STEPHEN HANDSCHU

INSPIRING SCULPTOR

ABOUT

Steve Handschu was born with only five percent standard vision. He started sculpting when he was seven years old.

"I didn’t know the word for sculpture but I knew that carving was something very unusual and very mysterious to me and I wanted to learn how," said Steve.

 

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He now sculpts images from natural wood using power tools that would intimidate many sighted people, and he has become an eloquent advocate for other blind people’s abilities.

He is also an artistic mentor, helping residents of a Lake View homeless shelter express their own struggles- against drugs, poverty, powerlessness- in sculpture. When he lived in Michigan from the 1970’s to the early 1990’s, he was an appointed state commissioner for the blind and an outspoken advocate for a Braille literacy law and other blind-rights issues.
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I create sculpture of carved wood and stone, fabricated metals and modeled cements. Most of the images are figurative and meant to evoke questions about human behavior and creativity. At its best sculpture eludes words. They can frame it but can not touch it. How did they do it? Why did they do it? How can it speak to people across time, geography and cultural differences? How is it that creating and enjoying Art humanizes us? I hope my sculpture speaks to you and honors these mysteries.

The more pervasive social benefit of having such supportive parents is that Handschu became someone who habitually backs up others...
- THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE