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.
ART AND SCIENCE IN THE WOODS 2016-JUNE 6 TO JUNE 10
SAVE THE DATE FOR NEXT YEAR-ASIW will be held June 12th to the 16th, 2017
Online Registration for 2016 is now closed. There are a limited number of spots available, please email Sharon Obery at email@example.com to check availability/register. Thank you to all who help make Art and Science in the Woods a success!
We are accepting donations for scholarships to enable financial needs students to attend Art and Science in the Woods. Any amount you can give will help provide these students the opportunity to experience this special program–thank you so much for your support!
Click the button to donate to the Sun Foundation using Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or PayPal.
You will be transferred to the PayPal site, and from there you can enter the amount you wish to donate, and then either sign into your PayPal account (if you have one), or click on “continue” underneath “Don’t have a PayPal account?” to donate using a credit card.
Please put “ASIW scholarship” in the “Notes” section at the end.
You will receive a receipt after the payment is processed that you can print to document your donation for tax purposes.
Who Can Attend?
Everyone in moderate physical condition can enjoy being at ASIW. It’s for ages 6 through adult.
When & Where?
June 6 to June 10th
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 all of the following sponsors …a grant from the the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Hallmark Cards, First National Bank of Lacon, Sue and James Weber. and the employee of First National Bank of Lacon Blue Jeans fund.
THANK YOU TO OUR 2016 Art & Science in the Woods Donors!!!
Pledges, Grants, & Donations received by December 31, 2015
Blue Heron Farm
Joyce Blumenshine & David
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Blick Art Materials
Bob, Joan and Brett Ericksen
Bill & Barbara Lervaag
Illinois Arts Council, a state
Kelly, Sauder, Rupiper Equip.
Miles C. Hauter Foundation
Morton Dental Center
Muir Omni Graphics
Nick and Willy’s Pizza
Root Brothers Mfg.
Jim & Sue Weber
Henry & Laurel Maze
Bob and Joan Ericksen
Roger & Jane Gabrielse
Germantown Hills Animal
Illinois American Water
Jim & Mary Morrissette
Nichols Vertinarian Services PC
George & Nancy Roberts
Lori & Lance Rogers
1/2 Class Sponsors
Margaret R. Bentley
Born Paint Co.
Roger & Jane Gabrielse
Bill & Cyd Henrikson
Preston & Melba Jackson
Bill & Barb Lervaag
Dr. Kim Wickwire
Haworth & Company
Financial Need Scholarship Sponsors
Community Foundation of Central Illinois, Women’s Fund
ExxonMobil Environmental Services
Germantown Hills Garden Club
Melba and Preston Jackson
Oba William King
Peoria Acaemy of Science
Ruby K. Worner Trust / PNC
Charitable Trust Grant
Creative Instruments & Class Supplies
Eureka Greater Area Kiwanis
School Bus Fee
Kinji Anthony Akagaws
Mary Ann Breitbarth
Robert & Jill Bucher
Lindsey & Jennifer Churchman
Bonnie & William Claudnic
Peter Alahi & Susannah Dintzis
Rebecca & Gene Doubleday
Leslie & Gregory Foti
Mike & Lori Gudat
Mary & Al Harkrader
Lori and Jay Harms
Randall & Denise Harper
Henry Rotary Club
Rebecca & Nathaniel Herz
Ramona & Eugene Holmes
Doug & Kathy Holmes
Mary Jane Johnson
Steven & Nancy Jones
Steve & Gwendolyn Krause
LLC Trucking, Low Point
Tom & Shari Malson
Roland & Barbara Marshall
Dale E. & Sue K. Matson
Jack & Joan McSherry
Butch & Sharon McClellan
Tom & Shari Malson
Midwest Materials, Lacon
Vicki & Brian Morrical
Peoria Academy of Science
Michaek & Cheryl Quine
Beth & Tim Sullivan
Stan & Willa Ulrich
Alan & Debra Stockner
J. Roger & Donna Weber
Wenona Jr Women’s Club
Scott & Michelle Weyent
Art & Science in the Woods Staff
Program Coordinator……………Sharon Obery
Development Director…. Joan Root Ericksen
Executive Assistants ………………. Danielle Kreie
Assistant Coordinators ………… Shari Malson, Libby Verkuilen
Artistic Director……………………..Bob Ericksen
Site/Program Dir./Naturalist..Brett Root Ericksen
Art & Science in the Woods Instructors 2016
Kara spent her childhood summers travelling and camping across the US. These experiences lead her
to pursue a biology education at South Dakota State University and eventually find her calling as a free
choice educator. She recently graduated with a Masters of Science in science education from Oregon
State. She has a wide range of career experiences including a high school science teacher, park naturalist,
environmental educator and museum educator at locations across the country.
Sharon has pursued her singular vision with a variety of disciplines, including cast glass, bronze, and ceramic in the sculptural realm, plus printmaking and works on paper. For over 30 years she has explored the intersections of art, science, conservation and the natural world. She has run Opal Glass Studios since 1983 and continues to complete many important commissions and show her work in galleries and museums, as well as creating public art installations at a wide variety of venues. She is currently working on a sculptural “Tree of Life” that will honor the profound contributions of Carl Woese to the scientific Universal Tree of Life based on his groundbreaking work with Archaea.
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 was trained by his father, Tom Brown Jr., founder of the world-renowned Tracker School. He taught at the Tracker School from 2003 to 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, passing down the skills that were at the forefront of their lives.
James Semmelroth Darnell
James is a native of Peoria Heights, and was active for several years with Peoria Players and Cornstock
Theatre. He works for George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he performs with the St.
Mark’s Players. James earned a BA in theatre history from Illinois State University. He is a long time ASIW
participant and has assisted with theatre classes here for many years.
BS, ISU, Art Ed & Studio Art. Doug is a second generation, professional fine arts printmaker. He studied and apprenticed with his father, Master Printer Robert DePauw. Currently, Doug has his own studio near Metamora, IL. Emily Dawson Emily has been a science and special education teacher for over 10 years. With a BS, NIU and MS Ed (in progress from Bradley,) she currently teaches Jr. High Science and Special Ed at Riverview Grade School. Emily loves outdoor education and environmental issues. She has built a little over 2 acres of outdoor education space at Riverview and has installed a wind turbine to produce electricity for the school.
Ella Brown Dunn
Ella Brown Dunn is a graduate of the University of Illinois Fine Arts department. She has spent the last 16 years teaching artists of all ages and assisting in gallery exhibits, as well as showing her own work in various galleries and private collections. Ella sits on the Advancement Council Board at the Krannert Center for the performing Arts at the University of Illinois. She currently heads the Fine Arts Department for Next Generation Primary School in Champaign, IL, sharing her love of the arta with students from K-8. Mrs. Dunn resides in Champaign with her husband Chad and their daughter Zoe.
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 living in Nashville, TN and working as a freelance Sign Language Interpreter.
For the past 11 years Dan has taught Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Anatomy, Environmental Science, Agriculture and Agricultural science at La Moille High School. He is a 5th generation farmer with experience growing commercial crops, livestock, bees, orchards, and maple sugar. Dan has also taught thousands of 5th-8th graders outdoor education at Lorado Taft field campus as part of the outdoor education masters program, is a master naturalist for the University of Illinois, and is part of Tom Brown Jr’s tracker school apprentice program.
Gretchen is a Henna Artist and art teacher. She has been practicing Henna at local fairs and events for 3 years, and teaching art for 15 years. As an artist, she enjoys exploring creativity in its many different forms and encouraging others to do the same. Gretchen gets much of her inspiration from nature.
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 Bradley University.
Ellen is an art instructor at East Peoria Community High School. She received her undergrad in Art Education at Eastern IL University and is currently working on her MA at Illinois State University. She loves creating projects with science and art. She is also a painting instructor at the Hive Studio and Gallery.
Jim was a high school science teacher for 35 years. He has taken students on many science trips to Costa Rica where they explored the rainforest and learned the Cost Rican culture. He is currently a professor at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL.
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 (Grateful Dead,) and the Beastie Boys.
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.com/the_poetic_ storyteller_chicago
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. Eight 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.
Jimmy is a drummer, dancer, singer and speaker. His performances reflect the ever evolving native culture while preserving traditional ways. Jo Lakota Jo is a teacher, flute player, storyteller and artist.
Jo is a teacher, flute player, storyteller and artist.
Karen Logan received her B.S. from Illinois State University in Elementary Education and Special Education,
and her Masters from St. Xavier in Chicago. After 32 years of teaching, she retired. She has always enjoyed
nature from hiking to gardening. Butterflies have been a favorite interest since childhood. Currently, she is
co-chair of the Monarch Butterfly Task Force which meets at Forest Park Nature Center.
Yona is a professional teacher and fundraiser. He has been teaching in various capacities all of his life. Lately he is teaching Hebrew & Prophets at the Hebrew Day School and Entrepreneurialism at Bradley University. He is head fundraiser for Peoria Hebrew Day School and Bradley Hillel. In his spare time Yona works on solar energy projects for his home and friends.
Adam has taught in the Peoria area over the last 10 years, both at the CAC of Peoria and Lakeview Museum. He keeps a painting studio in Geneseo, IL. 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.
Jana shared her love of nature in art with elementary children for 26 years at a public school in eastern
Pennsylvania. She was awarded scholarships with the Japan Fulbright Foundation, Barnes Foundation and
Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Arts Educators. She recently designed the pollinator and vegetable
garden for the Peoria Riverfront Museum and teaches for their summer camp. Currently she works with
Peoria Garden Club Monarch butterfly task force. She is an avid hiker, backpacker and birder, and raises
vegetables, chickens and cattle on a small historic farm near Dunlap.
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, Tom 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.
Therese is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN, with a degree in Elementary Education. She
is also a graduate of Science Concepts classes at Bradley University. She taught in parochial schools before
staying home to raise four children. She has taught kindergarten in Germantown Hills for the past nine
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, Jim is the
Technical Director of Kartemquin Films in Chicago and teaches Digital Cinematography at Columbia
College. Jim is a long time veteran of Art & Science in the Woods.
Fran is an Emmy award winning singer, actress, storyteller and puppeteer who has taught thousands of
children and adults across the U.S., including appearances at Carnegie Hall (for a First Lady) and seven
years on CBS-TV’s children’s show The Magic Door. Fran is the co-creator and a faculty member of the
Maggid Storytelling Workshop. As a Ready to Learn Educator with PBS TV, she has given hundreds of
workshops and training sessions. Fran’s passion is to nurture creativity in others, and through the music of
many cultures, inspire all to make the world a better place.
Nick is an artist, author, naturalist, primitive skills educator, and craftsman. He has been teaching people
wilderness skills professionally since 2000. He makes his art supplies from materials that he gathers from
the landscape, which is the topic of his new book: The Organic Artist. Nick enjoys clean air, water, food and
Heidi is a central Illinois native who grew up in Pontiac. She has a B.S. from the University of Illinois in
Animal Science and a PHD from Columbia University in Biological Sciences. She is currently a postdoctoral
research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin studying the relationship between genes and
behavior in frogs and salamanders. Frogs, toads and weird salamanders that live in mud are pretty much
her favorite things and she will happily convince you of their awesomeness.
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, and American Museum of Natural History,
NYC where he studies many aspects of insect evolution, from the genetic basis of their development, to
the fossil record of species trapped in amber. He is eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with
anyone prepared to listen.
Dean works as a teacher and library media specialist for the Midland School district. He also practices law
and farms with his family in the Lacon area.
Luke is a strength coach, stone mason, and wilderness guide. He has been on a lifelong journey to explore
the workings of mind and body through movement, environment, sport and work. He draws his training
from a childhood of New England woodlands, Wyoming expansive plains, and multiple martial arts. He
was a collegiate decathlete before heading west and exploring the Rocky Mountains. At 23, he was
the youngest strength coach in the state of Colorado with over 100 athletes at Emergent Fitness, CO.
Currently he’s working animal conservation with cheetahs and wild dogs in Africa and leads jungle trips
tracking jaguars in Cost Rica.
Lorraine is a retired school counselor. She learned to make jewelry for fun and to be creative. Lorraine is
currently the President of the Sun Foundation Board of Directors.
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 in IL. 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 Aerospace division.
Hannah is an American art director and illustrator living and working in Los Angeles, CA. Born and raised
in Aspen, CO to wildlife cinematographer Marty Stouffer, of PBS documentary show, ‘Wild America’
and wife Diane until moving to CA in 1999. Stouffer is known for her intricately executed imagery and
shadowy and ethereal themes. Her work presents a balance of feminine embellishments and naturalistic,
metaphysical motifs. Stouffer is identified as both a commercial and fine art illustrator, having maintained a
strong presence in both fields, simultaneously showing her work as an exhibiting artist while exploring her
ever-ending pursuit of illustrating emotional transcendence.
Jody owns the Hive Studio & Gallery on Peoria’s riverfront, and has taught for 30 years in both Districts
150 and 309. She received her Masters Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Olivet Nazarene and her
BS from Bradley University. She enjoys creating art with her children and grandchildren, and working with
students of all ages – preschool through adult.
A volunteer with the Sun since 2005, Libby continues to work on several of the Sun’s programs, including
roles in ASIW and the Winter Warming fundraiser. Originally from WI, she has a BS from UW-LaCrosse.
She currently works with Kindergarten & 1st grade in a local school.
Michael has served as the Director of the Illinois State Museum at Dickson Mounds for 12 years. He
received a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in anthropology. An archaeologist, Wiant has explored the
long history of Native Americans in the Illinois River basin for more than 40 years. 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. Travis is
also the Chair of the Zoology Division of the Illinois State Academy of Sciences and an executive board
member of the Illinois Raptor Center. He studies the interaction of ecology, physiology and behavior of
birds and amphibians. Travis earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Eureka College and Ph.D. in
Biology from the University of Memphis.
Anna is a creative professional living in Los Angeles, California. Her work has appeared in Juxtapoz
magazine and on Wired.com. She taught writing and creativity workshops at the Hammer Museum (at
UCLA), Pandora Media and 826LA to name a few. When she’s not working, she enjoys making scrambled
eggs for her Chihuahua, Sadie.
Preston Jackson Artist in Residence
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, Arts Advisor and instructor.
John Jacobs, Visiting Author
Professor, Northwestern University, retired. Recipient of the Carl Sandburg Award for poetry, Illinois Alliance for Arts Education teacher of the Year, and Distinguished Teaching Award from Northwestern University.