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Joe McCauley Gallery goes virtual with mother•land

April 26, 2020

Some of the most iconic natural lands in the United States are seen with a fresh perspective in a new exhibit presented by Heartland Community College.

Heartland’s Joe McCauley Gallery presents mother•land, an exhibit of still images by Monica Estabrook presented online at beginning April 26.

Originally scheduled for presentation on Heartland’s campus, mother•land, will now be viewable virtually, via digital images, videos, and accompanied by poetry written local students.

Estabrook describes her color prints in mother•land as anti-sublime landscapes. Photographed while on family camping trips with “the kids in tow, time constrained by the needs of others”, she frames “brief, disrupted encounters with the landscape.”

Featuring the Grand Canyon, Death Valley Basin, Petrified Forest, Sequoia National Forest, Big Sur, and other popular, scenic locations, Estabrook’s photographs purposely subvert sublime landscape conventions to express “that feeling of squeezing in suppressed passions that end up being overpowered by the necessity to rear children and provide for the family.”

Poems by Bloomington High School and Heartland students supplement mother•land, whose selection was facilitated by creative writing faculty, Scott Adam, HCC, and Scott Foley, BHS. Both the poems and Estabrook’s exhibition celebrate the final week of National Poetry Month, April 2020, and the educational and artistic partnership between HCC and BHS.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

About the Artist

Monica Estabrook teaches art, photography and advanced studio courses at Bloomington High School. Much of her professional work is teaching youth how to present their work in galleries and manage a creative career. As a conceptual artist, Monica explores themes in gender equality and teenage identity. She was awarded an individual artist support grant from the Illinois Arts Council for printing the works in mother•land. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from Southern Illinois University, a Bachelor of Arts in art history and Master of Arts in teaching from the University of South Carolina.

About the Joe McCauley Gallery

Exhibits at Heartland’s Joe McCauley Gallery are free. The Gallery, located in the Instructional Commons Building on Heartland's Normal campus, is temporarily closed to walk-ins due to the COVID-19 operational restrictions.

For more information about this exhibit, contact Danell Dvorak, gallery coordinator, at, or Meg Struve, LASS Department Secretary, at

Written by: Steve Fast