Internationally-Recognized Artist to Make Waves with Chicago River Installation

Maya Lin to join NRDC at EXPO CHICAGO

CHICAGO (June 26, 2012) – The Chicago River will be highlighted in a high profile installation at EXPO CHICAGO, the inaugural International Exposition of Contemporary / Modern Art and Design, set to take place at Navy Pier from September 20 - 23, 2012. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is collaborating with internationally-recognized artist Maya Lin to present a wide array of artwork that speaks to environmental issues in Chicago and around the world.

“The Chicago River is such a rich environmental subject,” said Maya Lin. “I jumped at the opportunity to be NRDC’s featured artist at EXPO. I have had a long connection with the group and continue to be moved by their important work. It is my belief that visual art can help us all rethink the way we interact with urban waterways, starting in Chicago with one of the most abused rivers in the country.”

Lin, an honorary NRDC Trustee who is known for her work in sculpture and landscape art, will display several of her pieces at NRDC’s EXPO booth, including Reversing the Flow, a topographical map of the Chicago River made entirely of pins. A sound/video installation from What is Missing?, her final memorial about endangered species and ecosystems, will also be on display.

Lin’s installations will draw attention to NRDC’s continued efforts to create a healthy and safe Chicago River: from fighting the long-standing practice of dumping raw sewage into the waterway, to addressing the threat of Asian carp and other invasive species.  Her work will also help amplify NRDC’s work to safeguard wildlife and wild places.

Henry Henderson, Midwest Program Director and the first Commissioner of the Environment for the City of Chicago said, “The problems affecting the Chicago River may be local in origin, but they have a significant global impact. Maya’s enthusiasm and dedication to the environment translates into an amazing vision that will help Chicagoans rethink our maligned waterway.”

“We’re thrilled to have Maya’s participation at EXPO CHICAGO and to have the chance to partner with NRDC to further showcase their important mission.” said Tony Karman, President and Director of the inaugural EXPO CHICAGO.  “Artists like Maya continue to profoundly shape the public discourse on environmental issues, and we are grateful for this collaboration and for the opportunity to highlight this work within the context of the international art exposition.”    

For more information, including the complete exhibition schedule, please visit