Emily Lee Stehle is a Clearwater, FL-based mixed media artist specializing in fiber art who strives to make beautiful things out of discards. An ever-evolving creative basket maker, she began weaving traditional baskets more than 20 years ago learning from books and local weavers. She also took workshops with nationally recognized artists such as Flo Hoppe, Jerry Bleem, Kari Lonning, Marilyn Moore, Jo Stealey and Vladmir Yarish.
Through time, the traditional reed supplies have been switched over to include Florida naturals, trash and other discarded objects. Emily upcycles the unconventional materials with naturals combining traditional weaving techniques to create flat forms, baskets and sculptures. She strives to create beautiful things out of trash, first to show that creating art can cost nothing. Second, it’s an opportunity to show how much waste and pollution result from our consumerism.
Her work has been exhibited in shows throughout Florida including Gasparilla Festival of the Arts Emerging Artist 2018 and Florida CraftArt Emerging Artist 2017. She has won numerous awards at the Florida State Fair and grants from Creative Pinellas, National Basketry Organization (NBO) and Fiber Art Network (FAN). She is a member of both NBO and FAN.
Emily’s latest project is teaching recycling to make art for a group of disabled artists at the MacDonald Training Center in Tampa. She hopes her recycling practice will inspire others to imagine creating artwork out of cardboard boxes, leftover paint, bottle caps and other “found” and harvested trash.
Now “retired,” Emily received her BA in Journalism from Northeastern Unversity in Boston. In her spare time, she freelances as a writer for Creative Pinellas Arts Coast online magazine, plays ukulele in her band (2 Happy Ukers), teaches beginner ukulele, leads jams and directs a one-day music festival at the Florida State Fair.