305 N 5th Street, Norfolk NE 68701 info@norfolkartscenter.org 402.371.7199

15th Annual Juried Show Winners Announced

  • Best in Show – Zoe Nielsen -Searching
  • First Place – Nita Erickson – Oak Seed Tea
  • Second Place – Butch Rohrschneider – Goodbye Tomato
  • Honorable Mention – Emma Bermel – Misty Morning
Best in Show – Zoe Nielsen – Searching
First Place – Nita Erickson – Oak Seed Tea

Second Place – Butch Rohrschneider – Goodbye Tomato
Honorable Mention – Emma Bermel – Misty Morning

This year’s juror is Beatriz Rodriguez who teaches printmaking and drawing at Wayne State College. Before coming to WSC, Rodriguez worked closely with renowned artist, Mira Lehr and taught at the University of Miami as well as in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Florida. Her work has been exhibited in places such as the Yellowstone Art Museum, Remarque Print Workshop in New Mexico, FAR Gallery in Florida and H Gallery in California. Her work has been published in Saw Palm: Florida Literature and Art as well as in Voyage Magazine Miami.

About this year’s work Beatriz said “Amongst this year’s submissions, there were a lot of works that showed a great deal of talent and artistic vision, and I would like to thank everyone who took the chance and sent in their work for consideration. When jurying, I look not only to the works that display a great level of skill, but also artistic maturity, concept and ambition. Amongst the works submitted, I would like to bring special attention to the following pieces. To Butch Rohrschneider’s Goodbye Tomato, for its dynamic use of composition, bold colors and painterly aesthetic, most unexpected in a photograph. To Emma Bermel’s Misty Morning, a perfect capture of what renown photographer Henry Cartier Bresson’s refers to as The Decisive Moment. To Nita Erickson’s unexpectedly harmonious mixture of mediums in Oak Seed Tea. The translucent quality of glass, transitioning to bronze, creating a juxtaposition between the fragile and the resilient. And finally, to Zoe Nielsen’s Searching, which demonstrated a great understanding of the elements of design, as well as technical skill and conceptual depth.”

The Juried Show and Wayne State College Faculty Exhibition will be on display until May 25, 2022

15th Annual Juried Show Artists

Cole Beebe

Emma Bermel

Rod Beyke

Danielle Dewees

Nita Erickson

Brian Finn

Brooke Gettman

Jerene Kruse

Mike Lynch

Bobbie McWilliams

Zoe Nielsen

Clare Orwig

Butch Rohrschneider

Danika Rowe

Kaci Schacht

Diana Tweedy

Alberta Wagner

We want to thank all of the artists who applied this year and make sure to stop in and see all of the wonderful art from these artists and participating faculty from Wayne State College

Beatriz Rodriguez – This Year’s Juror

Carolyn Albracht

Francine Fox

Sarah Lemmon

Leroy Von Glan

World’s Largest Puzzle Showcased at the Norfolk Arts Center

51,300 – piece puzzle project by Gerald “Jerry” and Linda Dahlkoetter

Jerry, who is a resident of the Norfolk Veterans Home, embarked on a challenge in late April 2021 to assemble the project produced by Kodak and Cra-Z-Art. The puzzle consists of 27 separate segments that, when assembled, create a giant puzzle measuring 6 feet tall and 28 feet long.

A longtime puzzle enthusiast, Jerry said he had set his focus on assembling a giant puzzle after his grandson mentioned finding one made by Disney several years ago. By the time they had raised the $600 to purchase it, a puzzle nearly 10,000 pieces larger was available. They opted to get the larger one.

When he got the puzzle last year, Jerry put out word to see if any volunteers in the community would like to help be part of the project. The response was immediate.

“There were a lot of people that volunteered to help me,” Jerry said.

The volunteers were given large boards on which to assemble the segments. One volunteer assembled six. Most others did one. Some, for personal reasons, were unable to finish the segments they began, but the Dahlkoetters said they were grateful for their willingness to help with the project.

“I could do one in maybe a week and a few days,” Dahlkoetter said. “There’s one lady that did hers in less than a week.”
Jerry assembled seven segments, a feat made more challenging at the veterans home by the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

COVID complicated Linda’s role in collecting the segments when they were completed, as well, but she mitigated the risk of exposure to the virus by wearing a mask and insisting visitors wear a mask when they came to the house to drop the finished puzzles off, she said,

“If they didn’t bring (the segment) back to me, I had to load it in the car and surround it with blankets and drive about 10 miles an hour home, hoping nobody would rear end me,” she said with a laugh.

Another challenge arose when certain pieces of the puzzle came up missing. The puzzle maker’s instructions were to wait until all of the segments were assembled and then, if there were any missing pieces, to contact the company with the description of which pieces were needed, and the company would send replacements, the Dahlkoetters said,

But they wouldn’t answer the calls,” Linda said,

Linda said she tried multiple times to contact the company and even reached out to the chamber of commerce in the New Jersey town where the company is based, but it was unable to offer additional help.

“I called Kodak, and they said their hands were tied. This company-Cra-Z-Art – they were the ones that had the say in soul,” she said.

Jerry took matters into his own hands by making his own replacement pieces using clay, glue and a blown-up picture of the puzzle. It’s a trick he’s used on other puzzles in the past
“There’s always a piece missing, it seems” Linda said,

The assembled puzzle is on display from

March 10 – April 7

Norfolk Student Exhibition

March 10 – April 7

The annual Norfolk Public, Parochial and Homeschool student exhibition is happening now at the Norfolk Arts Center. Students from Norfolk Public Schools, Norfolk Catholic Schools and St. Paul’s Lutheran school throughout the school year participated in classes and projects and now those pieces and projects are hung in the Gallery and Atrium for all to enjoy. Students and parents where invited to an opening reception on March 12th and now the show is open to the public until April 7.

Stearns, Petersen Fall Exhibitions Bring Color to the Art Center

Thursday, September 9th the artists will join us for an opening reception to celebrate the new exhibitions arrival to our Gallery and Atrium. Social hour will be from 5 – 6 and then the Artists will speak about their respective artwork and will take time to answer questions.

September 2, 2021 – November 25, 2021

Eric Stearns – Gallery Artist – The Evolution of Color

This past year, I’ve been working on developing a brand new color palette of glazes and this show represents the fruits of my labor. My color vocabulary is split between very muted and pastel shades and a brighter, more vibrant color scheme.

Many of the color combinations on my pieces are directly influenced by nature. The chemicals chlorophyll, carotenoids, and anthocyanin are collectively responsible for shades of green, orange, and purple in foliage. These and many other chemical compounds direct how certain light wavelengths are reflected or absorbed to show the colors your eyes can see.

Although I’m using a different variety of chemicals to achieve these colors, the process is very similar. Chemicals are used in various combinations and percentages in my base glaze to achieve the colors I’m looking for. I’ve created hundreds of test batches of glazes that were carefully applied to test tiles and fired. These test tiles were then narrowed down to about 40 different shades and colors to consider for my latest body of work.

Tessa Petersen – Atrium Artist – Outlines

I work with the medium of oil paint on wooden panels as a means of subverting the views of women present in traditional portraiture. I paint portraits of women with whom I am or have been close, but I also paint acquaintances, and occasionally, strangers. Since I usually know these women, I have an idea of their personalities and behavioral tendencies, so I use this knowledge to paint them with autonomy and subjectivity. I paint them to show them as real, relatable people, not just objectified things in which to take pleasure in staring.

Another idea that my work deals with is fashion and patterning. I often change the clothing of a subject to make the painting more aesthetically pleasing and to be representative of some aspect of her personality or identity. Fashion and the decorative arts are also areas which typically have been associated with women and the feminine, which fits in with my interest in gender.

Photography also plays and important role in my practice. The basis for my paintings are photographs which I have taken. I always take them in social settings, so most of the time people are unaware because I take them with an iPhone. This allows me to get authentic, candid shots of people experiencing a brief moment. The paintings partially function as pieces of my memory and are about the social relationships in my life which I capture with this candid photography. In this regard, my work also has a connection to social media imagery.

The images I take and paint from are the type of images you might see a person post on Instagram or Facebook while on a night out. They relate to the way in which women use social media, as a way to take control of their own image and how they are shown. They have a snapshot, candid quality and are often cropped in a way which is more indicative of social media photography than traditional portrait painting. These images are so ubiquitous in our mediated world, we become numb to them and they all blend together. I transfer them into paint so they can feel unique again. I try to bring the best of both worlds, painting and photography, into my work: the solidity and timelessness of painting with the immediacy and authenticity of photographs.

Juried Show Winners Announced

Guests visiting, and exploring the Artwork

Saturday April 10 was the opening reception for our 14th annual Juried Show and the response was amazing. Although our Juror could not attend winners were announced, refreshments were handed out and inspiration was shared between guests and artists. Many of the selected artists were in attendance and the collective talent of all involved made this a very competitive show for the artists and a very beautiful show for guests to enjoy.

Best in Show – Double Donut Teapot with artist Leroy Von Glan
First Place – “Tear” David Quady

We would like to congratulate our winning artists for this years Juried Show. Our top spot Best in Show goes to Leroy Von Glan with his ceramic work “Double Donut Teapot.” 1st Place went to David Quady’s oil painting “Tear”. 2nd place went to Holly Ann Schenk with her acrylic painting “Back Window” and an honorable mention goes to Rod Beyke for his shredded paper collage “Bob Marley”

Second Place – “Back Window” Holly Ann Schenk
Honorable Mention – Bob Marley with Artist Rod Beyke

The 14th Annual Juried show will be up until May 27 and as always, the gallery is free and open to the public. The Norfolk Arts Center is open Tuesday through Friday 10 am – 6 pm and Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm.      

14th Annual Juried Show

Meet the Artists selected for the 14th annual Juried Show by our esteemed Juror Johntimothy Pizzuto.

  • Alison Boughn
  • Barb Gustafsson
  • Brooke Gettman
  • Bruce Forbes
  • Bruce Trindle
  • Butch Rohrschnider
  • Cathy Foster
  • Danielle Dewees
  • David Quady
  • Deb Kubik
  • Derrill Grabenstein
  • Diana Tweedy
  • Francine Fox
  • Holly Ann Schenk
  • Jerene Kruse
  • Jody McQuillan
  • Kaci Schacht
  • Kathleen Lohr
  • Laura Snyder
  • Leroy von Glan
  • Linda Lacy
  • Patricia James
  • Rod Beyke
  • Susan McCulley
  • Rachel Vogel
  • Wendy Ketelson

Winter ’20 – ’21 Exhibitions

December 3, 2020 – February 25, 2021

Patricia Hollins – Gallery

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.    


Thanks to our sponsors for believing in the arts and supporting our gallery which is always free and open to the public!

**Sponsorship ensures the gallery is ALWAYS free and open to the public! 

Art pieces by Judith and Jody

Fall 2020 Exhibitions

Refreshments laid out for guests.

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.

Judith Anthony Johnston speaking to a group in the gallery.

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.

Art pieces in the gallery.

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?”

Art pieces in the atrium.

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.   

What’s Coming Up in August!

August 4th – Toddler Art (Swipe Art) 6:15 – 7 p.m.

August 5th – Water Gun Painting 1- 2 p.m.

August 6th – Drop – In Art 11 a.m. – Noon

August 7th – First Friday (FREE EVENT) 7 p.m.

August 8th – Second Saturday (FREE CLASS) 1-3 p.m.

August 21st – ‘Fork Fest 5 p.m.

August 27th – Sip+Create: Jewelry Making 6-8 p.m.