Handmade quilts, a children’s poetry book and watercolors by Susan Van Wassenhove of Peoria will be on display Oct. 4 through 30 at Burgess Hall Art Gallery at Eureka College.
The exhibit will include 19 quilts that depict alligators, manatees and birds, including spoonbills, snakebirds and black skimmers. The quilts are trimmed with traditional Seminole Indian patchwork borders.
Van Wassenhove’s book titled “The Seldom-Ever-Shady Glades” explores the Florida Everglades. Surrounding the various styles of poems are photographs of quilts that depict the regional wildlife. The book is written for children in third through sixth grades, but adults also find it enjoyable, Van Wassenhove said. The poem “Standoff” won first place in the South Florida Chapter of the 2003 National Writer’s Association writing contest. “Royal Palms” won honorable mention in the 2003 Florida State Poets’ Society contest.
An Annawan native, Van Wassenhove has lived in Florida, Russia, Austria and Switzerland. She formerly taught German at Washington Community High School. She offers school presentations about the Everglades, quilting and poetry. She teaches quilting and paper cutting at Three Sisters Folk Art School in Chillicothe. She also designs beadwork, and two of her design articles were in Bead & Button magazine.
Van Wassenhove’s current interest is butterflies, and she wrote the guide for the Kim St. John Butterfly Habitat at Wildlife Prairie Park in Hanna City.
The Eureka College gallery is located on the third floor of Burgess Memorial Hall, 300 E. College Ave. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment by calling (309) 467-6866. Admission is free.