I paint because it gives me pleasure and satisfies my urge to create. Since I am not an “a to b” type of person, and I’ve discovered that the work that delights me has a life and a timetable of its own. I rarely start one piece and finish it before beginning the next and, like a juggler, I could have five or more works “up in the air” at one time. Something that I begin in June one year may not be finished for a year of two. This cyclical approach to image development is interesting because it challenges me to see my work through the lens of time and to take surprising turns along the way. For example, a small work on paper, “Connection 1”, eventually spawned a series culminating in the large Polyptych called “Dynamic Connections”.
There are several ideas that continue that resurface and find their way into my paintings. Doorways and architecture intrigue me because they seem timeless and because they hold a touch of déjà vu for me. Family trips might spark an idea as was the case with “Road to Furnace Town” and “On the Way to Digby”. Sometimes a new idea could come from sifting through a pile of old drawings that I keep in a box in my studio. “Dreaming Upside Down” is one of those. “Coeur de la Foret” was dream inspired. I find that images and forms that come unbidden are often the best and in the absence of a good dream, automatic drawing is my “go to” way of sparking ideas.
Morgan Ford Willingham – Gallery
This on-going series explores how natural beauty is masked by cosmetics that women use every day, and how the language of advertising is absorbed into the subconscious, where it constantly influences what women buy and how they perceive themselves. The text in this work is often appropriated from advertising slogans found in popular women’s magazines, and is sometimes difficult to read, signifying how the linguistics of advertising subconsciously attempts to persuade women to buy cosmetic products that alter their physical appearance.
In the newest phase of this series, the work references the symbolism of the female, Renaissance portrait. The portraits, often commissioned by a father or spouse,represented, not the physical beauty of its sitter but the wealth and stature of the commissioner.The self-portrait is used to investigate the various experiences of using cosmetics to commodify beauty, like the connection between the alteration of physical appearance to achieve societal acceptance.
Butch Rohrschneider – Atrium
The purpose of this show is to try to produce abstract paintings with a camera. The main problem being: where will I find the intelligent confusion of color, form, and texture that are inherent to this art form? If I produce them myself, what would be the point of a camera? Without the use of a camera, I might as well paint. Walking through a construction site gave me an answer. The mangled pieces of metal I saw put many abstract paintings that I’ve previously seen to shame. The answer is the old, used, abused, reused, and unwanted products of modern society. I began photographing junkyards, construction sites, dumpsters, railroad cars, and abandoned buildings. Graffiti has also caught my eye. Real magic can happen when one graffiti painting may overlap another graffiti painting. Weather, such as rain and snow, along with all of the other elements of nature, can also play a part in developing the outcome of these images, especially when the paint is still wet. An image completely unintentional emerges. I enjoy seeking out, identifying, and photographing these unique images. The results of my efforts are in the room/building that you are standing in now.
In the first phase of my project, I printed the image on photo paper, surrounded by a white border, completed with a black metal frame. In the second phase of this project, I printed the image on canvas, which is then wrapped around a wooden frame. I am treating each of these photographs as if it were an original abstract painting, where I will make only one print of each photograph. Each of these works of art will truly be an edition one of one.
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On Thursday, September 10th the main gallery was set to host the reception for the new Gallery and Atrium Exhibitions. The atrium had a table setup, by the Norfolk Arts Center Ladies Guild, with an eye-catching assortment of refreshments, including apples with peanut butter and assorted nuts. Wine and lemonade where served to quench the thirst of the art enthusiasts in attendance.
Guests began to gather around 5 pm and took time to take in the various pieces throughout the center. After mingling and enjoying the provided fare for a while, it was time to introduce the gallery and atrium exhibitions. Our atrium artist Jody McQuillan was not able to attend so our executive director Denice Hansen took time to introduce the exhibition and to read the artist statement for the showing.
Next our gallery artist, Judith Anthony Johnston, addressed those in attendance. Judith told us of her original inspiration of enjoying a Modigliani piece when she thought to herself about the emotion that the piece made her feel and how she wanted to be a part of that and give others the same experience. This led her to begin taking classes, graduate and teach art for many years. Throughout the years she has worked with many mentors experiencing various mediums and styles. Several of her mentors told her that she needed to find her voice or medium which she never did, instead combining multiple mediums within individual pieces.
The idea behind the current show was to showcase the various aspects of her journeys through life including spiritually and emotionally. Each section of the show highlights a different aspect in life and different mediums are used throughout. Styles throughout the showing include figurative, spiritual and whimsical pieces with mediums including paint, parchment, wire and more. Gold leaf being the most prevalent used in most if not all pieces, Judith chose this medium because it has a translucent quality where you can see through to the colors and mediums underneath but also has a reflective quality in the right light. The goal with each piece is for the viewer to question, “Why was this made” and “What does this piece mean to me?”
The rest of the evening was spent reflecting on the exhibition with more context in mind and guests asking questions about specific pieces along with the entire showing. We want to thank Judith for attending and addressing the group and for Jody exhibiting her art with us. The exhibitions will be up until November 25th so be sure to stop by and take in the gallery and atrium exhibitions.
Yesterday was Father’s Day, but here at the Norfolk Arts Center believe we should be celebrating our amazing dad’s all week long!! And What better way to celebrate dad, then by making him an awesome homemade gift!
This week we have two great kids classes! The First is Slime Time! Now this class they won’t make something for dad, but it can give mom and dad a little extra time off this week, which we all know can sometimes be the best gift of all!
We also have our Drop-In Art class where we are making pool noodle monsters! Turn this super cute craft into a present for dad, or just give it to him as art for his office! Either way, we are sure that both mom and dad will enjoy these cute creations!
We also have a lot more classes coming up next month so don’t forget to check our calendar to take advantage of all the fun!
Today we are introducing you to another one of our amazing Board Members – Ben Collins. Ben is local to the area growing up on a farm just outside of Meadow Grove. While growing up his mom was a guidance counselor at Norfolk Senior High. After high school, Ben attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Ben has had the opportunity to live in several communities in Nebraska because of his work, including Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney, Columbus and now Norfolk. While working he then earned his Master of Business Administration from Chadron State College. He moved to Norfolk about 2 ½ years ago with his wife Callan and two daughters Kate (6) and Anne (3).
In 2012, Ben and his now-wife, lived in Columbus and when planning their wedding decided to have a non-traditional ceremony somewhere between their hometowns of Meadow Grove and West Point. They ended up getting married right here at the NAC! On June 2nd, 2012, they had a small social hour in the atrium followed by a ceremony in the garden. They even ended up taking home a piece of art that was on display during their wedding!
When Ben and his family moved to town they got involved at the Arts Center almost immediately. Which lead to him joining our Board of Directors last July.
Ben says, “I believe the NAC does so many good things for the community that a large portion of the community is not even aware of. I wanted to be a part of the NAC Board in order to help ensure that everyone in the community would become aware of what the NAC offers and make sure that they all have access to the programs and events put on by the NAC.”
According to Ben, having two young daughters has helped him gain an appreciation of how art can impact everyone, from the young to the old. He sees how important it is to have the arts be a part of your life starting at that young age and believes that it really helps kids get creative and become well-rounded individuals.
One of the things that Ben loves about the NAC is the diversity of events, activities, and exhibits that it brings to the community. Ben believes that the Norfolk Arts Center has something for every person of every background (and we the staff would have to agree!) But if you talk to Ben about the NAC he will probably also mention our facility. “As the Chair of the Facilities, Equipment, and Technology Committee, I recognize the great potential that the NAC building has and the committee is working hard to do upgrades and maintenance to ensure that the building remains a great asset to the community for years to come.”
Ben says that being involved in the arts has given him a new perspective and shown him that anything is possible! As Ben would say, “If you can imagine it, you can make it!” He also says the arts have helped him think more critically and think outside of the box!
In his spare time Ben likes to build things, like a new patio table, or doll house for his kids! You also might see him riding around town on his motorcycle!
Ben and his family have been such a blessing to our NAC community and we are lucky to have them!
The opening reception for this exhibit will be June 11th, 5-7 p.m. This unique exhibition will be a split gallery show featuring In the Corner of Nowhere by Sarah Lemmon and Carolyn Albracht, and Breaking Boundaries: Mixed Media Works by Johntimothy Pizzuto and Patti Roberts – Pizzuto. The Exhibition will be held from June 4th to August 27th. We have picked one image from each artist to feature below! To see more of these amazing works make sure to come to our opening reception! You will even get the opportunity to meet Sarah Lemmon and Carolyn Pizzuto and talk to them about these amazing pieces! It’s a night you won’t want to miss!
Patti grew up in several small towns here in Nebraska, Denver, CO, and Martin, SD. She graduated high school in the heart of Nebraska’s Sandhills and went to Parks School in Denver. She majored in fashion design and loved it but had a desire to do something more. She then went to Wayne State College where she graduated with a degree in Sociology/Psychology and later went on to earn her M.S.E. degree in Counseling. After that, she attended UNL part-time while teaching at Northeast Community College. She graduated from UNL with a Ph. D. in Educational Psychology. Patti said, “I kiddingly told my students that I planned to have my Ph.D. before the turn of the century or before I retired. I graduated in December 1999. WHEW! Just made it.”
Patti spent more than 30 years in professional education working in roles as a teacher, education/educational psychology faculty member, college administrator, and professional development director. During her career she worked for Northeast Community College, Wayne State College, and Dana College in Nebraska; Western Governors University, a national on-line competency-based university; and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
Patti’s love for the arts started when she was in elementary school with a love of drawing. When she got to high school she was taking art classes as well as choreographing dances and even trampoline routines. She says that she has always enjoyed having a creative outlet, from fashion and interior design to jewelry making or creating and hooking rugs.
For Patti teaching was not just a science but also an art. She said, “I was always thinking of unique examples to share or designing learning experiences for students that would help students learn and remember teaching and psychology concepts.”
She first experienced the Norfolk Arts Center in 1990 when her son took several art classes. She and her husband started coming to events and receptions at the NAC and eventually, Patti started taking classes herself. After she retired she started volunteering at the NAC and was later asked to be on the Norfolk Arts Center Board.
Patti says she loves everything about being on the board. She said, “I wanted to serve on the Norfolk Arts Center board because I believed that I could contribute value to the organization. I also wanted to serve because I enjoy working with others to make decisions and to be engaged with an organization that provides such important opportunities to enrich the lives of others through art.”
Patti is currently retired and spends her time enjoying life with family and friends and volunteering for many different causes. She loves spending time with her grandkids, reading, gardening, and traveling. Patti loves taking the time to learn new things every day.
Patti has helped the Norfolk Arts Center effectively serve the people of Northeast Nebraska. We are blessed to have a board member like her!
Spending time with Patti, you can tell that the arts have truly made an impression on her life and sharing the arts with others is truly important to her. I will leave you with one last quote from Patti herself.
“The arts are an integral part of my life. They have impacted my thinking processes, have given me hours of creative pleasure, and in general, have enriched my life, and helped shape the person I am.”
Thank you Patti for all that you do to support the Arts!
In Person Class Teens, join us in creating beautiful, creative pieces of art through the process of fluid art and pouring. Create masterpieces by dripping, pouring and angling in this fluid art class. Online registration closes April 21,... Read More
In Person Class Little ones work on dexterity and creating patterns while building beuitiful crafts to hang in a window to catch the sun. Online registration closes May 5, call day of to check availability. Limit 12 participants... Read More