The Chicago Tree Project

Sandra Bacon & John Hatlestad

Fancy Birds


Lincoln Park

Fancy Birds is a collaboration between two artists: sculptor/woodworker John Hatlestad and painter/mixed media artist Sandie Bacon. In keeping with the mission of the Chicago Tree Project to integrate art and nature, they created an imaginary habitat of nesting birds.  The nests and feathers are made of painted carwash brushes, among other found materials, while the wings and tails are canvas from used drop cloths. 

Highlighting the diversity of Chicago’s natural habitats, the artwork also points to the vulnerability of ecosystems that need to interact in collaboration. The amazing geometric forms of the carwash parts speak to how form and function of machines look to natural forms for inspiration.  The artwork speaks to transformation.  The vibrant colors of the birds contrast with the muted tones of dead and dying trees.  

John Hatlestad is known for his inventive repurposing of everyday items juxtaposed with traditional materials in making artistic furniture and sculpture. 

Sandie Bacon has a long history of creating environmental artwork/installation, as well as more traditional painting. Both artists show individually on a national level and are included in many corporate collections, including Warren-Newport Library and the Chicago Department of the Environment.