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

John McCaughey, Lisa Wicka and Klaire Lockheart Winter Exhibitions

JOHN McCAUGHEY & LISA WICKA – Gallery Artists

December 1, 2022 – February 22, 2023

John McCaughey – “In my work, I draw inspiration from the distressed buildings and defaced walls of the inner city. I am attracted to these structures for their visual and textural properties, the cracks, chipping paint, poorly removed graffiti, overgrowth, and flashy advertisements. I love how cities age, how they evolve… embracing their past while also looking to their future. It is a parallel to how I develop work in the studio. I enjoy recreating the ephemeral qualities of these spaces through acts of painting, sanding, screen-printing, collage’ and decollage’. These processes combine to produce a mass of colorful and texturally diverse materials that I can quickly layer into my compositions. I juxtapose the results against more modern, digitally produced information as well as feed the in-progress work into photoshop to tinker with saturation, pixilation, and other digital effects. The entire process is a formal exploration of color, texture, space, and time. These works are abstracted portraits of the world I inhabit and the nostalgic value I place upon it.”

Lisa Wicka –

“We live in the spaces…
between past and present,
between empty and occupied,
between mind and body,
between physical and virtual,
between tangible and lost,
between loneliness and love,
between exposed and hidden.
Through the breakdown and rebuilding of the in between, my work mimics the everyday navigation of these realms. Temporary moments of clarity come together and fall apart creating a self in motion, evolving through experience, place, failures and successes. My work is a surface where this dialogue becomes visible explorations of my surroundings and my identity, a surrogate self with limitless possibilities.
Often referencing architectural spaces, wallpapers, and raw materials, my work brings into question the solidity and accuracy of things we hold true. Printmaking, drawing and mixed media methods allow me to acknowledge my experiences, dissect them, and reconstruct them into something concrete; if only for a moment.”

KLAIRE LOCKHEART – Atrium Artist

Flipping the binary doesn’t solve all the problems related to the objectification of women in art, but it does provide an entertaining start. I use humor to inspire viewers to consider that passive representations of women for the heteronormative male gaze are neither natural nor universal.

In response to the abundance of dehumanizing imagery I am expected to appreciate for art’s sake, I invented the brodalisque. These oil paintings feature masculine men who recreate the poses and passivity of historic odalisques. Western Orientalist painters typically portrayed odalisques within the harem, a place where unrelated men were not allowed to enter. To update the trope of creating a “realistic” painting in a prohibited space, I place my subjects within the hidden mysteries known as the man cave. I render these forbidden environments representationally to persuade viewers that these compositions are factual and not at all fictitious. If the excessive depictions of nude women in art are really truly about form and aesthetics, not power and ownership, then my paintings should be completely serious and not remotely silly. (The newest paintings in this series were created with a generous grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation.)


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

Rodney Bode Exhibition

October 21 – November 23

Rodney Bode is an American painter and sculptor whose life and art have remained outside the boundaries of culture. Born in 1941, and having lived most of his adult life in rural Idaho and South Dakota, Bode is an outsider artist whose vast collection of paintings and sculpture were only recently discovered after his institutionalization in the South Dakota state psychiatric hospital where he is being treated for schizoaffective disorder and vascular dementia.

“The work is very sophisticated, very competent,” says Lynn Verschoor, retired director of the South Dakota Art Museum. “These are really just exciting paintings; they’re good paintings. They’re nothing like you see in South Dakota. People here just don’t paint like this. And the sculptures are fabulous, well balanced. Of course,” she adds, “people are interested in the story, too.”

The label ‘Outsider Art’ created by Jean Dubuffet in the 1940s, certainly describes Rod Bode’s prolific collections of paintings and sculpture. Created in the sparse rural areas in Idaho and the plains of western South Dakota, unseen by the public, Bode’s “self-taught” creations were certainly “produced beyond the boundaries of the mainstream art world.”

Rodney Bode – 1069

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! View Sponsorship Brochure 2022 – 2023

Nebraska Art Teachers Association (NATA) Juried Exhibition

2022 Nebraska Art Teachers Association Juried Exhibition – Atrium

September 1 – October 8

In conjunction with the Nebraska Art Teachers Association Fall Conference held at the Norfolk Arts Center, members submitted their artwork to be selected for the juried exhibition. Elley Coffin is this year’s juror and will be selecting art pieces to show in the Atrium. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of the Fall Conference.

Jason Needham Gallery Exhibition

Jason Needham – Gallery Artist

Understory – Landscape Paintings

September 1 – November 23

Kansas City painter Jason Needham finds inspiration in the overlooked corners of the Midwest. As the sun rose one recent morning, he was concentrating on a tangle of overgrown vines surrounding a stand of cottonwood trees at Kessler Park in the the city’s Historic Northeast neighborhood. (Photo/ Julie Denesha)

I’ve had a long-standing interest in impressionism, post-impressionism, and early American modernists like Marsden Hartley. All the other obvious influences apply: David Hockney, Neil Welliver, Alex Katz, Lois Dodd, among others. I’m drawing and painting scenes that are very familiar to me: forest scenes just off the beaten path, a pocket of woods with an interstate, parking lot or air-conditioned retreat just behind me. The trick is to see these mundane moments as majestic while allowing the mistakes of hand and misconceptions of eye be as present as the purposeful. I like the paintings to coalesce from a distance but upon close inspection fall apart into marks and the process of making, with the underlaying scaffolding of the image still visible. Each brushstroke becomes a single particle and the painting a wave of time-space. Whether I’m standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon or staring into the corner of a room, the investment in looking is the same. On one end, I’m working areas of my brain that lie deeper than the surface stream of thoughts, the self-narrating voice. On the other end, I’m pondering the fundamental structure of reality.

Norfolk Arts Center Board of Directors Reception

The Norfolk Arts Center (NAC) invites you to the Board of Directors’ Reception on
Tuesday, July 19 2022

We will recognize the outgoing Board of Directors and welcome the new members. Please invite your family and friends to join us. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

The NAC will recognize these outgoing board members for their years of service:

  • Roger Nadrchal, 6 years
  • Chase Pflueger, 6 years
  • Austen Hagood, 3 years
  • Rachel Reiser, 3 years
  • Mark Zimmerer, 2 years
  • Traci Jeffrey, 2 years
  • Mary Pat Hoag, 1 year

We welcome six new members to the NAC Board of Directors: Brent Bossard, Tina Mazuch, Clare Orwig, Tammi Reeves, Beatriz Rodriguez, and Tiffany Tichota.

Thank you for your continued commitment and dedication to the Norfolk Arts Center to carry out our mission.

“Bringing People and the Arts Together”

Summer 2022 Exhibitions

June 2 – August 24, 2022

Tammi Reeves – Gallery Artist

“Day Dreamer”

“This series is a collection and journey of what growth looks like, with each piece revealing a piece of tangled webs inside a mind looking for hope or that splinter of light at the end of a tunnel. Some people simply cannot speak and write what is deep inside, but you can give them some paint and they can make you feel it. My hope is that my art can connect with something inside of yourself, that you may be able to feel inspired to not feel alone and that if you’re in a place where you find yourself laying on the cold tile floor…that God speaks to you and says, “Talitha Cumi.” And places a paintbrush in your hands.”

“The Crucifixion of Illusion”
“Untitled”
“Sprigs”

Sophia Ruppert – Atrium Artist

“In my practice, “material” refers to any object that is human-made and does not naturally occur in nature. Physical things inform every part of our being. they connect us to other times and root us in community. Fabric swaddles us through life, tools aid our labor, dishes hold our food. By nature of necessity, materials chronicle our history as complex individuals and, when dissociated from use, catalogue our existence as artifacts. As I work, I consider our human nature and ask further questions: making up answers when I find none or am unsatisfied with a resolution.”

“Woven Steel”
“Fish Baskets”

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.