Nocturnal by Environmental AIR La Vispera Coming Soon

By Hannah Coleman-Zaitzeff

Nocturnal in progress

2023 Environmental Artists in Residence La Vispera is an artist collective between Kelly Jimenez and Alejandro Franco, Colombian artists currently based in Pittsburgh, who specialize in creating highly-crafted works of art using discarded materials. As nature enthusiasts, they continually strive to bring environmental issues to the forefront of their art and have recently focused on the creation of stained glass imagery made from single-use plastics.

During their stay at Bernheim this spring, Kelly and Alejandro were inspired by the magic of Bernheim at night. The artist duo engaged the Bernheim staff, asking them to collect single-use plastics for use in a night inspired installation. All departments at Bernheim participated in plastic collection, sweeping their homes for plastic packaging that wraps common household goods.

Kelly Jimenez and Alejandro Franco holding a completed panel before installation


With the help of this collected plastic and an amazing team of dedicated volunteers, La Vispera completed 4 of the total 8 panels that will make up their installation Nocturnal. The in-progress piece is currently displayed on the north end of Lake Nevin Loop in a reclaimed and repurposed glass greenhouse that was previously underutilized elsewhere on the grounds. Nocturnal features the varied landscapes around Lake Nevin and the creatures of Bernheim that explore the grounds at night. La Vispera will be back at Bernheim this August to complete their piece for the annual CONNECT event on August 26, 2023.

They are excited to share their work and their passion for Bernheim with the community and inspire others through their dedication to the environment. When asked to talk about their work they said:

Our stained glass pieces are a testament to our commitment to this cause. Through the use of the material’s translucency and color variations, we have transformed what is typically a transient and detrimental substance into something of great beauty that we consider worth preserving. With Nocturnal, we aim to transport the audience to Bernheim forest at dusk, a rarely seen time when animals come to life in the absence of humans. Our goal is to celebrate nature by showcasing the animals and living beings that exist in this habitat as luminous entities that are integral to the web of life on Earth. Our painstaking efforts to revive this undervalued material serve as an allegory for the cumulative work required to maintain a healthy ecosystem, one that instills hope and pride in those who appreciate its value.

Come to Bernheim’s annual CONNECT event on August 26, 2023 to see the completed piece and meet La Vispera!


La Vispera and Bernheim volunteers working on Nocturnal
One of the final eight panels in Nocturnal

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