In nature’s classroom, children ages 6 to 18 are able to learn and have fun in a beautiful setting. Over the course of five days they will be taught the arts & sciences by inspiring artists, engineers, archeologists, scientists, survival skills instructors and more all while taking in the natural beauty of the outdoors. On the final day, family, friends & the community are invited to the Sun Foundation to celebrate their week of sharing & learning.
DATES AND DETAILS FOR ARTS & SCIENCE IN THE WOODS 2014 WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN 2014
Who Can Attend?
Everyone in moderate physical condition can enjoy being at ASIW. It’s for ages 6 through adult.
When & Where?
ASIW is a five day program held Monday through Friday in June. Classes run from 9 am to 3 pm daily, RAIN OR SHINE at the Sun Foundation Center 25 miles north of Peoria. Sun Foundation Center is 9 miles South of Lacon & 2.5 miles East of IL Route 26. A sign on Route 26 marks the turn off. See here for a MAP.
The Sun Foundation owns no land or facility. The Sun Foundation Center and Art & Science in the Woods are located on the property of Joan, Brett & Bob Ericksen – Blue Heron Farm, and neighboring farms.
How It Works
Mornings & all day Friday are devoted to in-depth study of one subject, called your Major. On Friday afternoon, you will share your learning with the rest of the group.
Monday through Thursday afternoons you will have a chance to do something different each day & learn a little bit about the topics that interest you. Afternoon classes are called Minors.
Lunch & Snacks
We recommend healthy, low sugar, nutritious lunch & snacks for AM & PM that won’t need refrigeration and a water bottle. Please, no Lunchables.
Bring & Wear
Wear comfortable clothing that can get soiled, wet, and painted. Long pants and long sleeved shirts are best for protection from plants & insects, and are required in some
classes. For comfort and safety, do not wear sandals. Flies & mosquitoes will not be as annoying if you wear socks, and hiking and exploring will be easier in shoes that tie.
Bring a cap, backpack and non-toxic, non-aerosol bug repellent, such as Avon Skin So Soft.
Financial Need Scholarships
A limited number of scholarships are available through the generosity of Sun Foundation members & community businesses for students with verifiable financial
need. Need can be verified by teachers, scout leaders, church leaders or any adult or parent who knows of a childs interest in ASIW but is unable to attend because of financial considerations. Students should fill out the registration form & send it with a note or recommendation.
Adults who are interested in attending may call or write on their own behalf.
ASIW would not be possible without volunteers: they SHINE. We need teaching assistants, evaluators, nurses, & people to help with various duties before, during &
after ASIW. Adult teaching assistant volunteers receive a $50 deduction for one of their children and a free limited edition, ASIW t-shirt. A limited number of teen
volunteers ages 15 and up are needed. Contact Sharon Obery, 309-251-2819 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get information about volunteering.
Our students come from many central Illinois communities. Bus service may be provided from Peoria, Metamora, & Germantown Hills. We can also share contact information for carpooling with your permission.
Please indicate interest in either of these options where indicated on the registration form.
First Aid & Insurance
Health forms should be sent in with registration forms. A nurse and/or a resident EMT will administer minor first aid. In the event serious medical attention is needed,
the emergency number listed on your registration form will be called. Please be sure to give a number for a responsible party. The Sun Foundation does not provide
insurance for coverage of medical expenses.
Please advise us when you register if the student has special needs.
NOTE: Parents may attend the same class with their student at no charge, but materials can only be provided to those actually registered for the class.
Friday Evening-Come Celebrate with us
Family, friends & the community are invited to the Sun Foundation Center on the Friday ending Art and Science in the Woods week to celebrate our week of sharing & learning. Bring a picnic dinner (blanket
or lawn chairs are a good idea) & enjoy music in the woods from 5 to 6 PM. At 6:00 classes will begin exhibits, demonstrations, and performances that exemplify the
work they have concentrated on during the week. With written permission from a responsible adult, students may remain at the Sun Foundation Friday Only, and be
picked up by parents at 5 on Friday. During this time special activities will be provided.
Friday Silent Auction to Benefit Art & Science in the Woods
Bidding from 9 am to 5:45 pm on Friday. The Auction is held in the Sun Foundation Center. Auction pieces are displayed in the pavilion & are marked for
silent bidding. Works by artists and scientists, students, & friends of the Sun Foundation are available for purchase.
The Auction results are announced at 6 pm outside the pavilion.
Lost & Found Policy
Check the Pavilion Lost & Found Box each day. Items will be held following the program for up to 2 weeks and then donated to the Goodwill.
8:30 – 8:45 Registration for Monday only
8:45 to 9:00 Morning Major class grouping at pavilion
9 to 11:45 Major Class (Everyday)
11:45 to 12:15 Lunch with Major class (Everyday)
12:15 to 12:30 Minor class grouping at pavilion
12:30 – 3:00 Minor class (Different class each afternoon, Mon. thru Thurs.-Friday afternoon is spent with Major class)
“Friday Celebration Schedule”
For families, friends, & the public
9 AM to 6 PM Silent Auction bidding in the Pavilion
3 to 5 PM Student activities for students staying for the evening program
“Responsible adults” must pick-up students at Sun Foundation Pavilion no
later than 5 PM
5 to 6 PM Picnic and Silent Auction
6 PM Performances & Exhibits & Auction results
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Contributions & Sponsorships Received as of January 1, 2013
Blue Heron Farm
Dick Blick Company
Joan & Bob Ericksen
Hallmark Corporate Foundation- Metamora
Illinois Arts Council
IL American Water Company
Kelly Sauder Rupiper Equipment Co.
Metamora Telephone Company
Meta Tec, Inc.
Andrew & Mary Muir
Naturally Yours Grocery
Nick and Willy’s Pizza
Optimists Club of Peoria
Root Brothers Manf. & Supply Co.
Katherine & Jim Weber
Arthur Lersch Alvar Inc.
BJ Blecher Electric Generac Generator Elite Dealer
Bob & Joan Ericksen
First National Bank of Lacon
Roger & Jane Gabrielse
Germantown Hills Animal Clinic
Greene Farm Management
Illinois American Water Co.
Meta Tec, Inc
Morton Dental Center
Rita Ann Suffern
Kevin & Carolyn Rauh
Trachtenbar, David and Joyce Blumenshine
Vilma & Lionel Kinney
Wild Birds Unlimited
Will, Cathleen and Caroline Williams
1/2 Class Sponsors
Dr. & Mrs. Kurt Ehling
Dr. Kim Wickwire
Haworth & Co.
Kelly Sauder Rupiper Equip.
Presleys Outdoors LLC
Donna & Roger Weber
Donald & Debera White
FINANCIAL NEED Scholarship Sponsor
Peoria Academy of Sciences
FRIENDS OF THE SUN FOUNDATION
Janet and Robert Bakewell
Jeff & Rosanne Nau
Libby & Michael Verkullen
Roger & Donna Weber
Donald & Debera White
Art & Science in the Woods Staff
Program Coordinator……………Sharon Obery
Development Director…. Joan Root Ericksen
Executive Assistant ………………. Katy Watson
Technical Coordinators ………. Jason Bowling, Todd Pilon
Assistant Coordinators ………… Shari Malson, Libby Verkuilen
Artistic Director……………………..Bob Ericksen
Site/Program Dir./Naturalist..Brett Root Ericksen
Art & Science in the Woods Instructors 2013
Sharon has pursued her artistic vision through the steady
acquisition & command of a variety of disciplines, including
cast glass, bronze, and ceramic in the sculptural realm. She
also works with stained glass, printmaking, and drawing. The
recurring theme in her work is the interconnection of people
with the natural world. She has participated on expeditions
with the Field Museum and Conservation International to
the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon, documenting the life
ways of the Yanomami people through her art, and exploring
conservation of endangered plant and animal species in
isolated communities. She has run Opal Glass Studios
since 1983 and continues to complete many important
commissions and shows her work in galleries and museums.
Tom Brown III
Tom has been a practitioner and teacher of primitive
technology, tracking and nature observation since he has
been able to walk. He has been trained by his father, Tom
Brown Jr., founder of the world-renowned Tracker School.
He taught at the Tracker School between 2003 and 2009. He
now combines his naturalist and life experiences at his own
school in the Cincinnati area and travels the world seeking
to educate people in the ways of our ancestors and passing
down the skills that were at the forefront of their lives.
BS, ISU, Art Ed & Studio Art. Doug is a second generation,
professional fine arts printmaker. Studied and apprenticed
with his father, Master Printer Robert DePauw. Currently has
his own studio near Metamora, IL.
Ella Brown Dunn
Ella Brown Dunn is a graduate of the University of Illinois
Fine Arts Department. She has spent the last 15 years
teaching artists of all ages, assisting in gallery exhibits as well
as showing her own work in various galleries and private
collections. She currently heads the Fine Arts Department for
Next Generation Primary School in Champaign, IL, sharing
her love of all kinds of art with students from K-8. “I get to
spend my day exploring, creating and celebrating art with
the most inspiring people on the Earth – children. I can think
of no more beautiful place to be than in the presence of
a child’s imagination, creativity and wonder!” Mrs. Dunn
resides in Champaign with her husband Chad Dunn and their
Sue graduated from Purdue University with a degree in
Special Education. Recently she went back to school and
received a certificate in Sign Language Interpreting from
Illinois Central College. Sue is a Mom, Girl Scout leader and
science lover. She is currently working at PSD150 as a Sign
Dan is currently a teacher of the subjects of Chemistry,
Physics, Biology, Anatomy, Environmental Science, Agriculture
and Agriculture science at La Moille High School. He is a
5th generation farmer with experience growing commercial
crops, livestock, bees, orchards and maple sugar. In college
he lead trips backpacking, spelunking, canoeing and rock
climbing at NIU outing center while majoring in chemistry
and physics. Dan has also taught outdoor education at
Loredo Taft Field campus as part of the outdoor education
masters program and is part of Tom Brown Jr.’s tracker school
Ph.D. Harvard University. Dr. Foster is a professor who
discusses his subject as enthusiastically with an 8 year old
as with his college students. Dr. Foster’s classes are always
popular and fill up fast. He is a professor of Geology at
BS, MS Ed, ISU. Shelly taught science and writing for ten years
in her capacity as special education teacher and was teacher/
director of her district’s gifted & talented program. She has
taught preschool science classes locally, as well as education
courses at ICC & Bradley. Shelley is now Student Assistance
Coordinator at Peoria Christian School, and regularly
volunteers to teach art and science lesons in elementary
Susie Grana Ingram
Susie is a Naturalist at Forest Park Nature Center in Peoria
Heights, where she enjoys sharing her love of nature with
people of all ages. She grew up in Chicago, where her mom
(a physicist) got her interested in science by taking her to
museums and nature centers. She has a B.A. in Biology from
Illinois Wesleyan University and M.S. in Conservation Biology
from Illinois State University, and has been a board member
of Peoria Audubon Society for several years.
Ann is a professional actress who shares her time between
the Central IL area, Chicago, and LA. Her favorite stage roles
include Peter in “Peter Pan”, Lady Macbeth in “Macbeth”
and Narrator in “Joseph . . . Dreamcoat. She can be seen
in many commercials & independent films including “Fall
Away”, “Hannah Free”, and the suspense feature “Falls
of the Neuse”, to be released in 2012. Ann trained at the
Actors Center (Chicago), Edgecliff, ISU, Bradley and Chicago
BS, MS Indiana University. Dell spent nearly 2 years living
primitively in the wilderness with the Tracker School. She
and her husband have run their own wilderness skills school
and still teach wilderness survival skills courses at Indiana
University in Bloomington. Currently she teaches Chemistry
and Physics at Columbus East High School in Columbus,
Steve spent nearly 2 years living primitively in the wilderness
with the Tracker School. He and his wife Dell have run their
own wilderness skills school and still teach wilderness
survival skills courses at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Currently he teaches Earth/Space Science, Astronomy, and
Biology at Columbus East High School in Columbus, Indiana.
AA, Illinois Central College. Doug has been a herpetologist
on staff at the Peoria Zoo for the last 26 years. Currently
he is the president of the Central Illinois Herpetological
Society and is actively involved on the boards of the Peoria
Academy of Science and the Sun Foundation. He has worked
with many endangered and threatened species. He is very
interested in amphibian and turtle conservation. He feels it
is environmentally important to get kids interested in the
sciences and the natural world.
Dean is a Naturalist at the Forest Park Nature Center in
Peoria. He has taught environmental education and natural
history to Peoria residents and their children at the Nature
Center for 25 years. He holds a B.A. (Elementary Education),
and an M.S. (Park and Recreation Resources)
BS, Illinois State University. Engineer at Caterpillar Inc. This
will be Dave’s 7th consecutive year working at ASIW. He has
been mentored well by former instructors Ed Willi & Yona
Lunken. Dave grew up in the Central Illinois woodlands and
spent countless hours hiking trails, identifying various plants
and animals, and exploring new areas.
Mike grew up in the Southern California world of
skateboarding, surfing, graffiti, and primitive skills. He has
done skateboard graphics for prominent youth subculture
brands such as Element, Toy Machine, Volcom, Obey, Baker,
and Ecko. Kershnar is also a huge lover of rock poster art
and has done posters for bands such as Morrissey, Wilco,
Midnite, Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, and the Beastie Boys.
His favorite artists include Robert Crumb, Keith Haring and
Oba William King
“The Poetic Storyteller”. Oba is a favored & passionate
presenter at educational, community and church events
throughout the Midwest. Oba’s rich history includes a stint
as a touring presenter for National Public Library, Bermuda
Island; “Breaking Chains” a one-man show at Beatrice
Community College in Nebraska; and an award nomination
for the lead role in Dracula at Lifeline Theatre in Chicago. Oba
encourages students to make positive choices to build self
image, self esteem and communication skills. He shares the
traditional art form of Storytelling as if it were a sacred gift.
Oba is an alumnus of Western Stage Conservatory for Theater
Arts in Salinas, CA. Learn more about Oba @ www.gigsalad.
BFA Western Illinois University, BFA School of the Art
Institute of Chicago, MA Prescott College. Leigh is currently
the Life Lab instructor at Live Oak Elementary School in
Santa Cruz, CA. She taught art at Gallery 37 in Chicago, the
Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, and other after school
and enrichment programs. During her graduate studies she
focused on Garden-Based Learning and its importance for
children. She lives in Santa Cruz, CA with her husband and
Kathy received her BSN from Illinois Wesleyan University.
She has taught origami to people of all ages for over 25
years at libraries, schools, museums and an art gallery and
with private students. Five years ago she founded Origami
Peoria Area. She is currently a master trainer for Girl Scouts
of Central Illinois, makes banners for her church, and is a
member of Origami USA and the British Origami Society.
Kathy is the 2010 recipient of the Ranana Benjamin teaching
award from Origami USA. She has been part of a juried World
Origami program for children. Kathy is a long time volunteer
and supporter of the Sun Foundation.
BFA University of Iowa. Doug traveled the world for 30
years as Caterpillar’s senior advertising photographer. He
now teaches digital photography at ICC and runs a fine art
photography business. Doug will be assisted by his wife
Eileen in teaching his class that will focus on improving the
photography skills of the students.
Adam has taught in the Peoria area over the last 9 years,
both at the CAC of Peoria and Lakeview Museum. He keeps a
painting studio in downtown Peoria in the CAC. His degree is
from Illinois State University and he was mentored by Preston
Jackson and Jere Allen. Currently he is the IT director for a
school in the northern part of the state while teaching and
practicing painting on the weekends.
Kimberly has experience in teaching daycare and Jr. High
science and health classes. When her children were born she
began in-home child care. She says her house is always filled
with children and she organizes events at her home such as
“leaf parties, game nights and an annual food fight!”
Tom has spent the greater part of his adult life studying
indigenous/hunter-gatherer cultures and teaching these skills
to a myriad of students throughout the country. During his
early 20’s he was an instructor at the world-renowned Tracker
School, from there he went on to obtain a double major
from Rutgers University in Anthropology and Geography.
Currently, he is pursuing a Masters degree in Policy and
Human Rights of Indigenous cultures while also traveling
to remote areas, learning from isolated tribal groups. Tom
is an avid surfer, climber, potter, photographer, wilderness
survivalist and tracker.
BA, University of Illinois. Jim has extensive experience as both
a professional videographer & technical consultant. He was
the principal videographer on the highly acclaimed Frontline
documentary “The Farmer’s Wife” and “Make No Little Plans:
Daniel Burnham and the American City”. Currently he is
the Technical Director of Kartemquin Films in Chicago and
teaches Digital Cinematography at Columbia College. Jim is a
36 year veteran of Art & Science in the Woods.
Growing up in Swansea(Wales, UK), Joe became obsessed
with insects at age 7. He obtained a B.S. in Zoology from
Imperial College, London, and a PHD from the University
of Cambridge, UK. Currently he is a postdoctoral research
fellow at Columbia University, NYC, where he studies the
genetic control of insect development, and the evolutionary
relationships of his favorite group of beetles. He is eager to
share his knowledge and enthusiasm with anyone prepared
Dean works as an English teacher and library media specialist
for the Midland School District. He also teaches high school
classes on Native American literature and writing, and
collaborates with elementary and middle school teachers
with writing, technology and research projects. In addition to
teaching, Dean also practices law and farms with his father
and children in the Lacon area.
Tim says he likes to fish, fish, fish! He has fished all his life
and deeply loves the sport. He sells fish bait for a living and
talks fish every day of his life. He loves to share his expertise
with folks young and old.
Lindsey R. Ridenour
B.S. in Education from Northern Illinois University and M.A.
in Reading from St. Xavier University. Lindsey is a community
theatre enthusiast, and has recently assisted with costumes
for serval of Eastlight Theatere’s productions. She previously
worked with Children’s Community Theatre of DeKalb as an
assistant director, camp teacher, costumer, and has appeared
onstage in several of their productions. Lindsey is currently a
Reading Specialist at Metamora Grade School.
Luke is a health and fitness trainer and strength coach. Luke
has been on a lifelong journey to explore the workings of
mind and body through movement, play, sport and work.
He draws his training from a childhood of wooded hills and
martial arts. He was a collegiate decathlete before heading
west and finding a desire to push beyond the perception of
physical limit. This led him to CrossFit certifications, strength
training, and an underground self study training approach
at Emergent Fitness, Fort Collins, CO. Currently he provides
health and fitness consulting online, and to the western
Lorraine worked as a school counselor for 35 years and is
currently working at Peoria Notre Dame High School. She
learned to make jewelry for fun and to be creative. Lorraine
is currently the President of the Sun Foundation Board of
Kristi is currently working as a Naturalist at Forest Park
Nature Center in Peoria Heights. She studied Forestry and has
worked in natural resource management and environmental
education fields. She lives in Gridley, IL with her husband, cat,
B.S. University of Illinois, M.S. Columbia University, PhD in
progress at Columbia University. Born in Illinois, Heidi is
a biologist at Columbia University, NY, where she studies
the behavioral genetics of animals. She is a passionate
herpetologist, with a particular enthusiasm for amphibians.
Frogs, toads, and weird salamanders that live in mud are
pretty much her favorite things.”
BS. Eastern Illinois University. Retired teacher of 35 years
(elementary science). Dennis is an outdoor enthusiast
assisting with the Creek Walk for Conservation Camp at Lake
Thunderbird. He continues working for conservation practice
as past President of the Putnam County Conservation Board
of Trustees. Dennis participates in IVCC’s summer program,
Outdoor ED’Venture, as rocketry instructor and is also Judge
and Launch Supervisor for the Marshall-Putnam 4H Fair
Michael is the Director of the Illinois State Museum – Dickson
Mounds. He received a Ph.D. from Northwestern University
in anthropology. An archaeologist, Wiant has for more than
40 years explored the long history of Native Americans
in the Illinois River basin. He shares his insights on the
subject through public lectures, teaching and publication.
His research interests range from stone tool technology to
changes in the landscape of Illinois.
Dr. Travis Wilcoxen is an Assistant Professor of Biology
at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. He studies the
interaction of ecology, physiology, and behavior of birds and
amphibians. His current research uses local Illinois species,
such as the Northern Cardinal, Black-capped Chickadee, and
Eastern Bluebird. Travis is originally from Lewistown, Illinois,
and is a Eureka College graduate. He and his wife, Jessa now
reside in Pana, Illinois. Travis enjoys cooking, birdwatching,
wildlife photography, fishing and hiking as well as reading
science fiction novels, playing basketball and always
supporting the Chicago Cubs.
G u e s t A r t i s t s
Brian Fox Ellis – Guest Artist
Fox is an internationally renowned storyteller, author and
naturalist. He is also a museum consultant and has worked
with the Field Museum, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library, and the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History to
provide teacher training, develop curriculum and present
public programs. He is the Artistic Director for Prairie Folklore
Theatre, a unique theatre company that celebrates ecology
and history through original musical theatre. Fox is the author
of eleven books including the critically acclaimed Charles
Darwin and his Revolutionary Idea. Learn more @ www.
Preston Jackson – Guest Artist
MFA University of Illinois. Recipient of the State of Illinois
Lincoln Award. Nationally exhibited sculptor and professional
musician. Chairman of Sculpture Department, Art Institute of
Chicago. Sun Foundation Board Member and Arts Advisor.