art of memory opens nov. 2

The little gallery is pleased to present “Art of Memory” by Chad Leahy and Jennifer Solberg during the month of November. The exhibition features a  dozen paintings inspired by songs linked to life’s pivotal moments and handcrafted artisan journals. The opening reception is Friday, Nov. 2, from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

The artists tell it best themselves.

chad leahy

I paint pictures. I wish I wrote songs.

Music can enhance the mundane or elevate the already extraordinary. We enjoy music almost anywhere, doing almost anything. Chances are good that you were listening to music during many of your life’s pivotal moments. These may have been physical, like the birth of a child, or emotional, like falling in love. The accompanying songs become forever linked to your memories of those experiences. Such songs gave rise to this collection.

Each painting takes its title from the song that inspired it. Many use song lyrics to drive content while others employ personal association. Some combine elements of both.

jen solberg

My love of art and a lifetime of learning, experimenting and exploration has led me to my current joy: creating functional art in the form of journals.

Metalsmithing and silversmithing, etching, watercolor, eco-printing, drawing, woodworking, leatherwork and design all come together in every piece.

These archival-quality journals contain 90# watercolor paper and are hand bound using waxed Irish Linen thread. Each one is unique and ideal for journaling, photos, ephemera, sketching and painting … and all become more beautiful as they are used and filled with memories.

“Art of Memory” runs through Nov. 24. The little gallery is open 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.

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:

Tuesday-Friday
3pm to 6pm

Saturday
10am to 1pm

+ by appointment

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

opening aug. 3: the house of usher


BENSON – Melvin Usher’s The House of Usher opens Friday, Aug. 3, at the little gallery, 5901 Maple Street in downtown Benson. The reception, which is free and open to the public, runs from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

Usher is one of a group of artists who worked in the Old Market during the 1980s and 1990s when The Antiquarium was the center of all things art, politics and culture. Among his mentors are the late Bill Farmer and the late Harry Duncan. He describes himself as an artist, poet, painter, videographer, glassblower and tattoo collector. Come meet Usher in person Aug. 3 and view different decades of his work – paintings, sketches and glass – from his collection and the Kenny Carter Collection at the little gallery.

The House of Usher runs through Aug. 31 at the little gallery. Gallery hours are:

Tuesday-Friday
3pm to 6pm

Saturday
10am to 1pm

+ by appointment

The little gallery is powered by Polecat Communications. For more info, call 402.681.1901 or email info@polecatcommunications.com.

personal geographies opens july 6

friend one | mary jones

Omahans across the city will be exposed to printmaking in all its forms this July in conjunction with the 2018 edition of Frogman’s Print Workshops at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

At the little gallery, Personal Geographies featuring works by Diana Behl, Tiberiu Chelcea, Sage Dawson and Mary Jones opens Friday, July 6, with a reception from 6:00 to 9:00pm. The event is free and open to the public.

Behl, Chelcea, Dawson and Jones use mapping conventions to talk about the passage of time and examine the essence of places seen, overlooked or imagined.

Drawing, screenprinting, collagraph, intaglio, photopolymer intaglio, relief and digital printmaking have been used in combination with other methods to distill data into patterns and textures. These symbolically and visually rich works present themselves as puzzles to solve and provide a means of finding one’s way through complex information.

Personal Geographies runs through July 29 at the little gallery, 5901 Maple Street. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 3:00 to 6:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 1:00pm and by appointment. The little gallery is powered by Polecat Communications. For more information, call 402.681.1901 or email info@polecatcommunications.com.

* * * * *

Frogman’s began humbly in 1979 when Professor Lloyd Menard led five school teachers from Sioux City, Iowa, to the Black Hills of South Dakota for a drawing class. Prints were first introduced in 1981, and the workshops evolved into the Black Hills Print Symposium, which took place at various sites in western South Dakota. By 1996, the workshops had outgrown the confines of the Black Hills and were moved to Beresford, South Dakota, home of Frogman’s Press & Gallery. The workshops would only spend two years based out of Beresford before moving to nearby Vermillion and the University of South Dakota. In 2016, Frogman’s made the big leap to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where the Frogman took his first ever print class more than 50 years ago.

5 with katie b temple

Home Sweet Home by Katie B Temple opens Friday, June 1, at the little gallery, 5901 Maple Street in downtown Benson. The opening reception is set for 6:00 to 9:00pm in conjunction with the June edition of Benson First Friday. Below is a Q&A with the artist.

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

I became serious about being an artist my junior year of undergrad. I switched from majoring in art education to studio art. I was accepted into graduate school when I was 21 (senior year of my undergrad) and that really made everything EXTRA serious.

Describe your process.

I often scour websites to find houses that are for sale, for rent or foreclosed and then go take reference photos of them from specific perspectives. Once the reference imagery has been taken, I begin constructing and layering multiple buildings on top of each other in a single painting. I usually do not have an idea of what the painting will look like at the end, so I use my intuition as an artist to make visual decisions based on the character of the buildings being used. I am inspired by the color(s) of the house(s) that I am painting, and that helps me with color scheme decisions. The structural play of dense, transparent and opaque color blocking in the paintings present a whirlwind of visual incident.

Where do you find inspiration?

As a visual artist, I am constantly observing the world around me. In my current series of architectural paintings, I am inspired by ‘empty’ homes located in Omaha, Nebraska. ‘Empty’ makes reference to homes that are not currently occupied. They may be between renters, on the market to sell, foreclosed by the bank or just abandoned. I began this body of work when a house across the street from my studio suddenly went from occupied to foreclosed. What was once an energetic, busy home is now a boarded-up, sterile structure. It made me reflect on the 15 different buildings I have called ‘home’ throughout my life and how they each were a vessel that held me.

Name the 3 most important things in your studio space.

1. Lively music!
2. High-quality brushes!
3. Good lighting!

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

I have my Master’s of Fine Arts degree and work full time with the Kent Bellows Mentoring Program at Joslyn Art Museum as the studio coordinator. Being a part of Omaha’s nonprofit arts community is important to who I am as a creative individual. I truly enjoy creating an open space for Omaha youth to be their authentic selves and be creative in a variety of mediums.

Home Sweet Home runs through June 30 at the little gallery. Hours of operation are:

Tuesday-Friday
3:00 to 6:00pm

Saturday
10:00am to 1:00pm

+ by appointment

the little gallery is 3, home sweet home opens june 1


The little gallery will celebrate its third anniversary Friday, June 1, with cake, a pinata full of treasures and the opening of “Home Sweet Home” by Katie B. Temple. The reception, which is free and open to the public, runs from 6:00 to 9:00pm at 5901 Maple Street in downtown Benson.

Temple, an Omaha artist and educator, is the studio coordinator for the Kent Bellows Mentoring Program at Joslyn Art Museum. “Home Sweet Home” was inspired by homes in Omaha that aren’t currently occupied.

“They may be between renters, on the market to sell, foreclosed by the bank or just abandoned,” Temple said. “I began this body of work when a home across the street from my studio suddenly went from occupied to unoccupied. What was once an energetic, busy home was now a foreclosed, boarded-up, sterile structure. It made me reflect on the 15 different structures I have called ‘home’ throughout my life and how they each were a vessel that helped me.”

Temple earned her BFA from Bowling Green State University and her MFA from Montana State University. Her work has been featured in various national exhibitions. Locally, she has been included in the top 10 list of “Best Exhibitions of 2016 in Omaha” by The Reader and was a 2017 nominee for Best Visual Emerging Artist from the Omaha Arts and Entertainment Awards (OEAA). Temple also was nominated for two 2018 OEAA awards – one for Best Visual Emerging Artist and one for Best Presentation in a Non-Traditional Format.

For more information about Temple’s work, visit www.katiebtemple.com.

The little gallery is open 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.

it’s not a phase, mom opens may 4

Stressed Out
Zoe Gaupp
Mixed media
NFS

The little gallery will host its first ever teen art show in conjunction with the May 2018 edition of Benson First Friday.

An opening reception for “It’s Not a Phase, Mom” is set for Friday, May 4, from 6:00 to 9:00pm. The exhibition, which features works by local teens across the metro, is curated by Allison Harris, the little gallery’s intern and a senior at Central High School. “My goal was to showcase the young talent I’ve seen in Omaha from my peers,” Harris said. “The little gallery gave me the ability to show my work while I was in high school, and I wanted to give other young artists the same opportunity.”

The show runs through May 26 at the little gallery, 5901 Maple Street in downtown Benson. 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.

Facebook event

elements opens april 6

“Earth Elements” by Aimee Mahan, $750.

Elements opens Friday, April 6, at the little gallery, 5901 Maple Street in downtown Benson. The exhibition features the work of 15 members of the Midwest Fiber Art Alliance (MFAA). The opening reception runs from 6:00 to 9:00pm, and all are welcome to attend.

Each piece in the show represents the artist’s interpretation of the theme “ancient elements.” The featured artists are:

  • Rhonda Baldwin
  • Marge Bresel
  • Shelly Burge
  • Gail Dickel
  • Jo Drueke
  • LaVonne Dunetts
  • Cindy Erickson
  • Debo Hysack
  • Cynthia Levis
  • Aimee Mahan
  • Wendy Maliszewski
  • Marcia O’Donovan
  • Peg Pennell
  • Cindy Schroeder
  • Dianne Thomas

The MFAA consists of about 20 local artists who have joined together to produce fiber-centered art to be displayed in a gallery setting. The group selects a yearly theme and parameters that guide the creative process.

Elements runs through April 28 at the little gallery. 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.

5 with sophie newell

Fragments by Sophie Newell opens Friday, Feb. 2, at the little gallery, 5901 Maple St. The reception, which is free and open to the public, runs from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Below is a Q&A with the artist.

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

There was no definitive moment. I have always been artistic and creative, so art was something I just assumed would always be part of my life. My concentration in college was illustration, so I wouldn’t have necessarily called myself an artist at that time, but I think in the last few years, my focus has shifted toward more personal and self-initiated work.

Q: Describe your process.

I use a variety of mediums and processes, but my work is chiefly collage. I collect old photographs, textbooks, encyclopedias and all kinds of ephemera, and layer the materials until I have a composition that speaks to me. I often use digital tools, such as Photoshop, to combine layers of controlled and precise imagery and shapes with areas of more expressive mark making and texture. Although my pieces are two-dimensional, I want them to retain a tactile quality.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

I am excited by the idea of telling stories through objects. I relish working with found materials, especially ephemera, photographs and old books I find in thrift stores, as each piece of notepaper, label or ticket has a history that to me is personal and intriguing.

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

I would be lost without my collection of found papers. I’ve been hoarding paper scraps for years and can’t bear to throw anything away in case one day it will be the perfect final segment of a piece I’m working on. I also use my scanner and computer every day for research, cataloguing found materials and to create my digital pieces.

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

I often venture into themes of maps, journeys and biographies, and use found objects and photographs to create original pieces that tell a life story. The pieces in this exhibition are inspired by and based on a found scrapbook made in the 1920s by my husband’s great-grandmother, Louise Plunkett.