call it quits for the season in terms of improving the park itself, team leader Helen Lekavich came up with one last path to travel to put that clearly unique Floodlothian touch to the project…and for this, it was to install a few scarecrows in time for the Fall Festival and Pop-Up Demonstration that had been planned for October 22, 2016.

[wppa type=”slide” album=”4″ align=”left”]Team Floodlothian Midlothian Scarecrow Art Exhibit[/wppa]

True to the Team Floodlothian legacy, other volunteers began throwing in their own contributions into the mix, local businesses, organizations and government units also got involved and there were additions to the exhibit on an almost-daily basis for over a month including a Scarecrow complete with guitar and amp for The Midlothian School of Music exhibit and the Cubs portion has expanded at regular intervals (started with a flying W and grew into a rooftop with Carrey and Sandberg!).

But the real shop-stopper has been one set of scarecrows in particular, scarecrows that looks similar to Lekavich and complete with a burlap ponytail coming out from the hat and the flying pig.  At first run on social media when these scarecrows first appeared, a lot of people were fooled into thinking a real human being was working on the garden.  Once you are up close, you begin to realize that even the detailed bends of the fingers were created by someone who had done their share of planting themselves.  After this initial success at fooling the local Midlothian crowd, these advanced analog scarecrows were then seen staged differently and in various spots in the garden, including the “VIP” section closest to Midlothian Creek and the train tracks.

This spontaneous and inspired Scarecrow exhibit has already been inspiring people throughout the southwest suburbs to ask around with curiosity about what they are seeing along Pulaski, an exciting and positive kind of buzz that only an outstanding unique artistic endeavors can generate.  It’s been rumored there is at least one more staging planned for the moveable scarecrows and nothing compares to seeing the exhibit live and in person.  I’d say you might want to stop by every other day next week to keep up with the changes.

Team Floodlothian has already taken home to Midlothian, Illinois a few awards in 2016 and this exhibit is certainly award-winning quality.  But the real legacy of this group of volunteers does not show up in public as a blue-ribbon won in a contest or a decorated piece of paper hanging on a wall for a job well done. It shows up in the form of scarecrows…

and plants…
and rain barrels…
and videos of rain events…
and committees and meetings…
and parades…
and educational events…
and most recently…

Leaving behind reasons to smile and laugh at a moment’s notice because such a quality public display of artistry popped up in Midlothian, Illinois while under such otherwise recessed conditions.

From Floodlothian Midlothian:

“Last October a rain garden was installed south of the VFW that was funded with a grant. The grant dollars were withheld to put in a permeable parking lot next to the garden, however the village is in process of re applying.

There was no additional funding to maintain the rain garden. A small group of volunteers headed out to the rain garden this past June to pull thousands of weeds to make it presentable before the Veterans Parade.

We have been working at that area for 4 months, usually 5 days a week! The way we would explain it is that our vision kept expanding!

We reached out to Grills True Value and they agreed to sell 40 lb bags of dirt to residents for 99 cents that wanted to donate to this project. We went to the CCFP site for MANY truck loads of free mulch! Residents started digging up native and perennial plants from their back yards and donating them! Donations kept coming from residents that were excited to see the green space expanding! More dirt, more plants, trees, grass seed, erosion control netting, lunch, coffee, iced tea, cookies and pop kept coming! We have donated plants we hope to get from residents next spring, because we couldn’t work fast enough to get all of the area prepared to plant this year!

As the grass started sprouting we thought it would be fun to do a scarecrow display. Thanks to all of the businesses, committees, organizations and residents that participated! It’s been a joy to see people stopping by and taking their pictures with the scarecrows!

We have met so many residents while working on this project! This was an amazing experience for all of us! We are looking forward to seeing more green infrastructure projects around Midlothian! Every drop of storm water that we keep out of our sewer system and our creeks is a big plus for the residents that experience flooding on a regular basis. THANK YOU to each and every person that made this possible!”

For more information, please call 708-653-0303 or visit the Floodlothian Midlothian Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1629694040606237

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