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

Norfolk Arts Center seeking entries for 11th Annual Juried competition.   


Deadline to apply: Thursday, February 1, 2018
Exhibit Dates: April 14 – May 31, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 14 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. 

DOWNLOAD YOUR APPLICATION HERE:    Juried_CallForArtist_Application

The Norfolk Arts Center is excited to open up the application process for its Annual Juried competition. Returning for an 11th year, the Juried Show is open to artists of all media and experience. This is a great opportunity for students and hobby artists get their feet wet in the professional art world and have their work shown in a formal gallery. Each year the Juried Show is paired with an area college and one of the professors curates the 20-30 piece exhibition. This year’s college is Concordia University with Art Department Chair, Don Robson, serving as the judge. All entries are transferred by blind submission to the judge so he bases his choice of works for the show on strength of work alone.  

Don Robson serves as professor of art and chairman of the Art Department at Concordia University, Nebraska. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Wichita State University and his Master of Teaching from the University of Central Missouri. Robson is an accomplished and published artist who has exhibited work in juried competitions, solo and group shows and has work in galleries, museums and private collections across the country. In 2017 he was awarded the Nebraska Art Teachers Association Higher Education Art Educator of the Year. 

Applicants are asked to submit their forms no later than Thursday, February 1, 2018. The fee is $25 for the first submission and $5 for each after, with a limit of 5 total submitted pieces. Applications can be mailed or dropped off at the Norfolk Arts Center (305 North 5th Street | Norfolk, NE 68701) or email Programs Assistant, Amy Okamoto at amy@norfolkartscenter.org. All applicants will be notified starting March 1 of their status in the show, and the exhibition will open Saturday, April 14 with a reception from 2:00-4:00 p.m.  

DOWNLOAD YOUR APPLICATION HERE:     Juried_CallForArtist_Application

Color is center focus in Norfolk Arts Center’s winter exhibitions



Artist Engagement: Playing With Pastels: Thursday, November 9 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. 
Free Opening Reception: Thursday, November 9 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.  


In celebration of the turn into the holiday season, the Norfolk Arts Center is excited to announce two artists whose play with color is sure to impress: Holly Ann Schenk “Connecting The Dots” and Sharon T. Ohmberger “There and Back Again.” Work will be on display November 2 – December 28 with a free opening reception held on Thursday, November 9 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. During which the public can mingle with the artists and listen to them speak about themselves and their work. The NAC invites all to attend. Snacks and refreshments will be provided by the NAC Ladies Guild. Jeff Hoffman will provide reception music. 

Another highlight of the exhibition will be Holly Ann Schenk’s artist engagement held just prior to the reception on Thursday, November 9 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. During the class, “Playing with Pastels” Schenk will demonstrate techniques using pastels and students will work from photo reference to create artwork. All skill levels are welcome. The workshop is $75 and parties can sign up by calling NAC at 402.371.7199 or via the website: norfolkartscenter.org 

Holly Ann Schenk

“This is truly one of the best exhibition pairs we’ve had in a long time,” comments Assistant Director, Denice Hansen. “Both artists use color and texture in such fascinating ways that perfectly play off of one another. Sharon Ohmberger’s unique vessel shapes of pottery are whimsical and intriguing and Holly Ann Schenk’s brilliant color combinations and extremely detailed paintings are sure to draw you in. These are two great examples of current art and it doesn’t take a degree in Fine Art to recognize or appreciate that.” 

Gallery artist, Holly Ann Schenk grew up in Battle Creek, NE and has both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Arts Education as well as a history of working for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, KS. While she enjoys both objective and non-objective, traditional and non-traditional work, color is always a central focus. Schenk loves looking at the world and seeing the amazing array of colors and shapes. “It’s fun to see the relationships that surround us every day, and then to share that vision through my artwork,” comments Schenk. “I can’t imagine not being able to express myself through my art; it’s an integral part of my life. And, being able to give the viewer a bit of joy in the process is more than just an added extra!” 

Sharon T. Ohmberger

Sharon T. Ohmber is also a Nebraska native who has been working in clay since 1993. Hand-built pottery satisfies her need to create things expressive of both beauty and potential utility; as such the medium allows her to remain true to both her own expressive desires and her practical rural background. Her most basic personal requirement for her work is that she continue to enjoy making it, as she believes good art and fine craft pieces carry the energy of their maker. 

Admission to the NAC gallery is free. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.     






Artists Schenk and Ohmberger bring vibrant color to NAC.

Gallery artist, Holly Ann Schenk, grew up in Nebraska and has received both her Bachelors and Masters in Arts Education. She has taught in numerous settings, including elementaries, high schools, and colleges; as well as working for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. Schenk’s artwork consists primarily of acrylic paintings and pastels, although she ventures into almost everything two dimensional, including caricatures and collage.  Having been an art teacher for students of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels, Schenk has grown comfortable with many different media and styles.  Her favorite is a form of pointillism using acrylics.

“I can’t imagine not being able to express myself through my art; it’s an integral part of my life.  And, being able to give the viewer a bit of joy in the process is more than just an added extra!” expresses Holly Ann Schenk.

Artist Engagement!
Playing with Pastels: Dry Pastel Workshop

Instructor: Holly Ann Schenk   |   Age Group: Teen/Adult   |  $75

Join renowned artist and educator Holly Ann Schenk for three fun-filled hours to play with pastels. All levels are welcome, from first time with pastels to professional artists. Topics will include selection and use of materials, techniques, and finishing and framing options. We will be working from photos, so you will be able to work on subjects of your choice. The time will be spent with demonstrations, studio time and critiques. Join us for the gallery reception of Holly Ann’s exhibit after class. Thursday | November 9 | 1:00-4:00 p.m. 

Click Here to register. Don’t wait, minimum participation required.

Atrium artist, Sharon Ohmberger, received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska and has been working in clay since 1993. Hand-built pottery satisfies her need to create things expressive of both beauty and potential utility. She finds inspiration in a variety of sources: the wild and cultivated landscapes of the Great Plains, the seasonal comings and goings of the insects, flora and fauna in her back yard and all kinds of textures and embellishments from clothing to furniture.

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 9 • 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Free and open to the public. Refreshments provided by NAC Guild. Music by Jeff Hoffman.

Show Dates: November 2 – December 28

Community Game Night: Idea, to event, to local business!


Volunteers turn Community Game Night into local business.

It started with a group of friends, a love of games and an idea. From there Community Game Night was born. This free event, held on the third Friday of each month at NAC, invites all ages to gather and share their common love of all things gaming. Tables are set with games of all kinds, some common favorites and some new to discover, but all open and welcoming.

For over a year now CGN has been completely volunteer run, and has become so successful that Jake Dinkel and April Thompson decided to make gaming a full time business. In October “Klubhaus Modern Gaming” was opened in Downtown Norfolk selling tons of games and providing frequent space to play.

NAC hopes to continue CGN as a free monthly event. If you are interested in helping out, please contact NAC.

Date: Friday, November 17  |   6:30-11:00 p.m.  |  NAC

NAC Guild Support Arts With Annual Fall Luncheon

Supporting the artist in us all:

The NAC Guild Believes In Upholding Creative Community

Art is meaningful to us because we are all artists! I was born into a creative family south of Pittsburgh, PA, and we all found happiness through different mediums: music, wood, yarn, poetry, paint, and pottery. I joined the Guild in 2007 because its work is also meaningful to me. I work at the receptions and fundraising luncheons. Mostly, I enjoy painting with the Waterlilies; NAC provides the studio space. That family in Pittsburgh couldn’t afford art classes, but their little girl dreamed of having a studio…I thank NAC for this gift!

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

–Pablo Picaso

We exist for every child, but also for every grown up.

I would like to invite you to help NAC continue to be this awesome presence in our community! We appreciate your donations, volunteerism and support by attending our events. Thank you!

Clare Orwig

President, NAC Guild


Featuring holiday program: “Chef’s Holiday Pantry” with Ben Wingett, BCFP Executive Chef

Thursday, November 2 • Noon • NAC

Tickets: $25 ($15 donation)
To buy: Click Here, Stop by NAC, Purchase from NAC Guild Members


If anyone is interested in joining the Guild or helping NAC in another capacity, you can call Kara, Denice or Benjamin.  Clare at 402-316-9731 or any of the current Guild members: 

Nancy Bell 

Sue Burns 

Helenann Cox 

Bev Davis 

Sherry Dinkel 

Jo Faust 

Teri Hughes 

Dorothy Hull 

Kathy Mack 

Judy Merchant 

Nancy Schwertly 

Fran Shapiro 

Kati Sudon 

Melanie Smith 

Susan Surber 

Marilyn Wingate 

Multi-instrumentalist Todd Green brings sounds of the world and uniting message to Norfolk for FREE public performance at Norfolk Arts Center.  


FREE Adult/Family Public Performance:
Friday, October 13 • 7:00 p.m. • Norfolk Arts Center 

Todd Green has been infatuated with music since he was a young child. His curiosity grew into a career that took him around the globe. His travels are now bringing him, and his experiences, to Norfolk for a week long series of performances including two educational presentations for local students and a FREE public show, open to all families and adults, at the Norfolk Arts Center. The free show, made possible with grant support from the Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Arts Council, will be held on Friday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Norfolk Arts Center and is open to all ages.  

Multi-instrumentalist, Todd Green plays over 30 string, flute and percussion instruments from all over the world inspired by many different cultures in the Middle East, Central Asia, Far East and South America. His custom-built electronic system allows him to layer instruments as he performs, which in effect turns him into a high-tech one-man-band of World Music. Green’s dynamic and highly acclaimed programs keep everyone riveted as Todd helps break down the barriers that divide us by experiencing other cultures through their music. 

Norfolk Arts Center’s Assistant Director, Denice Hansen, shares why this performance will be so impactful: “Todd Green has spent his life traveling the world and learning the musical language of many, many cultures. He’s had an amazing opportunity to interact with people of all backgrounds and faiths, and the one thing that unites us all is music. I believe now, more than ever, this unifying message needs to be heard, and I encourage everyone to come and hear it.” 

Free public performance made possible through grant support from:


NAC’s Benjamin Baker shares insights on this hidden gem.

First Fridays started as a monthly concert series at NAC, but proving it wasn’t a viable model unto itself was reenvisioned, and became Norfolk’s very own Free Open Mic Night for all ages. Since then, First Fridays has risen to one of NAC’s most adored events, where Musicians, DJ’s, Poets, Actors, and Artists alike have come together to share their craft. Holding community art projects, demonstrating live art, and hosting drum circles are just the beginning! We’ve watched musicians grow and find their voice and collaborate with one another. We’ve seen artists create true art in front of our eyes, and it seems almost every month someone new from our community comes out to share their talent for the very first time.

First Fridays is a true reflection of what a community can do when it comes together. I am proud to be a part of this event, and it’s great to see continual support and involvement from the community. The fall edition of First Fridays has already started and we hope to see some new faces. Join us!

If you are interested in sharing your talents with an open and supportive community, please email me at benjamin@norfolkartscenter.org and I will make sure to have a slot open for you. Time slots fill up regularly, which always makes up for a full night of great art!


Jerry and the late Karla Huse paved the way for the NAC as we know it.

Jerry and Karla Huse have been essential to the Norfolk Arts Center’s success from the very first days of our organization. Karla served on the Norfolk Arts Center’s first Board of Directors; in fact she was a signatory of NAC’s initial articles of incorporation from 1978. She and Jerry continued to be stalwart supporters of NAC’s mission to “bring people and the arts together.” Karla’s commitment to enhance our community through the successful presentation of arts was most profoundly demonstrated in 2002 when the “Karla Huse Visual Arts Endowment” was established by the Huse family.

Jerry and Karla Huse and Marilyn Mae

This endowment fund has been utilized to bring significant visual arts exhibitions from across the nation into NAC’s gallery every year. However, in the last year, Karla’s attention was turned onto the thriving creative culture brewing within NAC: First Fridays. You can read more about First Fridays in our spotlight article on the back of this newsletter. Karla’s daughter, Mary Beth Olsen, warmly recounts her mother’s memory, “I remember the idea of Norfolk having an arts center was near and dear to my mothers heart. As the vision became a reality her passion grew for wanting to continue to bring the arts to Norfolk. Now that she is no longer with us a part of her legacy is the establishment of an endowment in her name. I am so happy her love for the arts and her city will live on.”

Karla was an active member up until her recent passing. She served our community through her work at NAC as an active member of NAC’s visual arts committee and she was always a vocal advocate for the arts in community life. NAC will always hold Karla’s memory dearly and will continue her passionate work through her Endowment.

Jazz Pianist, Emmet Cohen brings contemporary talents to Norfolk Arts Center.

To say that up and coming musician Emmet Cohen is destined for legendary status would not at all be understating his talents and ability. On Wednesday, September 20 Jazz Pianist, Emmet Cohen will both host an all ages workshop and also showcase his talents in a performance at the Norfolk Arts Center during his tour of the Midwest. The 90 minute workshop begins at 4:00 p.m. and evening performance will follow at 7:00 p.m. with all events taking place at the Norfolk Arts Center. 

All ages Workshop:
Wednesday, September 20 • 4:00 p.m. • NAC
$50 per student. Scholarships available, please contact NAC for details

Evening Performance:
Wednesday, September 20 • 7:00 p.m. • NAC
Tickets: $20 Public | $16 NAC members

Multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen has emerged as one of his generation’s pivotal figures in music and the related arts.  A recognized prodigy, Cohen began Suzuki method piano instruction at age three, and his playing quickly became a mature melding of musicality, technique, and concept. Possessing a fluid technique, an innovative tonal palette, and an expansive repertoire, Cohen plays with the command of a seasoned veteran and the passion of an artist fully devoted to his medium. 

In addition, Emmet Cohen has established a comprehensive role in the world of the creative arts that extends beyond performing.  He is avid about the inter-generational transfer of artistic knowledge, history, and traditions. Cohen visits 50 schools yearly through Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Jazz for Young People” program and regularly presents jazz history and performance lectures.  To honor the pioneers of America’s unique musical idiom, Cohen is producing the “Masters Legacy Series,” a celebratory set of recordings and interviews honoring legendary jazz musicians–he is the pianist on the first recording featuring Miles Davis drummer Jimmy Cobb.  Additionally, Cohen has been involved with interdisciplinary programs directed by choreographers Debbie Allen and Bill T. Jones. 

For more information, visit our web page or visit the Norfolk Arts Center’s Facebook page. 

Using the Arts to “Bridge” Communities and Cultures!

Free Book Signing, Discussion and Opening Reception:
Thursday, September 14 from 4:15-7:00 p.m.

Refreshments and snacks provided by NAC Ladies Guild and live music by Shirley Klafter.

Doughboy by Alan J. Bartels in Madison County

In celebration of Nebraska’s 150th anniversary of statehood, the Norfolk Arts Center is excited to announce the exhibit, “Bridges: Sharing our Past to Enrich the Future” sponsored by Hildegard Center for the Arts (HCFCA), in collaboration with the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Nebraska Tourism Commission. Work will be on display September 7 – October 26 with an opening reception held on Thursday, September 14 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. During which the public can mingle with the people who are apart of Hildegard Center organization and the regional artists from the show are invited to come speak about themselves and their photographs. The NAC invites all to attend. Snacks and refreshments will be provided by the NAC Ladies Guild with music by Shirley Klafter.

Show on display through Thursday, October 26, 2017.

Composite Image by Tim Wright—NE 150 Photo Exhibit  “Bridges: Sharing Our Past to Enrich the Future

The statewide call for photographs of historic places garnered over 800 photo submissions! They collected images from all 93 counties in Nebraska and named a winner for each county. Amateur and professional photographers alike were invited to capture images of historic sites and treasures across the state of Nebraska. Handful of images are selected for the particular show to portray a regional representation, but ALL photos will be shown on a slideshow at the exhibit!  “Each Nebraska community is unique, and historic places often identify a community’s character,” said Bob Puschendorf, the Nebraska State Historical Society’s associate director and deputy state historic preservation officer.

Willow Island Road by Richard Jones in Dawson County

“This entire experience is one that we are very privileged and excited to display for the public,” accounts Denice Hansen, Assistant Director for the Norfolk Arts Center. “I believe these works will really resonate with our community, as they shine light on local sites. The historical background information alongside each photo really adds great depth and understanding as well. This is a true opportunity for families, schools, senior centers and any other group to experience an artistic window into the past; and we invite everyone to stop in and check it out.”

Also featuring guest speaker, David Hendee of Omaha World Herald.
Starting at 4:15 p.m. Free and open to the public.

David Hendee wrote “Nebraska: 150 Years Through 93 Counties’’ as part of the Omaha World-Herald’s coverage of the 150th anniversary of Nebraska statehood this year.

Hendee is a regional reporter for The World-Herald. He has worked as an editor and reporter during a 41-year career with the newspaper, filing stories from the White House, the Canadian Rockies, America’s last homestead in Alaska, the ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska, the Demilitarized Zone in Korea and across Nebraska and the Great Plains.

He joined The World-Herald in 1976 after working at his hometown newspaper, The Sidney (Neb.) Telegraph, for two years. He is a journalism graduate of Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska.

Born to Nebraskans at Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps base near Oceanside, California, David is a fifth-generation Nebraska. He and his wife, Polly (the former Polly Schulze of Tilden, Nebraska), have two daughters and two grandchildren.

The 190-page coffee table book was published last fall and is in its second printing.

Also available for purchase at NAC is 150 memorabilia including magnets, puzzles, and posters by designer Timothy Wright of Omaha. 

Admission to the NAC gallery is free.

Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

and Saturdays 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

For more information, visit exhibit page or visit the Norfolk Arts Center’s Facebook page.