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13th Annual Juried Show Part 1

Because of the current circumstances we are in, we were unable to have a traditional reception for our current show, which unfortunately means you did not get the opportunity to meet these amazing artists! We wanted to give you the opportunity to get to know them a little better. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be taking a couple of blog posts to dive deeper into the lives of these great artists. We asked them a few questions and we are giving you their responses in their own words. The questions we asked were:

What inspired you to become an artist?

What was your inspiration for the piece chosen for this exhibit?

Why do you believe the arts are important? 

So let’s get started!

Diana Tweedy – Best in Show

“Art is the creative process that helps us to experience life to the fullest and what a wonderful thing to pass down to the generations. In these times of isolation what joy art brings whether it is looking at it or creating it.

Henry Thoreau said, “The questions is not what you look at, but what you see.”

All my life I have loved ART of all types. But it was with my first camera I found the outlet for me to create art. It has given me the ability to capture and show others what I see. I do not have formal training in photography but the Love of the Art of Photography has inspired me to take classes, read books, and spending time daily enjoying taking photos or editing.”

“The photo I entered in the Juried Show was taken at Lauritzen Gardens on a hot summer day. I found a little pond with lilies and the shadows and the sun reflection, in the early afternoon, were so dramatic it looked like an abstract painting. Like many of my favorite photos, it was not the photo I was seeking to take. I had hoped the lilies were still blooming and was looking to take a more traditional photo of the pond. This photo was computer edited very little.”

Kaci Schacht – 2nd Place

“My mom would be the one who inspired me to be an art teacher because when she decided to stay home with me and my siblings when we were young she still taught us all kinds of art projects. Then I would have to say that not until college did I realize that I can be more than an art teacher. My college professors showed me that being an art teacher and an artist at the same time helps sharpen both the teacher and artist skills.”

 “Fossilized is a piece that was inspired by the Nebraska state fossil, the mammoth. Making it out of clay makes it a little bit of a meta thought process for me because the clay that the fossil is made of is the same that encases it.”

” I believe that art is one of those things that everyone can learn to do some form of. Art is a way that allows people to process thoughts, emotions, situations, or ideas that may not make sense to anybody else but the artist themselves.”

Butch Rohrschneider

“In my senior year of high school, I needed to take one more art class in order to graduate.  So I decided to take a photography class.  I was thinking that the end result of this would be to simply be able to take better pictures on my next family vacation.  But instead, it was one of those “A-ha!” moments in my life.  The first time I stood in a dark room, put a piece of photographic paper in a tray of developer, and watched the image appear, something truly magical happened.  I thought that it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.  I had to continue.  I have been photographing ever since then.  My camera is never far away from me.”

“From my perspective, the work I chose to submit for the exhibition is unique, and very much one of a kind.  I believe no one else would have seen what I saw at that moment.  In my mind, another person would not have interpreted what I observed the same way that I did, nor would they have presented these images in the way that I did.” 

 “Unfortunately, we seem to be in one of those times where art is not perceived to be very important.  Yes, family is important, and of course, survival is important.  Art, however, is indeed necessary.  Many generations of human beings are completely defined by their artistic and intellectual endeavors.  The arts can reach into your soul, and leave great impacts on our lives.  The arts genuinely are essential.  They play a part in enriching and nourishing our overall well-being. 

Francine Fox

“I’ve liked making art since I can remember, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a bit of talent in it too. When I got old enough to start seriously considering what I would like to do for a living, I decided that teaching art at the college level was a good combination of my best abilities. My practice as a studio artist is central to my role as a faculty member, and in turn, my teaching influences my art.”

“This piece, titled Moon Landings, is about a recent collaborative conversation between astronomers and arachnologists on the capability of jumping spiders’ eyes. It turns out their eyes are built like Galilean telescopes and these spiders can actually see the moon even though their eye tube is less than a millimeter long. Since spiders have many eyes staggered along with their heads, I multiplied the number of moons in correspondence to jumping spiders’ eye placement and types of vision. I also included Lunaria (more commonly known as silver dollar plants) to play with the idea of the spiders’ understanding of what the moon might be in relation to the world around them.” 
You can read more about this in the following links – https://www.sciencealert.com/jumping-spiders-can-see-the-moon
https://www.inverse.com/article/32651-jumping-spider-andromeda-galaxy-eyeshttps://www.livescience.com/18143-jumping-spider-unique-vision.html


“I believe the arts have different roles in different cultures at different points in time. The most interesting purposes for art (in my humble opinion) are record-making capabilities, instructive or critical ventures, utilitarian or task-oriented works, and pieces that create a concrete visual for an otherwise abstract notion. There is quite a bit of overlap between these purposes, and they can be broken down into a myriad of equally interesting subheadings.”

Susan McCulley

“What inspired you to become an artist?     Art has been one of my favorite pastimes since I was very young, but admittingly it took a backseat for several years until an art workshop rekindled the love I had for drawing. More recently I have enjoyed the challenge of learning the art of scratchboard. I love the feeling of accomplishment when a piece turns out well and how my mind feels “reset”  when I have had a few hours to shut out the rest of the world and work on an image.”    

“High contrast images are especially effective on a scratchboard, due to the stark black and white imagery it creates. The soulful expression and the feeling it evoked when I initially saw the gorilla reference image instantly pulled at me, and I was compelled to capture it so putting it on scratchboard was an easy decision.”
 3. Why do you believe the arts are important?  The arts are important as they allow for self-expression and encourage creativity. I love it when I see a piece done so well that I am both left in awe and inspired by it.   

Tammy Uttecht

“My mother. Her name was Violet, so I have named my art company Shades of Violet. She loved to sew, knit, paint, and do numerous crafts and projects during my childhood years. I also love vibrant, bright colors. Most of my artwork incorporates vivid shades of the rainbow.”

“I wanted to combine bright greens and oranges, which are two colors that are very hard to blend as they are opposite sides of the color spectrum. I also find that circles are inclusive and I like to incorporate them somehow into my art.

“Art is so important! Since retiring, I have found great therapy in doing art. I believe that it is a necessary part of life and you can learn a lot about the world and yourself by doing art.”