Tag Archives: Angie Seykora

Good Grief! Christmas is Almost Here.

December 13, 2018 by

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Friday, Dec. 14: Amplify Arts, formerly known as the Omaha Creative Institute, is having a 2018 Grant Recipient Exhibition highlighting the recipients’ work and contributions to Omaha’s ever-evolving creative landscape. They will discuss the ways in which being awarded grants impacts their careers, communities, and Omaha as a whole. If you plan on attending, plan on interacting with several local artists (including the inimitable Angie Seykora, featured in Omaha Magazine earlier this year here) and feel please free to ask questions. Find out about the other artists and the work Amplify Arts is doing are here. (Featured image is an Umoja Choir Open Rehearsal, Oct. 2018)

Friday, Dec. 14: Join pianist Donovan Johnson and his band of musicians for a special evening of jazzy nostalgia as they perform the Music of Vince Guaraldi and The Peanuts. This annual event at Love’s Jazz and Arts Center celebrates one of America’s most well-known and beloved composers—the man behind the catchy music of Peanuts classic animated cartoons. Get your tickets here and take a little trip back to simpler days.

Saturday, Dec. 15: Girls Make Noise is an interactive workshop and a collaboration between Omaha Girls Rock and Love’s Jazz & Arts Center. The premiere of this union will introduce instruction in instrument exploration, sound production, and spoken word & lyrical performance. Their goal is to empower local youth through music. The workshop is free and open to 10-16-year-old girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth. There is no registration—it’s first come, first serve, and happening at Love’s Jazz and Arts Center from 1-4 p.m. this Saturday. Find out more here.

Saturday, Dec. 15: The holiday season is the season for people who like to dress up, and the Jitterbug Jingle Ball is the perfect excuse to get fancy and do some dancing. (There are even prizes for the best-dressed attendees.) This Christmas ball features music from Miss Jubilee out of St. Louis (if you say it right, it rhymes). There will be snacks, a raffle, and gifts for sale. Not exactly a lord or lady of dance? No fear. They will offer a lesson for beginners at 7 p.m., with the official dance following at 8 p.m. Learn all about this swinging event here.

Saturday, Dec. 15: Looking for a one-stop shopping experience that will yield the perfect, unique gift for that hard-to-shop-for person in your life? (We all have one.) If you head to the Westside Community Conference Center this Saturday, you can peruse the Not Yo Mama’s Holiday Lollapalooza Craft-O-Rama Extravaganza and the Native American Craft Fair in one place. Both fairs start at 9 a.m. Find out more about the weirdness you will find at the Lollapalooza fair here, and learn more about the Native American fair here.

Sculpting Her Own Destiny

January 6, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Glittery gold nail polish shimmers. Angie Seykora’s hands move animatedly as she talks about a sculpture made out of smooth flagging tape. Beat-up and worn-out, Seykora’s hands are her most important tool.

These same hands twist, weave, and roll everyday material into works of art.

In one photo, a roll of black plastic static intercept sheeting wraps around her like a glossy snake. Seykora, dressed in the same color, blends in with her soon-to-be-creation. Wearing black gloves, she molds and shapes it. She cuts the sheeting into hundreds of strips, constructing it with zip ties and metal chains. The final piece, which is for a solo exhibition at the Union for Contemporary Art, suspends from the ceiling all the way to the floor like a cascade of midnight.

“I don’t need elaborate facilities, just my hands and scissors,” Seykora says. “And space and time. Time is invaluable.”

Seykora felt the art itch as a child growing up in Minnesota and later South Dakota. Her mother sewed dresses for her. She watched her father saw, hammer, and drill in his woodworking shop. It was a mag- ical place. Four-year-old Seykora would draw circles with different faces and scrawl phrases, like “All people are important,” across the paper. “Making” offered a safety net during high school, and she spent any extra time in the art room, where she dis- covered like-minded individuals.

It was a hobby, a way to express herself, and Seykora didn’t think of it as a career when she attended Creighton University. One fatal drive would shift Seykora’s priorities. A drunk driver passed out, flew over the median, and hit Seykora’s vehicle in a head-on collision.

A broken left wrist. Torn ligaments. Aching bruises.

Conscious, Seykora was aware of the pain. She doesn’t dwell on it now. It was just something that happened. Yet, it was life-affirming. The accident made Seykora realize she could no longer suppress her talents and deepest desires because of societal expectations.

“I trusted my intuition, which is still a part of my studio practice,” Seykora says.

Seykora switched majors several times before settling on a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in sculpture and a minor in business.

Sculpture, a once male-dominated art form, inspired Seykora in ways she never knew existed. She woke up to a world of creative possibilities. Space, light, and senses merged into making something out of nothing. Littleton Alston, a Creighton art professor, saw grittiness and greatness from the young artist who stepped up to any challenge he threw at her.

“She was a once-in-a-lifetime student,” Alston recalls. “Art is a deeper search for meaning of what it is to be human. Angie did that.”

She continued on to graduate school at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Fine Arts. The International Sculpture Center bestowed a rare Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture award, which earned Seykora a residency in St. Urban, Switzerland, for two months during the summer of 2014. She returned in 2015. It allowed Seykora to experiment with material not readily available in the United States.

Seykora, now 30, is an adjunct instructor at Creighton University, teaching 3D foundations and sculpture. Plus, Seykora mentors at Kent Bellows art program at Joslyn, and she has a part-time job in retail.

But the bulk of her time is spent in her studio practice, dropping by each day in order to “exist in the same world” as her material. She is constantly on the lookout for various items. Discarded “trash” from friends, salvage yards, and second-hand stores become her artistic treasure. Electrical tape, plastic wrap, and vinyl have been transformed into stunning displays of talent.

“She is one of the most exciting contemporary artists in Nebraska,” says Launa Bacon, director of Darger HQ. The gallery hosted Seykora’ work, along with artist Ying Zhu, in an exhibition titled Lines Forming (on display through Jan. 7).

Seykora found a pink artificial Christmas tree in a dumpster. She is in the process of cutting needles off the branches and stems. The remaining wire is wrapped around a metal grid. Although a sculptural object, it is a gray area between contemporary sculpture and “painting.”

“This is a timely and meditatively engaged way of making,” Seykora says.

Much of her work is a time-consuming, sophisticated process. One conceptual sculpture, Flesh, took almost a year to finish. But it is Seykora’s way of creating her own world.

“Art is something I always have control over,” she says playing with her gold cage-like grid earrings. “My work is a direct reflection of my life.”

Transformation is the most powerful thing about art. Seykora hopes when someone sees her work that the conversation will not end. Don’t dismiss. Engage. Look closer.

Visit angieseykora.com for more information.

This article was printed in the January/February 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.