5 with megan thomas

Omaha native Megan Thomas will showcase her paintings during the month of October at the little gallery in downtown Benson. An opening reception is set for Friday, Oct. 5, from 6:00 to 9:00pm in conjunction with Benson First Friday. The event is free and open to the public.

We posed our series of “5 with…” questions to the artist. Her responses are below.

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

Though I’ve been making art since I was little, I made the decision to be an artist-artist some time in college. I chose to major in studio art. While it’s not my fulltime profession, I have made a commitment to myself to continue the practice.

Q: Describe your process.

I use photographs as source material and have a few stacks that I’ve designated to use for paintings. First, I make a decision about subject matter by choosing a photo, which is really based on feeling and my mood at the time. From there, I decide whether to use the whole photograph as my composition or to crop it to create a new composition. If I am painting with oils, I first create an underpainting with a neutral color palette and work from that. If using acrylic paints, I will typically sketch the composition out on the canvas in charcoal or graphite as a first step. The composition tightens with each sitting.

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

My working materials (brushes, paints, canvas, etc), music and good light.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am inspired by the details, by all of the smaller parts that make up the whole.

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

I feel like my choice of subject matter can seem mundane and sometimes pretty static. I want people to know this is intentional. “Mundane” is often used in a negative context, but I find a great amount of beauty in it. It is defined in the Miriam Webster Dictionary as: 1of, relating to, or characteristic of the world, 2characterized by the practical, transitory, and ordinary – commonplace – the mundane concerns of day-to-day life.

Megan Thomas | Paintings runs through Oct. 27 at the little gallery. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 1:00pm and by appointment. For more information, call 402.681.1901.

portraits: wonder women opens sept. 7

Media pioneer Cathy Hughes

BENSON – Some are famous, some are not. But each has made a difference in the lives of others and the life of their community.

Portraits: Wonder Women by Ricky Powell Jr. opens Friday, Sept. 7, at the little gallery, 5901 Maple Street in downtown Benson. A reception is set for 6:00 to 9:00pm that evening.

The exhibition features portraits of women from Benson and North Omaha who are strong, intentional and passionate about what they do, said Teresa Gleason, owner of the little gallery. Among those in the show are media pioneer Cathy Hughes, Benson Theatre Executive Director Amy Ryan and neighborhood advocate Juanita Johnson.

Powell, a North Omaha artist, drew his first picture at age four and has been at it ever since. In high school, his favorite art teacher taught him how to grid and proportion his pictures – she remains an inspiration to him to this day.

Portraits runs through Sept. 29 at the little gallery. Gallery hours are:

3pm to 6pm

10am to 1pm

+ by appointment

For more information, contact the little gallery at 402.681.1901 or info@polecatcommunications.com.