Art Show – Toni Wirts

This show will run from 31 May through 21 July. Her reception is Sunday, 23 June at 12:30.


When I began creating portraits of indigenous children, I was inspired by strong feelings that I was unsure how to put into words. I knew I wanted the viewer to look through the eyes of these children and be moved to seek knowledge and understanding of an Indigenous Worldview that would bring myself and others closer to the wisdom that the first peoples have for the Earth.

Image of a native child's head and shoulders.
By Toni Wirts

As a non-indigenous learner, my own culture, its power structure, and materialistic social ideology present certain challenges. The limitations of Western science compel us to face our inherent biases. So that we may better heal and restore the natural resources of the Earth, I encourage you to consider an alternative worldview – one that experienced through the eyes of indigenous children embraces the values of reciprocity, responsibility, and respect for our planet and the environment and the increasing uncertainty produced by climate change and resource depletion.

I am excited by what I have learned since I began preparing for this exhibit.  My personal search in “How We Come to Know” continues because the more I learn the more I want to know. I invite you to seek answers with me, in the hope that together our voices can join with Indigenous Voices for the sake of the future of all children, indigenous, yours and mine.


Toni Wirts is a sculptress who specializes in creating life-sized and miniature portraits. She has a wide range of experience teaching portrait head, figure, and relief sculpture across the St. Louis area. Her teaching venues have included Craft Alliance, Meramec Community College, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Webster University, and the St. Louis Art Museum. From 1975 to 1984, Toni served on the Lindbergh School Board. During her tenure, she became a champion for art education and a strong advocate for safe and environmentally friendly schools. 

As member of the Ethical Society, Toni has played an active role in sustainability education, and in organizing the Ethical Society Evolution Exhibit. Along with her educational projects, Toni has successfully sold her art on consignment, featuring her pieces in museum gift shops in St. Louis, Illinois, and Oklahoma. Since COVID, Toni has shifted her focus from sculpture to painting in acrylics and pastels.  Her current work focuses on environmental themes and seeks to raise public awareness about the pressing challenges posed by climate change. 

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