Suzanne Schafer-Wilson has used recycled materials in her artwork over the years. Now, the retired art teacher is launching a bit of a second act herself.
Schafer-Wilson’s new rural Lostant studio is peppered with recycled art. There’s Gestalt and Mad Jack, two rabbit sculptures (top, right) crafted from water bottle packaging that’s she’s hoping to enter in an upcoming environmental art show in Chicago, bongo drums (bottom, right) crafted from five-gallon buckets and small planters made of recycled materials that look like realistic tree trunks.
Even her studio space, a former horse barn, is getting a second go-around.
“I like to try and make thins out of things you can re-use,” Schafer-Wilson said. “I hate throwing stuff in the landfill and I think we have a lot of problems with plastics these days.”
Now, after years of teaching young students, Schafer-Wilson said she hopes to lead workshops to teach teachers some the techniques and projects she’s learned over the years.
She also hopes to clear items from her massive collection of demonstration pieces she created during her stops teaching in Streator, Lostant and Peoria. She’ll begin the latter effort with a booth at the upcoming Rotary Park Arts and Music Festival May 31-June 2 at Rotary Park in La Salle.