Tag Archives: Michael Phipps Gallery

2017 November/December Art and Museum Exhibits

Photography by contributed
Svenja Deininger, Through Jan. 7 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. This exhibit features the work of Austrian artist Svenja Deininger. Her abstract paintings are an intense and intimate exploration of color, form, and feeling. Admission: free. 402-342-3300.
joslyn.org

Svenja Deininger at Joslyn Art Museum

 

Travels with Brian Floca, Through Jan. 14 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. See Caldecott Medal-winner Brian Floca’s numerous illustrations from more than 20 popular children’s books including Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo, Lightship, The Racecar Alphabet, and Locomotive. Admission: free. 402-342-3300.
joslyn.org

Let’s go to town for Boys’ Town! 100 Years of saving children, healing families, Through Jan. 21 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. Founded in 1917 in Omaha by an Irish immigrant, the Rev. Edward J. Flanagan, Boys Town today is a worldwide leader in child care. This exhibition will explore the organization’s history from its inauspicious beginnings in a rundown mansion at 25th and Dodge streets to now, when it provides assistance to over 2 million children and families each year. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3 and members. 402-444-5071.
durhammuseum.org

Forever Forest, Through April 15 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St. The national tour of Forever Forest begins right here in Omaha. Exploring the realities of forests through play, families will learn about sustainability, selective harvesting, transportation needs, and everyday products that are made from trees. Admission: $12 adults and children (2+), $11 seniors (60+), free for members and children under 2. 402-342-6164.
ocm.org

Lori Elliott-Bartle, Marcia Joffe-Bouska, and Tom Quest Gallery Reception, Nov. 3 at Michael Phipps Gallery, W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th St. This exhibit, entitled Rivers, Roads, Remains, is a collaborative effort from three local artists. They use old maps of Omaha as well as the design of the Bob Kerrey bridge to explore the relationship between nature and manufactured structures. 4-6 p.m. Admission: free. 402-444-4800.
omahapubliclibrary.org

Camille Hawbaker Nov. 3-Dec. 29 at Fred Simon Gallery.

Camille Hawbaker, Nov. 4-Dec. 29 at Fred Simon Gallery, 1004 Farnam St. This exhibit features the work from local up-and-coming artist Camille Hawbaker. Her work is an eclectic blend of printmaking, weaving, dyeing, and bookmaking. Admission: free. 402-595-2122.
artscouncil.nebraska.gov

Pushing Boundaries: HDR at 100, Nov. 24-Feb. 25 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. This exhibit is an homage to HDR founders and their innovations in engineering. Their work began in the Omaha area and has since developed a number of global projects that have impacted people around the world. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3 and members. 402-444-5071.
durhammuseum.org

Bridges: Sharing our Past to Enrich the Future, Nov. 24-Jan. 7 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. This exhibit is the outcome of a photo call asking amateur and professional photographers across Nebraska’s 93 counties to capture historical sites and other photos that help to tell the story of Nebraska. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3 and members. 402-444-5071.
durhammuseum.org

Light, Dec. 1, 2017-March 31, 2018, at KANEKO, 1111 Jones St. This exhibition will reinvigorate mystique and wonder into this ancient energy through conceptual explorations and creative endeavors. Artists will employ glass, sculpture, and light itself to showcase the beauty that light evokes aesthetically and thematically. Admission: free. 402-341-3800.
thekaneko.org

Monarchs: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly, Dec. 7, 2017–Feb. 24, 2018, at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St. This exhibit uses the yearly migration path of the monarch butterfly as a metaphor for considering themes of place, home, immigration, and movement. The exhibition considers the aesthetic forms in which objects and images reveal their identities through mediums such as basket weaving, ceramics, dressmaking, plaster, and more. Admission: free. 402-341-7130.
bemiscenter.org

Event times and details may change. Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

This calendar was printed in the November/December edition of Omaha Magazine. 

Kim Darling

December 27, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Omaha-based artist Kim Darling (also known as Kim Reid Kuhn) is relishing a moment of “when one door closes, another opens.”

Darling, a prominent Benson First Friday contributor known for curating provocative exhibitions and performances at Sweatshop Gallery—and arguably one of the reasons why Benson’s aura is what it is today—is now applying her passion for community arts advocacy in new ways.

“Sweatshop Gallery was always a launching point for larger social ideas,” she says.

Since the gallery’s closing in October 2015, Darling has accepted four artist residencies at four different Omaha schools. She has collaborated on two projects, Swale and Wetland, with former Bemis Center artist Mary Mattingly. Those “socially engaged projects” were both featured in The New York Times, Art Forum, and ART 21.

Darling is many things to many people: community activist, curator, mother, teacher, advocate, tastemaker, and artist. It is within their nexus that she has found new momentum—namely, public and socially engaged projects that define and build community through art with artists.

Recent iterations include exhibitions and subsequent public programming at both The Union for Contemporary Art and the Michael Phipps Gallery at the Omaha Public Library. Darling presented her paintings and photographs in a gallery setting that later set the backdrop for public conversations around topics of police brutality, definitions of “public-ness,” and how race, gender, and socio-economic realities frame perceptions of place.

Yet despite a very public persona, her zeal for her own private painting practice is on fire.

Darling’s iconography is distinct. With a distilled color pallet of coal black, turquoise, dirty white, and cotton candy pink, her canvases are peppered with oddly familiar shapes and punk references.

Her aptly named “Rat’s Nest Studio” is nearly at capacity with in-progress paintings and sketches of future projects—each influencing the other. It is in her studio where the visible traces of a focused artist are on display. In the duality of social engagement and private studio making, inspiration is constant. For Darling, “these different perspectives feed me, helping keep my marks and ideas raw.”

There is no mistaking Darling’s passion. Navigating a newly trodden path of community building through arts advocacy can be complicated, but for Darling, “there is a simple power in art making and storytelling.” This is where her art and life meet—an intersection of public discourse and art with an emphasis on communal and social concerns.

With Darling’s ongoing efforts, this new chapter will continue to be a revolving door for opportunity, inspiration, and evolution.

Visit kimdarling.net for more information.

kimdarling1

Art Meets Information

February 24, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Originally published in March/April 2015 Encounter magazine.

At the W. Dale Clark main Omaha Public Library branch, people can check out books, use the Internet, take classes, and research government documents, along with a host of other collection-based activities. And in the Michael Phipps Gallery, they can also view artwork by a wide-range of Omaha artists whose work is by turns beautiful, challenging, provocative, and always engaging.

While the gallery has long offered exhibitions, they haven’t had the same high profile as the library’s other offerings—until, that is, Alex Priest, a 27-year-old independent curator, volunteered his services.

Despite having curated exhibitions featuring works by such famed artists as Josef Albers, Grant Wood, and Robert Rauschenberg, Priest is committed to making the general public feel comfortable viewing them, whether those pieces are traditional landscapes or avant-garde installations. “As a curator, I’m not asking people to spend two hours looking at art work, just two seconds more than usual so they can look a little closer,” he emphasized.

Inspired by the way his public library’s offerings influenced and inspired him while growing up in Iowa, Priest wanted to give back by volunteering his services to the Michael Phipps Gallery. One of his primary goals was to make the space an integral part of the library, not a separate area unto itself. “To me the library is about accessing information in a broad context,” Priest explained. “It’s so important for aggregating information. What I really wanted to do is make the gallery another place to do that.”

To that end, the library added comfortable seating, reading tables, and warm lighting to encourage people to spend time in the space, irrespective if they’re reading a good book, having quiet conversations, or simply viewing the artworks. “This provides a link between the gallery and the library,” Priest said.

The exhibitions, of course, have played a key role in that link. Last July’s Social Studies by artist Laura Carlson served as both an exhibition as well as a platform for collaborative dialogue workshops with the public. It was the kind of exhibition that couldn’t have taken place in a traditional gallery setting, but one that meshed perfectly with the library and its public programming.

Patrons have responded enthusiastically. “Alex has changed the whole feel, and people are noticing,” said Linda Trout, the library’s community outreach and partnership manager. “It’s so exciting. It’s a better atmosphere for reading, talking and visiting. People love the ability to go, sit, and enjoy the space.”

For Priest, this means his curating has been a success. “This is a huge gallery in a major public space,” he noted. “This is a way to access the assets of the library and a way to facilitate dialogues through art.”

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