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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The Little Galle

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shaun ilahi | photo print | 40 by 60 inches |$4,000

This was one of several traditional dances performed during the Mughal era. These performances were part of the courtly entertainment filled with poetry and music (known as Mehfils). These highly sophisticated courtesans (Tawaif) catered to nobility. They were highly influential and were considered an authority on etiquette. This type of dance is called Kathak and is still performed today around the South Asian region. These dances are a type of storytelling told through hand movements, footwork, facial expressions, bends and turns.

“r a w \ b e a u t y” opens may 3

BENSON – The little gallery is pleased to host “R A W \ B E A U T Y” by Omaha artist Shaun Ilahi during the month of May. The opening reception is Friday, May 3, from 6:00 to 9:00pm in conjunction with Benson First Friday.

The show is broken into segments that explore human perceptions, feelings and thoughts regardless of our own perceived uniqueness. “Devoid of our own social constructs and stripped to our core, it examines the ways we are connected to one another,” Ilahi explains.

The first segment is a selection of mixed-media artworks consisting of photos, paint and words. These various mediums are incorporated together to play and act as filters for one another, pointing to how our inner perceptions filter our surroundings.

The second segment is pictures of street photography taken in Pakistan. These images depict various aspects of life that capture moments that flow within all of us. Seemingly everyday urban scenery opens a window onto a more universal connection.

The final segment is an assortment of walls and markings that explore our inner and outer walls as humans.

Ilahi is a self-described world traveler and global citizen who captures simple moments through different mediums. He attended school in Nebraska and New York City and currently serves as general counsel for Habitat for Humanity.

R A W / B E A U T Y runs through May 25. The little gallery at 5901 Maple Street in downtown Benson is powered by Polecat Communications. It’s open Tuesday through Friday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 1:00pm and by appointment. For more information, call 402.691.1901 or email