Fox River paintings exhibit opening June 6 at Ottawa’s Jeremiah Joe Coffee

An exhibit of selected oil paintings depicting the beauty of the Fox River by “en plein air” artist Joel Sheesley will be on display from Thursday, June 6, through Sunday, July 7, at Jeremiah Joe Coffee in Ottawa.

The exhibit, “Selected Works from A Fox River Testimony” will open Thursday, June 6, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. with the artist who will be available for book signings and to answer questions about his works. Jeremiah Joe Coffee will be closed during this private event. Registration to attend the reception is requested and can be made by clicking here.

Sheesley begins each work “en plein air,” working outside in all types of weather and in all seasons. He was selected as The Conservation Foundation’s artist-in-residence and spent more than two years painting along an 80-mile stretch of the river that took him from Dundee down to Ottawa, resulting in a collection of 73 paintings that have been exhibited throughout the Fox River region.

The resulting collection, “A Fox River Testimony”, was completed for Art of the Fox as part of The Conservation Foundation’s Fox River Initiative which aims to connect residents with the river, better understand its issues, and engage them to become environmentally conscious through local projects.

The project took Sheesley along the banks, hiking on trails, and even canoeing to some locations, all with his French easel and paint box across his back. He even camped overnight to capture the light from the sunset and sunrise on the river’s surface. He continues to paint the Fox River, which has become one of his favorite locations. This exhibit will include about 20 paintings, some of which have not been previously available. A 160-page coffee table book entitled, “A Fox River Testimony,” consisting of photos of the original paintings and the artist’s writings of his field experience will be available for purchase along with high quality prints of selected works, and the original oils. They also can be purchased online by visiting

Jeremiah Joe Coffee is located at 807 LaSalle St., Ottawa, 61350.

The Conservation Foundation (TCF) is one of the region’s oldest and largest not-for-profit land and watershed conservation organizations, with more than 4,000 members. Founded in 1972, TCF has helped preserve more than 35,000 acres of open space, restored and cleaned miles of rivers and streams, and educated thousands of kids by engaging them in nature and the outdoors.

TCF’s mission is to improve the health of our communities by preserving and restoring natural areas and open space, protecting rivers and watersheds, and promoting stewardship of our environment.

Work is focused in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, and Will Counties to preserve and restore nature in area neighborhoods. TCF also partners with the city of Ottawa in LaSalle County through the Dayton Bluffs preservation/restoration project and Mighty Acorns education programs.

Learn more at


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