OBJECTS opens oct. 6

Jason Steady’s OBJECTS opens Friday, Oct. 6, at the little gallery. An opening reception is set for 6:00 to 9:00pm at 5901 Maple Street in beautiful downtown Benson. Below is a Q+A with the artist.

Q: When did you know you were going to be an artist?

I think I first thought of myself as an artist as a little kid, but life, school and people have a way of convincing you that it’s not a worthwhile pursuit. “Sure, you can be an artist, but what are you going to do for a living?” Despite making a living doing some sort of art in some sort of capacity for nearly 20 years now, I’m still not comfortable telling people I’m an artist. I usually just say I’m unemployed and making it work.

Q: Describe your process.

I’ll have a weird dream or a strange idea about an Object, an illustration or a concept, and then I just have to make it. When I don’t even have the right skills to make something happen, I either read up and do some research to learn a new skill or just wander the aisles at the hardware store looking for solutions and pieces to the puzzle. After that, I completely zone out and hope I have a cool Object and all my fingers when I’m done.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

I love when someone comes to me wanting to know if something is even possible. Often, just wondering how to do something is inspiring enough. You know when a dog hears a weird sound and tilts its head to the side a little bit? Intrigued? I’m inspired by anything that makes me do that. Sounds, materials, tools, ideas, experiences. If it makes me tilt my head like a dog, I’ll run with it.

Q: Name the 3 most important things in your studio space.

I suppose tools and things are the most important, but I’ve had the same space for over 10 years and just installed adequate lighting this summer. Last winter, I installed a heater. Being able to see and not freeze to death are really very important, even compared to tools.

Q: What do you want others to know about you/your work?

Everything not discussed thus far should remain medium-mysterious to encourage people to come to the show and ask me a question or whatever.

OBJECTS runs through Oct. 28. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 3:00 to 6:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 1:00pm and by appointment. For more info, call 402.681.1901.

three part harmony opens aug. 4

Stoneware teapot by Lisa Kalentjakos

If there’s one artist in the family, chances are there may be others. Such is the case for longtime Omaha theatre and music educator Carole Waterman and daughters Lisa Kalentjakos and Marie Adams. The three will showcase their work at Benson’s little gallery in August with Three Part Harmony, an intertwining of painting, sculpture and other art objects. An opening reception is set for Friday, Aug. 4, from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

Several years ago, Waterman became interested in creating jewelry with recycled materials, which led her to “wanting to ‘bead’ the world.” After being offered the opportunity to study backstrap weaving in Guatemala, she began to consider the possibilities of weaving natural objects.

Daughter Lisa said if media were people, then clay would be her first love and painting her second. “Nothing comes out of me unless I have hours at my disposal and can dive into the process, losing sense of time and space,” Lisa said. “My background in music and dance seeps through an abstracted humanist element when I paint.”

The quote “life is art – paint your dreams” hangs on the wall of daughter Marie’s art studio, reminding her that each day is an act of creation. “That creativity for me has been expressed in family, home, flowers, food and even painting,” she said. “There is great joy in making your life a work of art.”

The little gallery, powered by Polecat Communications, is located at 5901 Maple Street in downtown Benson. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 3:00 to 6:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 1:00pm, the second Sunday of the month from 9:00am to 1:00pm and by appointment.

Three Part Harmony runs through Aug. 31. For more information, call 402.681.1901.