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.