Meet ICNC’s new Artist in Residence, Mary Kopecky!

Mary Kopecky, of Willowsprite LLC, has been weaving willow for nearly 20 years.

A Cedar Rapids native and former elementary school teacher, Kopecky took her first class to weave a garden trellis at the Indian Creek Nature Center and was instantly hooked on all things willow. Over time, Kopecky learned to weave baskets, build furniture, and form large structures for the outdoors.

For Kopecky, working with willow connected her with her love of the outdoors.

“Willow is such a beautiful and versatile material,” she said. “I never stop marveling at how a bundle of “sticks” can become a functional and interesting object.”

The wild willow Mary uses in her large objects grows abundantly throughout the area and she also uses cultivated willow for her baskets.

Visit Kopecky during her studio hours (listed on our online calendar) in the Penningroth Barn or attend one of her upcoming workshops (also listed on the calendar) to learn about the wonderful world of willow.

All are invited to attend her welcome reception June 19 from 4-6 PM at the barn. Kopecky will give a short presentation starting at 5 PM. Light refreshments will be served.

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