Arts and Crafts of South Africa
Love Arts and Crafts? Lucky you, thanks to Merrill area artist and resident Louise Schotz. From now through the month of May, T.B. Scott Free Library is exhibiting Schotz’s collection of arts and crafts from her travels to South Africa as the latest Beyond Books-Community ArtShare display. After traveling to Columbus, Ohio for six years to study design with Nancy Crow, Louise learned of a trip Crow was organizing to study the arts and crafts of South Africa. Schotz jumped at the chance, not only because art she had brought home from a trip the year before to London and Paris were actually from Africa, but because she was confident that a trip to South Africa led by Crow would be well planned and provide a wide array of experiences. Schotz’s trip began in the airport at Johannesburg, where she met fellow travelers from many U.S. states and several countries. Schotz had the opportunity to visit two different types of art sources - workshops providing skills and employment to local residents, and the studios of commercial artists. In many of the villages they visited, struggling with AIDS infection rates up to 60% and unemployment rates just as high, providing employment through craft industry has made a huge economic impact. The students in studio art are: McKenna Folz, Kassidy Hipke, Tiffany Howen, Tiffany Ninnemann, Ashley Nowak, Bailey Steffen, Abigail Toschner and Sabrina Vandevoort. The collection on display at T.B. Scott Library includes beaded jewelry, woven baskets & textiles. The exhibit also has other craft items utilizing shell, wire and beads. The display is on view during open hours on the library’s second floor in the Carnegie Wing reading area through the end of May. Please visit the library to view this amazing exhibit and all the wondrous things our library has to offer. T. B. Scott Free Library’s “Beyond Books: Community ArtShare” features a new exhibit every two months on an ongoing basis. The program was made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Mead Witter Foundation, Inc. of Wisconsin Rapids.