competition contemplation | jun lee opens july 5

the burden trophy | 6 layers reduction woodcut, 2018 | 30 by 42 inches | $2,500

BENSON – The little gallery is pleased to host “Competition Contemplation” by Jun Lee during the month of July in conjunction with the 2019 Frogman’s Print Workshops. The opening reception is Friday, July 5, from 6:00 to 9:00pm at 5901 Maple Street.

Lee, a printmaker from Falls Church, VA, works in large format woodcut using animals as metaphors to convey competition in our daily lives. She currently serves as the printmaking artist in residence at the Lee Arts Center in Arlington, VA, where she has focused on large-scale woodcuts and screenprints.

Lee attended the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, where she earned a BFA in illustration in 2002 and a post baccalaureate in printmaking in 2004. In 2007, she received her MFA in print media from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. 

Lee was awarded the 2018-19 DC Art Bank grant by the Government of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and was one of the semifinalists for the 2018 Sondheim Artscape Prize (Baltimore, MD). Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Below is her artist statement.

My body of work attempts to evoke the different moments of our competitive lives; pieces that express the spectrum of competition from hiding away to preparing for a fight. The reality is that all life is competition, and we create barriers in our minds that allow us to think we have a space we can step into where the competition stops. That constructed space allows us to regroup and enter the next fight toward our goal. Every attempt might not succeed or look glorious, but every victory is built upon the foundation of loss, suffering, effort and sacrifice. The ability to be successful is not dependent on the number of triumphs you have but rather your willingness to get up and continue the struggle after a defeat.

I grew up in Seoul, South Korea. When I was in first grade, there was a man who sold chicks outside of my school. They were so cute and appealing I had no choice but to buy one. I prepared my chick a bed and some food, but it passed away within a week. I did not know why it died and cried for days. Over time, I purchased several more chicks, but none survived longer than a month. After that, I promised myself I would never get a chick again.

This unforgettable childhood memory has been my obsession and inspiration for quite some time and made me realize the inescapable truth of life – that competition always surrounds us. All the chicks were equally cute, desirable and wanted to get picked so they could come out of the box, even though they knew nothing of the challenges that waited for them. This mirrors our own development as people; during childhood, we want nothing more than to become adults without knowing all it entails, yet once we become adults, we seek ways to cope with the constant pressure of competition that surrounds us. My work uses the chick as a metaphor of desire and fear in this competitive thing called life; a rooster symbolizes a winner or a loser, but one that can anticipate the demands of the fight. The rooster still has fear in his eyes, but hides the fear with his vicious comb, fearless feet and exotic feathers. Every time he walks into the fight ring, he stands with pride and holds his head high. I used to see myself as a chick, lost but still fighting. Now, this chick has finally gotten what it wished for – to be a rooster, the last fighter standing.

The exhibition runs through July 27. The little gallery is powered by Polecat Communications. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 3:00 to 6:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 1:00pm and by appointment. For more information, call 402.681.1901.

2019 indie pet parade july 5, enter your pet via facebook

Boone, the 2019 official mascot of The Indie.

BENSON – Boone, the 2019 official mascot of The Indie, cordially invites all Benson pets to enter the first-ever Indie Pet Parade. The family-friendly event, set for Friday, July 5, during BFF, is part of lead-up activities to the 10K/5K road race, which will be held July 28 as part of Benson Days.

The parade will take participants along downtown Benson’s south alley, starting behind the Citylight Arts Project (CAP) at 5603 Northwest Radial Highway and ending in the parking lot of BFF headquarters at 2725 N. 62nd Street.

There is no registration fee to participate in the parade. Pet owners can register by submitting the name and photo of their pets to by June 30. You can also register the afternoon of the event at the CAP building from 5:00 to 5:45pm. The parade will get under way at 6pm.

All entries will be judged by Boone and an esteemed panel of experts. The winner will receive free Indie gear and have one of the race’s top 5 hills named after them.

Representatives of Yeak Inc. of Benson, the 2019 sponsor of The Indie Pet Parade, will serve as the grand marshalls.

For more information, email

The 2019 Indie Pet Parade is a production of The Indie, Benson out Back and BFF. To register for the 10K/5K road race, visit

america | trudy swanson opens june 7

BENSON – The little gallery will celebrate its fourth birthday Friday, June 7, with the opening of “America” by Trudy Swanson. The reception runs from 6:00 to 9:00pm in conjunction with BFF. It’s free and open to the public.

Re-purposing items easily recognizable in American culture, Swanson shifts the focus of interpretation to consider them within the context of addressing current conversations. The show will also feature a collaborative installation piece by Swanson and Omaha artist Shaun Ilahi.

In conjunction with “America,” Swanson is encouraging people to participate by posting their responses to the question “What does America mean to you?” on the show’s Facebook event page.

“America” runs through June 29. The little gallery, powered by Polecat Communications, is located in downtown Benson at 5901 Maple Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday from 3 to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 1pm + by appointment. For more information, call 402.681.1901.

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