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

John McCaughey, Lisa Wicka and Klaire Lockheart Winter Exhibitions


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.”


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.)

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!