Reality
Jun
1
to Sep 28

Reality

1.jpg

REALITY will challenge your perceptions.

The notion of truth, history, and the presentation of what is “real” will be dissected within the Reality programming season at KANEKO. A collaborative, interdisciplinary exhibition will investigate art, science, and technology that create, alter, and reflect upon our sense of the real. Performances, lectures, and educational offerings will further explore the concept of reality through various perspectives of art and science.

The creative act is an effort to contain and understand, to shape and explore what is real. Artistry is inherently linked to our notions of reality, the real world, and real life. Art mirrors, refracts, reinterprets, and provides insight into our shared reality – the external world – while simultaneously serving as a source of solitary experiences within our own minds – shaping and informing our own individual realities.

History, philosophy, and science directly influence our understanding of the real, while only touching the surface of the breadth of human experience. Representations of history and truth are directly connected to perceptions of what is and is not real. This dynamic becomes increasingly challenging to dissect in the information age where unlimited access and digital interconnectedness is capable of blurring the lines between fact and fiction and our understanding of the real even further.

Rapidly advancing immersive technologies are drastically changing how we experience our world. Everything from entertainment and education, to telecommunications and medicine, is undergoing a technological revolution with the proliferation of sophisticated virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality technologies. This monumental paradigm shift in communication, global collaboration, and creative endeavors places humanity on a precipice between knowable truth and sensorial experience – bending the bounds of our preconceived notions of the real and reality.

Collaborators

Abraham Lincoln High School Art & VR Club, ARC Document Solutions, Ben Semisch Photography, Big Canvas, Civic Nebraska, Council Bluffs Community School District, Creighton University, David Guinan, Google, Graphic Technologies, Inc., Hastings College, HDR Inc., Heartland Workers Center, Interactive Projection USA, Jackson Dinsdale Art Center (JDAC) at Hastings College, Joe Nicholson, KANEKO-UNO Library, Life Dimensions by Ilona Holland, Metropolitan Community College, Misha Gordin, Nebraska Writers Collective, Nik Fackler, Omaha Chamber Music Society, Omaha Under The Radar, RDG Planning Group, Renze Display, tbd. Dance Collective, TEDxOmaha, thinkMOTION, Tim Guthrie’s Museum of Alternative History, University of Nebraska Medical Center iEXCEL, University of Nebraska – Omaha, WhyArts

View Event →
Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism
Jun
28
to Sep 15

Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism

  • Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
 Sheila Pepe,  Short Stack , 2017, wood, paint, gloss medium, collection of the artist. Photo credit: Alan Weiner

Sheila Pepe, Short Stack, 2017, wood, paint, gloss medium, collection of the artist. Photo credit: Alan Weiner

Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism is composed of more than 70 works, including the premiere of a site-specific work created exclusively for Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. Visitors will experience the spontaneity in Pepe’s immersive structures, sculptural assemblages, and other works in the broadest examination to date of an artist who poses a formidable challenge to conventions of museum display, identity, and craft.

Pepe first received significant recognition in 1997 with her participation in an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston entitled Gothic: Transmutations of Horror in Late 20th Century Art. The artist’s name has since become associated with her large-scale crocheted installations and their conceptual engagement with feminism, queer theory, and economic class, themes that were highly prevalent in the art-world-discourse of the 1990s. What Hot Mess Formalism seeks to expand upon is the critical perspective through which Pepe is viewed, encompassing a wider range of influences and impulses. This includes the artist’s reinterpretation of the readymade, the historic concept coined by Marcel Duchamp, which is evident in her earlier pieces as well as her found-object installations and situates her work within the larger trajectory of Modernism. Additionally, considering Pepe within the current historical correction on the contributions of women artists provides further understanding, positioning her alongside figures including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lenore Tawney, and Sheila Hicks, who pioneered a fiber-based practice more than 60 years ago.

Hot Mess Formalism aims to provide visitors with a comprehensive understanding of Pepe’s work and appreciate the role she has held as a thinker and innovator for nearly 30 years. Visitors will also be able to view a remake of Pepe’s Women are Bricks (mobile bricks), a seminal piece which brought key elements of Pepe’s work to the forefront: domesticity, fiber, ceramics, and craft. There will also be a wide selection of sculptures, drawings, and other works on view. 

Hot Mess Formalism is curated by Gilbert Vicario, The Selig Family Chief Curator, Phoenix Art Museum. 

Hot Mess Formalism is organized by Phoenix Art Museum and is traveling to several venues accompanied by an illustrated catalog with contributions by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Elizabeth Dunbar, Lia Gangitano, and Gilbert Vicario. The publication is designed by Miko McGinty, Inc. and is distributed by DelMonico Books•Prestel.

View Event →
Isa Marcelli
Jul
12
to Sep 2

Isa Marcelli

1a9df6a2-1b6d-4789-9d76-3e8b2ddb1e97.jpg

Isa Marcelli opens on the evening of July 12th, 2018, and runs through September 2nd in the Garden of the Zodiac Gallery, 1042 Howard Street. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 8:00 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m.. For further information, please contact 402.341.1877, email gardenofthezodiac@gmail.com, visit our Garden of the Zodiac page on Facebook, and www.gardenofthezodiacgallery.com

 

 

View Event →

Salon Time: Sonya Clark + Althea Murphy-Price + Nontsikelelo Mutiti
May
4
to Jun 30

Salon Time: Sonya Clark + Althea Murphy-Price + Nontsikelelo Mutiti

  • Union Center for Contemporary Art (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
unnamed.jpg

"Hairdressers are my heroes," proclaims Sonya Clark, pointing to the poetry, politics, and legacy of Black hair care specialists. Salon Time features three artists who examine and celebrate the ritual time and material culture surrounding Black women’s hair care. Working in photography, printmaking, and performance, Sonya Clark and Althea Murphy-Price emphasize the repetitive, ritualized labor involved in crafting with material, and make clear connection between creating artworks and the activities of designing and caring for intricate hairstyles. Clark and Murphy-Price also emphasize girlhood and the formation of identity in their artwork, demonstrating how Black female identity is linked personally and politically to the rituals and expectations of hair care. Nontsikelelo Mutiti’s graphic design work considers braiding as a communication tool across history and geographical borders. Mutiti sees braiding as a marker of African diaspora, and as a form of code that links it to our present digital languages. All three participating artists see Black hair care as a vital connecting thread between generations of women – historical, present, and future.

GALLERY TALK
Artists Althea Murphy-Price, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, and novelist Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
Saturday, May 5, 2pm

PERFORMANCE
Sonya Clark's Translations
Saturday, June 23, 1–4pm

View Event →
Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism's Temporal Bullying
Mar
22
to Jun 2

Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism's Temporal Bullying

  • Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
 Sondra Perry,  ffffffffffffoooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr , 2017, video and bicycle workstation, dimensions variable, photo: Matthew Vicari, courtesy the artist

Sondra Perry, ffffffffffffoooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, 2017, video and bicycle workstation, dimensions variable, photo: Matthew Vicari, courtesy the artist

Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying focuses on how the body is articulated in various discourses around health. (Note: “Crip” is a political reclaiming of the derogatory label “cripple.”) The artists in this exhibition, through artworks and practices with care-focused groups, examine how support for the body in states of illness, rest, and disability (particularly in relation to the time they operate on) can prompt us to re-imagine collective forms of existence as life under capitalism becomes impossible. Dragging on and circling back, with no regard for the stricture of the workweek or compulsory able-bodiedness, the time that this curatorial project investigates is non-compliant. It refuses a fantasy of normalcy measured by in-or-out thresholds and demands care that exceeds what nuclear families can provide.

Whether or not we currently identify as sick, we are united by the fact that we all experience fluctuating states of debility throughout our lives. In the United States, many of us are exhausted from living and working in a capitalist system rife with insufficient and deteriorating infrastructures for care. Being mindful of the fact that these failures of public health and biomedicine are felt by some disproportionately more than others (due to race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.), Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying provides a platform for exploring collective forms of healing the way these traumas are held in the body and dealing with these structural processes of exclusion. To this end, artworks dealing with care, illness, fitness, sleep, somatic sustainability, labor, alternative temporalities, and wellness culture are on view within an exhibition on life/work balance that provides a locus for ongoing conversations about relief and potential repair.

Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying is a process-based show; many of the artworks will directly demonstrate what living and working on sick time demands of the body and of the artists and organizers themselves. While there is an opening event, there will also be a closing reception—a new start, to mark a different sense of time that we will negotiate together.

The works on view at the opening of the exhibition include:

Danilo Correale’s video installation, No More Sleep No More, 2015, investigates the political life of sleep, particularly the encroachment of working time on sleep in the late-capitalist push toward a never-ending production model. Juxtaposing images Correale made when he was sleep-deprived with a series of conversations with various experts on sleep, No More Sleep No More suggests that sleep is one activity that still has the potential to resist standardization and normalization.

Fia Backström’s A fluid orthographic plane, based in the movements of hands and eyes, 2016, points to the use of fluid language planes (such as smartphones or tablets) that allow us to communicate through bodily gestures at a moment when technological surfaces increasingly register both human and environmental forces. In an installation that plays with the creation of a temporary after-image on viewers retinas and draws from the history of using negative images in medical and scientific photography, Backström calls our attention to what often goes unseen and prompts us to consider the oscillating line between the self and other, and the self and material.

Jen Liu’s Pink Slime Caesar Shift, 2018, focuses on industrial production in China, where repetitive movements, long hours, and toxic working materials have extremely detrimental effects on the bodies of workers, and, due to a state-controlled media environment, it is incredibly hard for them to organize. Liu’s video imagines a future where the production of synthetic meat based on stem-cell technologies (in-vitro meat) not only solves China’s meat shortage but also provides a vehicle for worker resistance. In Pink Slime Caesar Shift, the DNA of mass-produced in-vitro hamburgers is altered using encryption to harbor secret messages of labor insurrection.

Territory: Omaha, 2018, is a site-specific performance by Zavé Martohardjono that retraces pre-colonial landscapes and recent emigrant histories in Omaha, and considers the relationship between displacement, migration, and bodily health. As a mixed-race Asian-American person raised in the West, Martohardjono uses choreography to slowly tap into buried ancestral knowledge in the body. A central question to their work is: Do movement practices have the potential to decolonize the body and undo the damage of assimilation?

The video playing on the screens atop Sondra Perry’s Chroma-key blue-colored exercise bike features an avatar of the artist generated by software that was unable to reconcile her body with pre-existing templates. In her work, Perry illustrates the duality of digital technologies: as a mechanism of power when they surveil and contain people of color, but also when reimagining networked collectivities as an outlet for human agency. In earlier bike videos in this series, Perry asked viewers to consider how forms of discrimination negatively affect the health of people of color and what revolt might look like when life-sustaining activities, be it through fitness or social media, are quantified and ultimately only valued for how they add to one’s labor potential. In her most recent bicycle workstation ffffffffffffoooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, 2017, as the avatar’s image breaks down amidst echoing laughter and coughs, Perry’s call to arms is answered through the contagious effect of the ghost in the machine.

In Cassie Thornton’s Psychic Architecture, 2017–18, the psychic burden of debt is made physical. In her practice she often guides people through “debt visualizations” where financial debt is externalized as an image or a space, to show that financialization, while now a ubiquitous social form, is not natural. Financialization is a process in which social necessities—like healthcare, education, housing, and food—are turned into profit-generators that have little to do with sustaining life. Thornton’s audio guide leads us through an obstacle course of malfunctioning supports, and, by illuminating the underlying support structures of the exhibition as well as those not clearly visible in our society and various institutions, she illustrates how leaning on the “bad support” that financialization offers ultimately blocks us from imagining alternatives.  

Rather than accept our societal emphasis on personal independence, as a care provider and recipient in a disability community, Constantina Zavitsanos understands social debt and dependency, not as necessarily negative relations. She sees them as a dynamic in which perceived lack can actually be an asset: Hard places and tight spaces can produce not only binds but also bonds. Part of an ongoing self portrait pillow series, Self Portrait (EMDR), 2009–10, is a year-long durational performance piece that leaves its traces in a sculpture comprised of wood and memory foam affected by an extended period of activity (sleep). Memory foam molds quickly to a body—it is defined by how it supports others. While recreation and rest are not often regarded as “productive” work, Zavitsanos reminds us that activities such as sleep are life sustaining.

An associated program series entitled The Warp and Weft of Care will occur as a dialogue between many of the artists in the exhibition and local communities of care. Some events will be open to the public at Bemis, while other closed-door collaborations will take place at partner organizations. The program’s engagements will draw from a long history of feminist, indigenous, black, and queer art that investigates how trauma is held and expressed through collective rituals and shared somatic experiences. As our increasingly secular society loses intergenerational knowledge and undervalues epistemologies that are not mind-centered, these programs will demonstrate how cultural rituals seated in struggles of justice are infinitely valuable to collective wellbeing.

In addition to the artworks on display and related programs, Carrie Schneider and Cassie Thornton will engage the show’s architecture by devising several spaces for care within the galleries. These spaces will critique existing institutionalized areas for care and work past the blockages of imagination that limit that which we can envision and build together. Their investigation will engage a component of the curatorial framework for the show—an installation that mirrors a medical waiting room—and unfolds from there, dependent on visitor interaction. Rather than act as the liminal space before the bureaucratic clinic or expertise of the doctor, this waiting room will emphasize embodied peer-to-peer support. It will contain writings and publications from arts collectives related to health and patient self-determination as well as publications from local care organizations that range from free clinics, support groups, services for underserved, and alternative health services. Schneider and Thornton’s investigations align with artist and writer Johanna Hedva’s belief that “the process of healing is a way of reimagining a political future for the social body as much as it is about finding ways to care for and survive in our individual bodies.” The Waiting Room is a space to respond to Hedva’s question: “How can we conceive of the care we give and receive from others as being enmeshed with our political futures?”

Further questions posed throughout this project will be:

How do we envision ways to care for others and ourselves in a manner that eschews placement of guilt on the sick individual and avoids pathologizing non-“normative” bodies or behaviors?
What is the relationship of care to reciprocity when seeking personal wellness alongside caring for others?
What is care’s relationship to rage and resistance?
In considering how we move through (and redistribute) the effects of pain, what role does immediate individual relief play versus collective long-term repair?
What is art’s role—with its potential to convene diverse publics to participate in cultural rituals that envision alternative systems and new metaphors—in forming action that can help us envision and enact such a transitional architecture?
Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism's Temporal Bullying is curated by Taraneh Fazeli, 2018 Bemis Curator-in-Residence. A longer set of curatorial notes for the project can be found at temporaryartreview.com.

Artists: Fia Backström, Danilo Correale, Jen Liu, Zavé Martohardjono, Sondra Perry, Carrie Schneider, Cassie Thornton, and Constantina Zavitsanos

The Waiting Room features a new two-part publication by Berlin Feminist Health Care Research Group and a selection of existing publications and texts by The Black Panthers, Canaries, Danilo Correale, Data Feels, Corrine Fitzpatrick, Johanna Hedva, How to Perform An Abortion, Joan Lubin and Jeanne Vaccaro, Power Makes Us Sick (PMS), Carolyn Lazard, Park McArthur and Constantina Zavitsanos, Cassie Thornton, The Young Lords, and others. It will also be a site for distribution of pamphlets from local care organizations that range from free clinics, support groups, services for underserved, and alternative
health services.

The 2018 Curator-in-Residence program is made possible by Carol Gendler and the Mammel Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. 

Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism's Temporal Bullying is supported, in part, by Deanna and Fred Bosselman, Douglas County, Omaha Steaks, and Security National Bank. 

A previous version of this exhibition and program series took place between Houston, TX and New York, NY in 2017, where it was made possible with the generous support of EFA Project Space, a program of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Core Residency Program; and The Idea Fund.

Access Details
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts has three galleries on the main floor that can be accessed via an ADA approved ramp on 12th Street or seven steps. There is free street parking in front of the building on 12th Street and a paid lot on the North side of the building. 12th Street is cobblestone-lined. Admission is free and no ID is required to enter the building. There are multi-stall ADA approved single-sex bathrooms on the main floor with two grab bars.

Children and service animals are welcome. Concealed carry is prohibited. Texts and programs are in English. Large format texts are available upon request. The space is not scent-free, but we request that you come low-scent. Many ill (and non-ill) people have chemical sensitivities, which mean they do not tolerate scents (i.e. please do not wear perfumes or use scented deodorants and toiletries that day). More info on how and why to do this here and here.

Seating options will include folding chairs or cushions on the floor, but we are happy to provide other seating if requested in advance. If you need to move around, twitch, pace, or not make eye contact, you are welcome here. 

While the Sick Time... artists presenting allow photographs, we ask that you do not use flash. Please refrain from photographing other visitors without permission.

Note that some Sick Time... events may be held on other floors or off-site. Access details will be included with event information online.

If you have questions or would like support with specific access needs please contact us at info@bemiscenter.org or 402.341.7130 at least five days prior to your visit and we will do our best to help you attend comfortably.

View Event →
beginning.break.rapid: Kenji Fujita & Barbara Takenaga
Mar
22
to Jun 2

beginning.break.rapid: Kenji Fujita & Barbara Takenaga

  • Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
 Barbara Takenaga, C-Chan, 2005, acrylic on linen, 70 x 60 inches, image courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

Barbara Takenaga, C-Chan, 2005, acrylic on linen, 70 x 60 inches, image courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

When we casually look for the roots of 20th century Modernism, we look primarily to Europe. Too often we are, as Americans, in the habit of looking to a continent that has claimed itself ”the West.” Perhaps the claim would be benign if it simply described a location, but it has become more than that. For many born in the last century, it stood (as did the location “north”) for all things associated with intelligence, justice, and culture. I’ve observed that North-easterners, like me, ironically cling to our inclusion of this western model. We maintain New York as the point of transfer, noting the many Europeans that came to the United States in search of refuge. Names like Albers, Hoffman, and DeKooning ring out as some of the champions who fit this profile, with the work of Brancusi, a Romanian-turned-Parisian, brought to this country by the eternally influential French immigrant Marcel Duchamp.

Rarely do we further imagine the roots of their roots, what was stolen or lost. We artists of the 20th century have been taught to come east to New York, in order to wrap ourselves into a story of American exceptionalism. For many of us, this city has been a true haven of difference and vitality. At the same time, we receive all too complicated instructions about what to reveal or imagine about the sources and influences on our own work. I like to remember the European story of Modernism was forcibly eclipsed by U.S.-made icons like westerner Jackson Pollock and Pittsburg-born Andy Warhol. My hunch is that we should remember to always look west—to Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles and even further to those cultures we oddly call “the east.”

In truth, scholars have worked tirelessly to change this story, bringing proportion back to our worldview1. Many curators2 bring an assessment to a larger audience we know much more about, the omissions3 made intentionally, out of ignorance, or even fear. These exhibitions echo our concerns in the world at large, no doubt illuminating and perhaps fostering rips in the cultural and political fabric of the nation.

Facts and history have a delicate place in our world today. I’d like to propose we make a science-minded addition to our typical thinking about art and influence. For example, a jawbone is found in Israel, and all of a sudden history of modern humans walking out of Africa may be older by 50,000 years4. That literal unearthing is a striking example of what still be missing from our story. Similarly, genetic and neurological breakthroughs, in areas of social behavior5 and epigenetics6 continue to roil the nature/nurture argument. Imagine making and seeing things in a way that has been genetically influenced by generations you’ve never met.

When I look at things I read the language of the making first and imagery7 second. Second, I measure the history that I know against the observable facts. I realize I am looking at all of, and only, the decisions of an object’s maker(s). I can only assume we are drawing from the same knowledge base—even while I understand how unlikely that is. Why? Because the history I read and see cannot be the sum of every maker’s (or viewer’s) experience. Because I know that the history of everything will have holes that invite projection. Even still, I love history—big, long global histories with tons of details. I love the cultural histories embedded within, as well as the smaller sprigs of human endeavor that make great art along the way.

Leaning on long world histories first allows the “process reader” to pass the art historical texts and head directly to larger cultural and technical bits we all can recognize from everyday living. This approach allows everyone to look directly to shared physical experience. What's more, it allows room for the inclusion of undocumented sources, things passed silently from an unknown teacher, a studio visitor, the great-grandparent you never knew. The revised histories I have read in the past few years give me hope as they fill in some holes that existed 30 years ago. Personally, I think about the spice routes that brought pepper to Italy for the first time. Which Pepe did that?8 Maybe not a Pepe at all. I’ll never know, not because it was too long ago, but because history will always have holes. In any case, the answer to the question lies in the direction of the route. Was she traveling west, or returning home from the east?

________________________________

Beginning-break-rapid is an English translation of the Japanese term “Jo-ha-kyū”. This is the most important aesthetic concept developed by philosopher, actor, and playwright Zeami Motokiyo (c. 1363–c. 1443). The term describes a structural aesthetic of forms in motion, originally conceived at the invention of Noh theater. However, in time it has come to describe and influence many other forms, like Gagaku music—both Shinto ritual and folk music, as well as the tea ceremony and martial arts. Some even use the notion as a structural guide for poetry and essay writing.

 In this structure, you start slowly, then gradually and smoothly accelerate towards a very fast peak. After the peak, there is usually a pause and then a recommencement of the acceleration cycle… This rhythm of Jo, Ha, Kyu is quite different from the Western idea of 'beginning, middle, end' since the latter tends to produce a series of 'steps' rather than a smooth acceleration. In addition, the concept of 'beginning, middle, end' usually only refers to the overall dramatic structure of the play, while Jo, Ha, Kyu is used to support every moment of a performance as well as its structure.9

My bear-like use of Jo-Ha-Kyu here in this text is all the evidence you need to see how ill-equipped I am to make scholarly use of this form. However, as an artist, I’m very agile at finding examples. I start with looking at two artists—each different but both use “beginning.break.rapid” as a joyful methodology of whole bodies moving, each cycle ending with keen eyes. We are all Americans. None of us are well versed in the concept. Everything is in translation. I am either leaning on deeply embedded family cultures or attributing the aesthetic to a wide array of “Western Abstraction” made during the last one hundred years.

First generation New Yorker Kenji Fujita gathers, folds, and unfolds. He cuts and casts. Sometimes there is noise, other times I think he listens to music (let’s remember to ask). He plays tricks on himself many times over and over. He is alone, smiling, softly drilling, or dribbling liquids that are meant to turn hard. He pokes something, coloring occurs and he glares. Order is arrived by looking and walking and looking. The fix is in. Kenji moves into another round—to the wall, the work bench, then the wall again. In between a screw, a staple, a screw, some color. “Where did that other piece go?” Small smooth steps and lots of looking. On the way out of the studio he says, “Be careful, the sidewalk slants.” It does, so I do. He says it only for me. His legs already know.

Nebraska-born painter Barbara Takenaga accumulates color by directing viscosity—a thin version. Everything is flat, paint dries quickly, she pets the surface. Layers of lakes stay in their directed location. Some veins collide, others resist while nudged into a cosmic pas de deux, then three, then more. No rest for the arm or the elbow, not to mention the wrist. Down, down, down, I see the contacts accumulate into long deep thoughts about something (the dog, dinner, mom). Next comes the splendid no-thinking of being alive in the making. An arc concludes; it’s too wet; there are no more turns left to spin this rectangle. Pause, patiently. All of a sudden the layers of pools and strokes quit their leakiness. The flatness is turned up for looking. Some sneaky painting occurs, or doesn’t. Images coalesce and we are shot into space.

– Sheila Pepe, artist and guest curator of beginning.break.rapid: Kenji Fujita & Barbara Takenaga 

beginning.break.rapid: Kenji Fujita & Barbara Takenaga is supported, in part, by Deanna and Fred Bosselman, Douglas County, Omaha Steaks, and Security National Bank. 

KENJI FUJITA
Kenji Fujita is a visual artist who makes work out of ordinary materials such as cardboard, aluminum foil, felt, wood, fabric, paper, and paint. Whether flat or dimensional, he creates commonplace geometries of shape and form that are then cut, torn and glued into unexpected amalgams of order and disorder. In Fujita's three-dimensional works, relations of shape, form, and structure become animated as the viewer engages with the work in physical space and time.

Fujita has been making and showing work for over 30 years. His most recent solo exhibition “Will and Weather” at Soloway Gallery in Brooklyn was accompanied by a catalogue essay by fellow Bard faculty and writer Ann Lauterbach. Other examples of his dialogue with fellow artists include participation in the exhibition "The Other End of the Line (a project by Francis Cape).”

Select solo exhibitions of Fujita’s two and three-dimensional works have been mounted at venues that include Samson Projects, Boston, MA; Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY; Jean Bernier, Athens; and Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Fujita’s work has been included in many important group exhibitions at, for example, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY; Michael Benevento, Los Angeles, CA; The Company (Anat Ebgi), Los Angeles, CA; The High Line, New York, NY; Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; and "Aperto 88” Venice Biennale.

Fujita’s work can be found in the collections of Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, CA; and Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, NC. He has received grants and fellowships from the Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts. He was born in New York, NY and now lives and works in Staatsburg, NY. He has taught at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY since 1995 and School of Visual Arts, New York (SVA) since 1993.

BARBARA TAKENAGA
Barbara Takenaga is a painter whose work is informed by the rich multi-stepped materiality of her printmaking roots, as well as the expansive space/time of her birthplace, North Platte, Nebraska. Her abstract paintings present a confluence of affinities from the ornamental to the extra-terrestrial; profoundly deep spaces are built with extremely flat surfaces.

Barbara Takenaga’s most recent professional engagements include the first in-depth survey of the artist’s work mounted by the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA. Guest curated by Debra Bricker Balken, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue present both a celebration and assessment of the work, revealing how Takenaga has enriched the languages of abstraction during the past two decades. Public programming with fellow New Yorker and painter Tom Burckhardt engaged the community with a discussion concerning painting, abstraction, and geometry. Catalogue texts by Balken, novelist Jim Shepard, and poet Geoffrey Young also shed light on a community of creative intellectuals among whom Takenaga has had a major role since 1985. In June of 201, Takenaga will step down from her role as the Mary A. & William Wirt Warren Professor of Art at Williams College. Of course, this means she will no longer divide her time between Williamstown, MA, and New York, NY, where she has maintained a studio throughout.

Her work has been widely exhibited at institutions including MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO; National Academy Museum, New York, NY; SPACE 42 at the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York, NY; Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia, PA; and the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA.

Takenaga’s work is in the permanent collections of The Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; The deCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA; Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, NE; and Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, among others.

Takenaga is represented by DC Moore in New York, NY and Gregory Lind Gallery in San Francisco, CA. She lives and works New York, NY.

View Event →
Chumley
Feb
9
to Feb 17

Chumley

  • Omaha Creative Institute (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
26229434_10155027959211875_5420001260622789395_n.jpg

Chumley, the first Artist-Run Exhibition to open in OCI’s new, permanent exhibition space (1419 South 13th Street, Suite 103, Omaha, NE 68108), examines ways in which play tests the limits of control. Whether it’s sculptural deviance, wild texture, or giant rats, two and three dimensional objects that imply play in both how they’re made and how they function, question the relationship between widely accepted cultural and social norms, individual freedoms, emotional safety, and the potential for harm. Chumley includes work by Thalia RodgersSarah Jones, Bobbie McWilliams, Erin Foley and Angie Seykora and is organized by Erin Foley.

A special screening of Thalia Rodgers video work will take place on Saturday, February 17th at 7:00pm. Free and open to the public.

Erin Foley has exhibited and curated exhibitions nationally, instructed classes ranging from design + build to critical theory and traveled internationally for installations. Foley is currently an adjunct instructor in the Sculpture Department at the University of Nebraska of Omaha where she is in her final year of Accounting studies. Her interdisciplinary approach to art making started during her BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and continued at the University of Southern California, where she received her MFA. Working for Andrea Zittel in Joshua Tree and managing Michael Rakowitz’s studio in Chicago influenced Foley’s work both in and out of the studio. 

Omaha Creative Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to provide artists with the training and opportunities they need to build an economically sustainable career in the arts. We do this by providing professional development, offering grants to individual artists, and connecting artists and patrons. The Artist-Run Exhibitions Program emphasizes professional development by lending backbone support to Omaha-area artists throughout the process of organizing, marketing, and mounting a curated exhibition outside the context of larger institutional systems.

View Event →
Nicolas Dhervillers
Feb
8
to Mar 9

Nicolas Dhervillers

  • Garden of the Zodiac Gallery (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
1d39bc44-a282-46c9-9e18-d588ce491ceb.jpg

Renowned French photographer, Nicolas Dhervillers’ photographic works range from small still lives to monumental landscapes. In many of his images, theatre, cinema, painting and photography coalesce, and often pay homage to the great artists of the past, including Nicolas Poussin and Gustave Courbet. Other works use the photographic process to take the viewer into a fictional space outside of time. His landscape photography is subjected to a digital process adapted from the cinematic “day for night” technique, lending an eerie look to pictures taken in broad daylight. Archival figures are then placed within the landscapes and washed with unnatural digital light. Dhervillers has participated in Paris Photo and festival Mono, an event associated with documenta 13. His works can be found in private collections and museums around the world. 

View Event →
Caroline Kent: Disappearance of the word, Appearance of the world
Jan
12
to Feb 25

Caroline Kent: Disappearance of the word, Appearance of the world

  • The Union for Contemporary Art (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
IMG_6973.jpg

Chicago-based artist Caroline Kentexplores the limits of language, the process of translation, and the joys of wandering “in the dark” in her other-worldly abstractions. Kent’s practice embraces uncertain and cosmic spaces; the dark, expansive grounds of her paintings become sites for ideas waiting to land, converge, and transform. Through her experiences watching subtitled films, researching Cyrillic texts and Russian Constructivism, and navigating unfamiliar languages while living in Eastern Europe, the artist discovered how the process of conflating images, icons, and translated words can shift paradigms and open up new worlds. In Disappearance of the word, Appearance of the world, Kent invents a painting language that serves as a threshold to an alternate reality or future–one that we can all navigate and translate together.

In conversation with the exhibition, Kat Fackler has choreographed a dance entitled language for the living, which explores the possibilities for communication within movement and dance. Drawing inspiration from the shapes and structures found within Caroline Kent’s work, this performance lives somewhere between realms, in the spaces within our minds where linear, verbal communication is no longer necessary. Featuring members of Omaha's tbd. dance collective, performances will occur in the gallery at 7pm and 8pm on January 12.

Since receiving her MFA in 2008 from the University of Minnesota, Caroline Kent has participated in numerous exhibitions including the California African American Museum, Los Angeles; The Suburban, Chicago; Washington Park Arts Center, Chicago; Elephant, Los Angeles; and SUNY Duchess in Poughkeepsie, NY. In 2012-13 she was a Creative City Making Minneapolis grant recipient. Kent has twice received the Minnesota Artist Initiative Grant, and is recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a Jerome Fellowship, and a McKnight Artist Fellowship, and is currently a Fellow at Shandaken Project’s Paint School. Kent is included in the forthcoming cross-institutional exhibition Out of Easy Reach, hosted by the DePaul Art Museum, highlighting contemporary and conceptual expansion of abstraction by female-identifying artists from the Black and Latina Diasporas.

Kat Fackler is an Omaha-based choreographer, performer, founding member + co-director of tbd. dance collective. She choreographs and produces movement-based productions and projects throughout the community in collaboration with various organizations and independent artists. Projects have included ESP, a music video for The Faint, One Day, One Month, One Year, a short film for KANEKO’s 2016 Summer Programming, and the finale for Omaha Performing Arts Nebraska in Motion in Fall 2017. Performers for this movement project, language for the living, include Dawaune Hayes and Alajia McKizia and tbd. dance collective members Kat Fackler, Stephanie Huettner, Alyssa Rivera, and Annie Schenzel.

View Event →
Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly
Dec
7
to Feb 24

Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly

  • Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
Monarchs enewsletter.jpg

Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly

On view at the Bemis Center through February 24

 

Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly takes the yearly migration path of the Monarch butterfly, from Central Canada through the Midwest, the Plains of Nebraska and Texas, on its way to Mexico and back, as a metaphor for considering themes of place, home, movement, migration, immigration, mobility, diaspora across the Americas, transnationalism, land rights, and sovereignty.

 

Learn more at bemiscenter.org.

 

GALLERY HOURS:

Wednesday–11 AM–5 PM

Thursday–11 AM–9 PM

Friday–11 AM–5 PM

Saturday–11 AM–5 PM

View Event →
light
Dec
5
to Apr 1

light

LIGHT_Website_ExhibitionThumbnail_V1.jpg

Artists will employ glass, sculpture and light itself to showcase the sublime beauty that light evokes aesthetically and thematically. The public will glean insight into scientific issues such as vision and optics, physiology of light energy, sustainability, light pollution and conservation.

A large part of the exhibition is reliant on audience participation. Step inside an infinite abyss with Refik Anandol’s audiovisual installation. Interact and move through large geometric forms that change color, audio and intensity during an immersive light experience by Circus Family. Escape into a cocoon constructed of steel, wool, and found objects that absorbs you in a field of playable light by Taylor Dean Harrison.

Artists: Adam Belt, Circus Family, Corey Broman, FoldHaus, Jason Webb, Refik Anadol, SKYGLOW and Taylor Dean Harrison

Collaborators: Antilop, Council Bluffs Community School District, International Dark-Sky Association, Echo Systems, First Sight Eyeglasses, Google, Refik Anadol Studio, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extreme Light Laboratory, University of Nebraska Medical Center/CRHD and WhyArts

Selected artwork in this exhibition is available for purchase.
Please contact a KANEKO gallery attendant for more information.

Viewers with light sensitivities please be advised.
This exhibition includes installations that use intense visual light stimulation effects. Please take caution if you are prone to seizures or are at risk for an adverse reaction.

View Event →
Alex Myers - This is Fine
Nov
10
to Dec 3

Alex Myers - This is Fine

23031722_1100449910058599_4965826232906352399_n.jpg

Project Project is pleased to announce the opening reception of This is Fine featuring new work by Alex Myers. Myers will be presenting an array of mixed-format digital works. Constant experimentation and research fuel Myers’s work in breaking images and systems in order to return them to an alternative form of assembly. As always, Project Project receptions are free and open to the public. 

Project Project is organized by Joel Damon and Josh Powell.

From the artist:
I like connecting disparate thoughts. I create surrealistic scenes by exploring the potentials of data transmutation. Cutting, chopping, stretching ideas, forms, and thoughts until they're barely recognizable.
My research is far ranging and include games, architecture, violence, fear, mysticism, ambiguity, perception, movement, nature, extinction, death, and loss. I'd say that I like systems, but I think that's a bit redundant. Everything human is built upon systems. It's how we think.
My methods and materials change to fit the needs of the project, but I spend a lot of time working in 3D environments like Blender and Unity.

View Event →
2017 Union Fellows Exhibition
Nov
3
to Dec 16

2017 Union Fellows Exhibition

  • Union Center for Contemporary Art (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
 We are pleased to present the 2017 Union Fellows Exhibition, featuring the work of Omaha-based artists  Celeste Butler ,  Samone Davis ,  Jamie Danielle Hardy ,  Edem Kegey,  and  Slowed Soul  (Noah Sterba + Jeff Sedrel).     Celeste Bulter  What can working within new communities mean for an artist’s practice? The Union’s Fellowship program offers an experience for local artists that not only supports their individual creative processes, but also provides them with opportunities to engage with North Omaha residents in mutually beneficial ways.  Fellows are selected annually through a jury process, and are provided studio spaces, mentorship, and professional development opportunities focused on socially engaged art practices. This multidisciplinary exhibition is the culmination of the 2017 Fellows’ 11-month residency, featuring participatory community-based textiles by “Quilterpreneur” Celeste Butler, fashion design by Samone Davis, intersections of text and visual art by Slowed Soul (Noah Sterba + Jeff Sedrel), recorded and live musical performance by Edem Kegey, and light-based installation by Jamie Danielle Hardy.   This exhibition is curated by Jennifer Baker, Assistant Curator of H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute.    Our 2017 exhibition program is generously sponsored by Paul & Annette Smith. 

We are pleased to present the 2017 Union Fellows Exhibition, featuring the work of Omaha-based artists Celeste ButlerSamone DavisJamie Danielle HardyEdem Kegey, and Slowed Soul (Noah Sterba + Jeff Sedrel).

 

Celeste Bulter

What can working within new communities mean for an artist’s practice? The Union’s Fellowship program offers an experience for local artists that not only supports their individual creative processes, but also provides them with opportunities to engage with North Omaha residents in
mutually beneficial ways.

Fellows are selected annually through a jury process, and are provided studio spaces, mentorship, and professional development opportunities focused on socially engaged art practices. This multidisciplinary exhibition is the culmination of the 2017 Fellows’ 11-month residency, featuring participatory community-based textiles by “Quilterpreneur” Celeste Butler, fashion design by Samone Davis, intersections of text and
visual art by Slowed Soul (Noah Sterba + Jeff Sedrel), recorded and live musical performance by Edem Kegey, and light-based installation by Jamie Danielle Hardy.

This exhibition is curated by Jennifer Baker, Assistant Curator of H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Our 2017 exhibition program is generously sponsored by Paul & Annette Smith. 

View Event →
Furnish - new paintings by Will Anderson
Oct
6
to Nov 24

Furnish - new paintings by Will Anderson

22042105_979856318821330_2085537400700976200_o.jpg

From Will:
I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Attended the Kansas City Art Institute where I received a BFA in painting, 2008. I have since moved back to Omaha where I have been living and practicing art ever since. I have participated in a number of group shows over the years in spaces such as the Bemis, the RNG Gallery, and others. This will be my first solo show.


If you think that a lot of the forms look like chairs, that’s great. 
I do too.

I suppose they are chairs. But that is not really what my work is about. My work is about looking. The “long look," I like to call it. 
Something that reveals itself over time, more slowly, it is sometimes the most interesting thing when this is never fully achieved. Art that I don’t understand is fundamentally longer lasting for me.

I have been working in a monochromatic format for about three years now. This work has a lot to do with pattern and repetition, both visually and mechanically. All the works are done using a cobalt blue oil paint that I make in the studio myself. I should say the paintings are made using both blue and white pigments. The two colors become stripes and dots, flesh and wood, comfort and repulsion, volume and vacuum. By repeating these forms so many times the work has become mysterious to me. Therefore, I am comfortable with it. 

Through my years as an artist, especially the more recent ones where I have spent a great deal of my time scrubbing clean my work of any real answers. Begrudgingly, I have come across one enduring conclusion. Art occurs in the space between the work, and the individual.

Be it the space seperating a stripe or a dot, or that of vacant chair. Nothing is empty.

View Event →
Camille Hawbaker & Julia Ibbini: Fragile Boundries
Sep
8
to Nov 5

Camille Hawbaker & Julia Ibbini: Fragile Boundries

darger.jpg

Opening Reception and Artist Talk: September 8th, 6-8PM

Fragile Boundaries, opening Friday, September 8, at Darger HQ, will feature work by Camille Hawbaker (Omaha, Nebraska) and Julia Ibbini (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) and will be on view through November 5th.  The opening reception will be 6:00 to 9:00 pm, with an artist talk at 8:00 pm, moderated by Alex Priest, Exhibition Manager, Bemis Center of Contemporary Art.
 
Julia Ibbini works with pattern, color, and texture through digital and hand manipulations. Her work bridges new technology and traditional ornamental designs as she explores a sense of identity, or finding one’s place in life.  Camille Hawbaker also works with pattern, color, and texture as a way to explore identity in language, and the places where words fall apart. She uses traditional “craft” processes to transform the material.   Both artists navigate the fragile boundaries of art and craft and cultural identity.   Jordanian-British Julia Ibbini has spent the majority of her life in Abu Dhabi, and now works from a studio space in the heart of the city.  Camille Hawbaker grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and lives and works in Omaha, Nebraska

More information can be found on the artists’ websites:
http://www.ibbini.com/
https://www.camillehawbaker.org/

View Event →
Nancy Friedemann-Sànchez: Chapter 5: River
Sep
8
to Oct 15

Nancy Friedemann-Sànchez: Chapter 5: River

  • The Union for Contemporary Art (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
 Nancy Friedemann Sánchez,   Morisca ,  2017, Mopa mopa, tyvek and readymade

Nancy Friedemann Sánchez, Morisca, 2017,
Mopa mopa, tyvek and readymade

Opening Reception: September 8th, 6-8 PM

Lincoln, Nebraska-based artist Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez explores the experience of living between cultures and languages. The artist uses aspects of storytelling–fables, chapters of novels, and museum displays–to form a structure for her evolving bodies of work. In her exhibition Chapter 5: River, large-scale ink drawings and small sculptures reveal multiple perspectives surrounding contemporary circumstances that have been disentangled from their colonial histories. Raised in Bogotá, Colombia, the artist is attuned to historic and ongoing relationships of indigenous, displaced, and colonial cultures in the Americas, and the power structures that determine which of these narratives are included in history books. Friedemann-Sánchez explores the underrepresented histories of women, indigenous and enslaved peoples, supported by research of traditional objects and cultural practices at national history museums in North and South America. This exhibition features life-sized drawn figures depicting the social hierarchies of mixed racial and ethnic identities in Colombia, feminine lacework patterns painted into a border riverscape of heroic scale, and small objects conveying practical knowledge passed across cultures. Together, these different forms weave a rich and complicated tale of diaspora, migrancy, and power.

This exhibition is curated by Risa Puleo, Curator-in-Residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. The curatorial residency provides the opportunity to work alongside residency and curatorial staff, actively contributing to the overall vision of the organization's renowned exhibition program. As an integral member of the Bemis Center’s Artist-in-Residence Program, Puleo stimulates intellectual discourse surrounding contemporary art practice through studio visits, knowledge-sharing workshops, and other organized programs with fellow artists-in-residence. She also serves as a part of the cultural fabric of Greater Omaha, as a professional resource for local artists and arts professionals, and as an ambassador of the Bemis Center in the community. This program is the first of its kind in Nebraska.

About the artist:

In her work Nancy Friedemann deliberately manages an economy of materials. Her large scale drawings alude to Minimalism and the Pattern and Decoration Movement but explicitly explore the experience of identity, memory and gender. 

Nancy Friedemann has a masters degree from New York University; a BFA from Otis Art Institute and undergraduate studies from La Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.

Recent Individual exhibitions include: Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami; Collette Blanchard Gallery, New York; Frost Museum, Miami; Galeria Diners, Bogotá; Cheryl Pelavin Fine Arts, New York; Sheldon Memorial Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska; Queens Museum of Art, New York; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Panamá. 

View Event →
Alex Jochim, Sarah Jones & Kristin Pluhacek
Sep
1
to Oct 28

Alex Jochim, Sarah Jones & Kristin Pluhacek

 Kristin Pluhacek,  Bart , 2016

Kristin Pluhacek, Bart, 2016

Opening Reception: September 1st, 4-6 PM

Artist's Statements
Alex Jochim is a photographer, event coordinator, and gallery operator by day, and bartender by night. He documents people, places, and things that are particularly connected to his world: shooting travels, friends, family, community, and anything that inspires him personally. His photos are preferably candid, but sometimes inescapably or even intentionally posed. Inspiration comes from his surroundings, but motivation is drawn from two realms: he shoots very selfishly, capturing the people and things he loves in life, independent of others demands or confines. He also shoots very nostalgically, preserving the moments that he wants to last, which over time form his pictorial narrative.

Sarah Jones layers forms, materials, colors and light to create new spaces for an audience to enter. By making these installations, she draws inspiration from music videos and blipster culture, though the content of her work is not solely dependent on these references. Some objects are fully recognizable, while others are ambiguous in order to allow viewers to make their own associations. Ultimately, she wants to create a space where people can easily immerse themselves in their imagination.

Kristin Pluhacek likes a strong subject, something that maintains its presence while allowing for elaboration and whimsy. Lately, Pluhacek has been making portraits of people she knows, and who may be recognizable in the Omaha arts community. There is a structure to these interactions; the person sits for her in increments of 20 minutes while she draws quickly in charcoal, often while carrying on a conversation. The resulting gestures are fluid and open – they are the life of the portrait. She then works alone, from photographs of the pose, adding color and refining the image. This process allows her to interact with friends and acquaintances more fully, employing the solitary language with which she is comfortable while still sharing an experience.

View Event →
Brigitte Waldach: Instinct-Black Box
Aug
10
to Sep 10

Brigitte Waldach: Instinct-Black Box

  • The Garden of the Zodiac (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Moving Gallery is pleased to introduce Instinct—Black Box, an exhibition of recent work by Berlin artist Brigitte Waldach. Opening on August 10 at the Garden of the Zodiac, 1042 Howard Street in the Old Market Passageway, the show continues the artist’s investigation of human emotions and behavior. This exhibition, organized by curator Matthias Harder of Berlin’s Helmut Newton Foundation, runs concurrently with the Moving Gallery’s presentation of Drive Drove Driven: Cars in Contemporary Photography at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 405 S. 11th Street.

Waldach addresses the inherent tension in the dynamics of human behavior and emotion in her spatial drawing Instinct – Black Box. Ninety drawings are hung on the walls in a tight one-row grid, in the two spaces, painted entirely in black. On display are dreamlike miniatures: people with elongated limbs or unusual body extensions, faceless portraits, emotions rendered as schematic line drawings, gesture fragments, and brilliantly poignant scenes that tread the line between absurdity, slapstick, and oppression. 

Again and again, the inner tension of these drawings emerges from the contrast between fine, quick, and almost timid lines, and solid dark surfaces that sharply contour individual body parts, without articulating spatial depth. Waldach offers us a kind of visual diary here, journaling a newly regained desire for free drawing, and for the immediacy of pictorial expression, which seeks to liberate the bond between hand and eye from intellectual control. Aphoristic scenes align themselves with temporary neighbors, establishing rhythms, assuming narrative threads, and losing them again in the ambiguity of spontaneous thought.

For this exhibition, Waldach’s drawings will be printed in an exclusive edition of 1/1 and accompanied by individual texts, each serving as an abstract short story about these snapshots of human behavior. Thus, a second "Omaha original" has been created, in that a duplicate becomes one of a kind.

Characteristic of Waldach’s artwork, monochromatic imagery is presented with an economy of detail, the negative space of the white paper lending to a work’s ambiguity or openness of meaning. Within the delicacy and sparseness of her rendering is a psychological weight that grounds the images. Her works often pay respect to authors with insight into human nature, such as Samuel Beckett, Franz Kafka and Edgar Allen Poe, while others reflect the dark expressionism of filmmakers Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch.

Brigitte Waldach was born in 1966 in Berlin, Germany, where she lives and works. While at Berlin’s University of the Arts, she studied art pedagogy and theory, and painting under Georg Baselitz. Exhibiting continuously since 2000 in venues from Buenos Aires to Seoul, Waldach has enjoyed recent solo shows in Denmark at the Brandts museum in Odense and Galleri Bo Bjerggaard in Copenhagen, as well as Conrads Gallery in Dusseldorf, Germany. Additionally, her work is included in the collections of the Albertina in Vienna and the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin, among others. This is the artist’s second solo show in Omaha; in 2012, she presented Logical Landscape drawings at the Moving Gallery and was a featured artist in 2007’s Portrait: Berlin.

Brigitte Waldach: Instinct opens on the evening of August 10, 2017, and runs through September 10 in the Garden of the Zodiac Gallery, 1042 Howard Street. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 8:00pm and on Sundays from noon to 6:00pm. For further information, please contact 402.341.1877 or vmercer3@cox.net.

View Event →
Derek Courtney
Jul
7
to Aug 25

Derek Courtney

  • Michael Phipps Gallery, W. Dale Clark Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
 Derek Courtney,  Idiot King of Overtime

Derek Courtney, Idiot King of Overtime

Opening Reception: Friday, July 7th, 4 - 6 PM

Gold watch/pine box. This was the phrase that led to the current focus of Derek Courtney's work. Previously his work dealt with the themes of land use, consumption and depletion, as well as labor and production. Recently the focus of his art has shifted to address the the human costs of labor.

In his recent work, Courtney attempts to draw parallels between the modern labor movement in the US and the labor movement as it existed in early 20th century Appalachia. His goal is to highlight the detrimental effect supply side and neoliberal economic policy have had on the working population in general. Financially, today's hourly wage earner is every bit the debt slave that a miner in West Virginia was in the 1930s. These days, the company store has been replace by the banking industry.

In addition to the financial burden today's worker is also battling the physical and emotional toll involved in the modern workplace. Increased productivity leads to greater frequency of injury and illness. Prolonged exposure to less than ideal environments can produce chronic disease. Longer hours can lead to stress related illness and depression. All of this, of course, leads one to discover ways of coping. This can lead to addiction to any number of substances.

So at the end of a 30+year career, after paying off student loans, house loans, car loans and various home equity loans, what are you left with? After fighting through injury, sickness and the deterioration of age what are you left with? After overcoming all the exhaustion, stress and depression what are you left with?

Gold watch/pine box.

View Event →
Where We Land: Zora Murff, Jordan Weber, and Lachell Workman
Jun
16
to Aug 12

Where We Land: Zora Murff, Jordan Weber, and Lachell Workman

  • The Union for Contemporary Art (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
 Zora Murff, Youthful Offenders 6698 and 3581, 2013

Zora Murff, Youthful Offenders 6698 and 3581, 2013

Opening Reception: Friday, June 16th, 6-9 PM

Where We Land examines the influence of place and environment on cultural perceptions and presumed narratives surrounding race, violence, and complicity in an age of viral sharing.

Omaha, NE – Where We Land, a three-person exhibition opening in the Wanda D. Ewing Gallery at The Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 North 24th Street, features photographer Zora Murff, Jordan Weber, and Lachell Workman. The exhibition runs June 16 until August 12, 2017. Admission is free and The Wanda D. Ewing Gallery is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 Where We Land explores the landscape of disproportionate violence against people of color. Place and environment influence cultural perceptions surrounding race, violence, complicity, and imminent danger, and in turn, those perceptions affect the ongoing relationship of communities to the spaces they occupy. Despite the increased visibility and transparency of incidents of brutality through viral sharing on social media, public reactions to these scenes are deeply polarized and influenced by geographical divides that our digital access has not successfully bridged. Photographer Zora Murff (Lincoln, NE), and multidisciplinary artists Jordan Weber (Des Moines, IA) and Lachell Workman (Bridgeport, CT) use the physical materials and visual details of urban and natural environments as a vehicle to explore presumed narratives and the gaps between contradictory interpretations of shared views of violence.

View Event →
KINETIC at KANEKO
Jun
16
to Oct 14

KINETIC at KANEKO

Admission: Free

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

KINETIC at KANEKO explores the art and science of movement and the perception of motion. This collaborative exhibition season will feature stunning visual art, interactive sculpture, and experiential learning opportunities developed to strengthen the understanding of kinetics in everyday life.

Artists:
Blumen Lumen
John Buck
Cassia Kite
Michael McGinnis
Vijay Olander
Ralfonso
George Rickey
Bruce Shapiro
Tom Sitzman
Larry Sosso
Mark di Suvero
tbd. Dance Collective
Omaha Under the Radar
Dr. Shane Farritor
Dr. Nick Stergiou
Dr. Graham Ulicy

Collaborators:
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands
Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands
Brownville Flatwater Folk Art Museum
Creighton University
HDR Inc.
RDG Planning & Design
Sheldon Museum of Art
Studio Fackler
University of Nebraska at Omaha Department of Biomechanics
Virtual Incision
Kinetic Art Organization
Gallery 72
Connect Gallery
Sisyphus Industries

View Event →
Peter Fankhauser & Jaimie Warren: Together Forever
Jun
9
to Aug 6

Peter Fankhauser & Jaimie Warren: Together Forever

Opening reception: Friday, June 9th, 6 - 9 PM, with a performative artist talk at 8 PM.

The notion of immortality authenticates itself in repetition.  We survive after death only inasmuch as our names are repeated.  The memory of our desperate foibles, stunning defeats, or ill-earned victories must first become the stuff of casual conversation: we the long since dead, becoming legends.  Like Marilyn Manson said, "...the key to longevity--and immortality, in a sense--has to do with transformation."  Stories travel and narratives transition with every shift in representational format.  Michael Jackson will forever be the world's biggest star, worst sex offender, or most innocent son, depending on who's doing the telling.  Together Forever pays homage to the act of remembering in its beautifully misshapen forms and perfect fallacy.

In Jaimie Warren's highly collaborative, community-based work, she memorializes her fallen heroes and totems of imagined affinity by conscripting remade images of her childhood idols into the canon of art history. Falling somewhere along the road between Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Neverland Ranch, ad hoc set design and vocal numbers become potent metaphors for immortality in Warren's videos.  Expendable materials become irreplaceable narrative tools and expendable lives are enshrined in 1080p hi-def digital showboating.  Freddy Mercury, George Michael, and Michael Jackson, in ratted out wigs and well worn body suits, remind us of forgetting--forgetting the wild, enduring infatuations of youth.  Warren draws her friends in close to sing and sway beside her in visually overloaded tributes to collective remembering.

Peter Fankhauser's “Justice of Decline” is an alternative reading of Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West or The Downfall of the Occident, as told from the perspective of Anna Nicole Smith through photo, video, and text based works.  Smith's genius for tragic comedy becomes a vehicle for the repudiation of tradition, or the ultimate negative freedom--no democracy; no ownership.  The memory of her life plays out as unlimited optimism, undermining and destroying itself through repeated slurred affirmations of self-love, always colored by doubt. Her decline immortalizes our own with each retelling and every wayward step.

Jaimie Warren (b. 1980, Waukesha, WI) "comes across as a force of nature, or at least pop culture" according to Roberta Smith of the New York Times, " whose work brims with messy promise. [Her photographs] indicate a talent for color and tactility (to say the least) as well as for rough-edged transformation that combines aspects of the work of Cindy Sherman, Sandy Skoglund and Alex Bag while channeling the spirits of Leigh Bowery, Divine and George Grosz.”  She is a 2017 Brooklyn Arts Council SU-CASA Artist-in Residence, a 2016 Maker’s Muse Awardee, a 2015 fellow in Interdisciplinary Arts from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a 2015 Abrons AIRspace resident.  Warren is also featured artist in ART21's documentary series "New York Close Up", and she is the recipient of a United States Presidential Scholars Program Teacher Recognition Award.  She lives and works in New York City.

Peter Fankhauser (b. 1980, Lincoln, NE) is a committed member of the MTV generation, brought up on television: music on television, television on film, film on the internet. Narrative’s mutation across different media platforms has become a recurring theme in his work and a primary preoccupation. He received an MFA from CUNY-City College in New York City and has shown at independent and alternative spaces nationally and abroad including Judson Memorial Church (New York City), Death By Audio (Brooklyn), Silent Barn (Brooklyn), AC Institute (New York City), and the Meltdown Festival (London). He currently lives and works in Omaha, NE. 

View Event →
Janet Biggs
Jun
3
to Sep 10

Janet Biggs

 Janet Biggs (American, born 1959), A Step on the Sun, 2012, single-channel HD video, 16:9 format, 9:05 minutes, edition 2 of 5 + 2 AP. Courtesy the artist and Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York.

Janet Biggs (American, born 1959), A Step on the Sun, 2012, single-channel HD video, 16:9 format, 9:05 minutes, edition 2 of 5 + 2 AP. Courtesy the artist and Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York.

Admission: Free

Museum Hours: 
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm
Thursday, 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday, 10 am - 4 pm     
Closed Mondays and major holidays*
Hours may change for special exhibitions.

Janet Biggs creates videos, photographs, and performances that study the capacity of the human body to withstand intense physical demands. Her recent work has taken her to some of the most extreme environments in the world, including the Arctic Circle, a desert in China, and northern Ethiopia. A Riley CAP Gallery exhibition.

View Event →
EGGMAN2500: Mass Production, Manual Labour, Content Creation, Repetition, Madness & the Zen of Screenprinting
Jun
2
to Jul 28

EGGMAN2500: Mass Production, Manual Labour, Content Creation, Repetition, Madness & the Zen of Screenprinting

Opening Reception: Friday, June 2nd, 7-10 PM

"An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he- for some reason, thinks it would be a good idea to give them." -Andy Warhol

From Eggman:
To commemorate 25 years working in the screenprinting industry, I have created a new "limited edition" print. "EGGMAN2500" is a 2 color screenprint on recycled cardboard. Each print has been individually cut, hand pulled, and hand numbered to 2500. The entire run of prints will be available for free to all, one per person.

I wanted to make a piece that rides the line between fine art and the disposable by replacing traditional acid free, archival paper with used cereal and beer boxes. I wanted to challenge the concept of a limited edition by creating such a large run of prints using manual, DIY means. The repetition of images and the physical process of printing becomes a zen like experience for me.

Also on display will be supplemental drawings and prints, as well as misprints and other materials used in the process.

About the artist:
Eggman (aka Mike Scheef), artist, printer, drawer of 1000 wrestlers, cofounder of Caesium Gallery, Omaha

Petshop Gallery hours happen once a week and vary - or you can make an appointment - petshopgallery@gmail.com

View Event →
David Brooks: Continuous Service Altered Daily
Jun
1
to Aug 26

David Brooks: Continuous Service Altered Daily

  • Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
 David Brooks: Continuous Service Altered Daily, 2016 Erosion and Flood zone (left) (installation view detail), 2016 Water Purification zone (right) (installation view detail), 2016 Courtesy of the artist Photo: Courtesy of Tom Powel Imaging

David Brooks: Continuous Service Altered Daily, 2016
Erosion and Flood zone (left) (installation view detail), 2016
Water Purification zone (right) (installation view detail), 2016
Courtesy of the artist
Photo: Courtesy of Tom Powel Imaging

Hours:
Wednesday–11AM–5PM
Thursday–11AM–9PM
Friday–11AM–5PM
Saturday–11AM–5PM    

Throughout his practice, David Brooks investigates the tenuous relationship between ecological life and technological industry. In Continuous Service Altered Daily, Brooks presents every single part of a used 1976 John Deere 3300 combine harvester. The components are laid out in varying degrees of disassembly. Distinctive elements like the corn head and cab remain unaltered in weathered John Deere green, while other parts are sandblasted, removing rust, paint, and all traces of wear and tear; still others, like gears and fittings, are brass-plated, polished and housed in museum vitrines—akin to the traditional trappings of highbrow art objects or precious natural history displays.

The stunning array of dismantled machine parts, arranged in diverse systems of presentation, are organized according to the ecosystem service that they poetically represent. By design Brooks’s imposed taxonomy makes it impossible to conceive of the combine in its entirety or to ascertain the machine’s complete functionality. Similarly, an ecosystem integrates innumerable processes, many of them intangible or undetectable, into one whole. A combine harvester is the ultimate example of agricultural technology, the otherworldly design of its bulky metal body conceals the integration of all stages of the harvesting process into one machine designed to reap grain, a resource that the efficiency of a combine allows us to take for granted as eternally and inexpensively available. Continuous Service Altered Daily asks us to reexamine our perception of products gleaned from the landscape, oftentimes those too easily interpreted as “services” for personal use: water, food, clean air, climate, energy—things we have come to expect to be delivered to us forever.

David Brooks: Continuous Service Altered Daily is commissioned by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and curated by Amy Smith-Stewart. The exhibition was presented at The Aldrich May 2, 2016–February 5, 2017 and was generously supported by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation and Brad and Sunny Goldberg. 

David Brooks (b. 1975, Brazil, IN) received his BFA from The Cooper Union in 2000 and his MFA from Columbia University in 2009. Brooks has exhibited at the Dallas Contemporary; Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco; Sculpture Center, New York; Miami Art Museum; Changwon Sculpture Biennale, South Korea; Galerie für Landschaftskunst, Germany; the Goethe-Institut, New York; and MoMA/PS1, New York. Other major commissions include the Art Production Fund, New York; Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY; the Cass Sculpture Foundation, United Kingdom; the deCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA; and the Visual Arts Center, Austin. In 2010 he received a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, in 2012 and 2016 a research grant to the Ecuadorian and Colombian Amazon from the Coypu Foundation, and in 2016, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF). He lives and works in New York City and is currently on the faculty of the Maryland Institute College of Art.

View Event →
Jeff King: "you're beautiful, and nobody cares"
May
5
to Jul 1

Jeff King: "you're beautiful, and nobody cares"

Opening Reception: Friday, May 5, 7-10 PM
Gallery Hours: Fridays 6-8 PM or by appointment.

From Jeff:
So I'm from Omaha. I've been working professionally as an artist for approximately 15 years. I kinda stepped away from art for a while. I'm not sure what made me want to do this show, other than some kind of search for relevance in my life. I'm pretty sure that you can stop making art, but it's very difficult to stop being an artist. I'm a busy guy, but I'm enjoying making work when I can. 

This exhibition has been weird for me. The title, " you're beautiful and nobody cares," is about a general feeling I have about the world right now. Weird because I never thought I would think of the world this way. It means to me that I have noticed a significant difference between the Obama era and the beginning of the Trump " presidency." It's got me asking " is this really where we are at as a country?" I really feel like individuals are living lost from their individuality, and simply lumped together as some kind of generational name as though this is all that matters as far as an argument or opinion is concerned. I don't want to deny you or myself the opportunity to be a solvent human being, why does this country? As war is pervasive, as human rights diminish, as money becomes more important than life or respect for life, we as a whole are fucking lost. So much rides on good leadership, but obviously a lot of people disagree about what that means. We are a nation divided. " you're beautiful and nobody cares," as far as the work is concerned is not overtly political, but the meaning is. 

Anyway, I would like to think that the dumbing down of America is not really going to get worse, but it probably will. 

**Special performance by Kyle "GB" Oppold of Arliss Nancy/Drag the River ! 9pm
http://www.arlissnancy.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq06G2vVLek
**

Exhibition runs May 5th - June 30th
 

View Event →
Cassils: Monument Push
Apr
29
4:00 PM16:00

Cassils: Monument Push

Free and open to the public. Free parking available. 

Cassils, along with community members, advocates, and allies, will physically push a 1,300 pound bronze monument, Resilience Of The 20%, to sites of resistance and places where violence against marginalized peoples have occurred in downtown Omaha. With the world premiere of Monument Push in Omaha, Cassils calls attention to overlooked trauma and the perseverance of the human spirit—raising questions about memory, witnessing, and forgotten histories.

The performance will begin and end at Bemis Center. 

More information: bemiscenter.org/monumentpush

The public is also invited to an artist talk by Cassils on Thursday, April 27, 6–7 PM, at UNO Criss Library detailing their practice and current exhibition, Phantom Revenant, at Bemis Center through April 29.

View Event →
Art + Science
Apr
29
1:00 PM13:00

Art + Science

Free and open to the public. Free parking available.

1–2 PM–Michael Hoff, Ph.D.–Greek Archeology and the True Story of the Parthenon Marbles
2–3 PM–Sofia Jawed-Wessel, Ph.D.–Women's Reproduction
3–4 PM–Dr. Karina Blair, Ph.D.–The Science of Trauma

The Bemis Center is excited to participate in Nebraska Science Festival 2017! The Nebraska Science Festival aims to stimulate curiosity and excite the minds of children and adults by engaging them in the amazing world of science. Three guest speakers will present on topics examined in Bemis Center's current exhibitions. Michael Hoff, Ph.D., Hixon-Lied Professor of Art History at the University of Nebraska, will present on Greek archaeology and the true story of the Parthenon Marbles; Sofia Jawed-Wessel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UNO School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, will speak about Women's Reproduction; and Karina Blair, Ph.D., Neuroscientist at Boys Town National Research Hospital, will talk about the science of trauma.

View Event →
Bear Hug
Apr
28
7:00 PM19:00

Bear Hug

One night only
Friday, April 28, 7-10:30 PM
Free


Organized by Josh Powell and Joel Damon, Bear Hug is a one night event that transforms the soon to be renovated building on 18th and St. Mary's Ave. in Omaha, NE into exhibition space.  Participating artists include Jamie Danielle Hardy, Rob Gilmer, Ella P Weber, Nolan Tredway, Launa Bacon, Thomas Prinz, Sarah Rowe, Dan Crane & Will Anderson, Josh Powell, Alex Jochim, Omaha Under The Radar, Ian Treadway, Christopher Prinz, Peter Goche & Samantha Krukowski, Joel Damon, Jake Gillespie, Tim, Peter Fankhauser, Michael Villarreal, Laura Simpson, and Jim Schroeder

View Event →
Angie Seykora: Part to Part
Apr
14
to May 27

Angie Seykora: Part to Part

  • The Union for Contemporary Art (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Opening Reception: April 14, 6-9 p.m.

Omaha-based artist Angie Seykora exhibits "Part to Part" - she received an MFA in Sculpture from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.  She is a 2016 recipient of the Nebraska Arts Council’s Distinguished Individual Artist Fellowship award. She earned an Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture award from the International Sculpture Center, from which she was selected for the fully funded Art-St-Urban Sculpture Residency in St. Urban, Switzerland. Seykora is currently an instructor of sculpture at Creighton University and participates as an artist mentor for Omaha youth through the Joslyn Art Museum’s Kent Bellows Mentoring Program.  She exhibits her work nationally and internationally.

As rapidly as industry produces new technology, artists are quick to capitalize on its creative potential. Since the 1950s the relationship between art and industry has gained momentum, particularly surrounding plastics. Modern Art movements such as Minimalism and Process Art, and historical collaborations between artists and scientists including Experiments in Art and Technology (1967-2001), generated a discourse that embraced, investigated and critiqued the cultural impact of our new synthetic frontier.  Plastics can be molded and shaped with seemingly limitless potential; because they are manufactured in vast quantities, at a low cost, for myriad uses, plastics have affected -- or infected -- every aspect of daily life.

More than half a century has passed since synthetic materials inundated our day-to-day. The future lauded by proponents of industrial investment in synthetic technologies is now. As plastic materials create the opportunity and flexibility to manufacture anything, they have also contributed to a breakdown of material differentiation. Everything becomes homogenous; we stop noticing the extent to which we manufacture and use plastics simply because we can. This legacy of early collaboration between the arts and industry continues to provoke material dialog in Angie Seykora's Part to Part exhibition.

Seykora is part of an evolving discourse of recognition and mitigation, questioning how we make sense of our plastic abundance.  The Omaha-based artist builds her ongoing language through craft, labor, material, and engages the audience by drawing on collective sense memories. Through the process of disassembling and reassembling -- by hand and not by machine -- Seykora creates the opportunity for discovery and reflection that industry cannot afford. Part to Part erases boundaries between "art," "sculpture," and "craft," while finding variance between the uses and physical properties of common plastics.  The artist's process brings clarity to the impact of industry on our collective culture; what may have once seemed like noise in the background comes into full view. By transforming ubiquitous products, Seykora challenges perception, the sustainability of cultural production, and how we place value on the things we keep or choose to part with.  

View Event →
Derek Courtney: Sameness Without End
Apr
7
to May 26

Derek Courtney: Sameness Without End

April 7th - May 26th
Opening Reception: April 7th, 7-10pm

*NEW Gallery Hours: Fridays 6-8pm or by appointment (petshopgallery@gmail.com)
Petshop exhibitions are volunteer curated by Jamie Danielle Hardy & Alex Jochim.

Derek Courtney spent the first 18 years of his life in Putnam County, West Virginia before moving to Omaha, Nebraska. He studied at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, completing his BFA thesis in 1996. He was deeply inspired by art teacher Caryl Toth, who taught him to make art from any and every available resource. To this day, Derek prefers to paint on paper.

Derek’s art starts with recognizable forms that are gradually painted away, emerging as abstract, pulsing amalgamations of colors, shapes, and textures. As a means of avoiding the thematic pigeon-hole, he obscures figurative clarity with abstract layers. Only mere fragments of the original content are allowed to remain.

Currently Derek spends his days earning a living as a cog in the wheel of a very large machine. Any free time he can wrangle is devoted to his family and making art at the Caesium Gallery, a gallery space that Derek co-manages with Mike Scheef in South Omaha.
www.derekcourtney.com

View Event →