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Artists I have met (WNAC Smoke and Mirrors show)

July 8, 2011

One of the cool things about living in a smaller community, within a network of smaller communities in the Panhandle, is that I’ve gotten to know such a wide range of people. (It definitely helps to be a blogger and journalist. I have an excuse to explore and be nosy.)

One subset of the “people in my neighborhood” are artists. A good place to meet these creative people is at an opening reception for an art show at the West Nebraska Arts Center. (There are also snacks at these openings – another good reason to go on opening night.)

Last week, husband and I dropped in at the opening reception for the most recent President’s Show, “Smoke and Mirrors.” (The theme was chosen by the WNAC board president.)

The cool part about this show is that a topic is given, and any artist 18 or older can submit work that interprets the theme. It brings out a lot of creativity, gets artists to stretch outside of what they might normally do and provides an opening for new artists who might not otherwise be on display in the gallery.

It’s also fun to see what people come up with and to figure out how it fits the theme. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s not.

As I was munching on cocktail meatballs and wandering around the show, I realized that I already knew many of the artists, so I decided to do a little blog post on a few of them.

Rick Myers retired from the Star-Herald before I started working there and he has given me some good tips on the newspaper business. He plays with light, using a camera and a computer.

Then there’s Mason Burbach, executive director of WNAC and the twisted genius responsible for my gooey monster Christmas tree.

Next up is Russ Finch. Not only does Russ create four-part beauty with his camera (he is known for the mounting technique he uses for his photographs), he is also a champion of sustainable local produce via his development of a type of geothermal greenhouse. He has been a resource for several Panhandle schools, Alliance and Garden County High Schools included, that have installed greenhouses in the last year. I interviewed him for the 2011 Star-Herald Pride section.

I recently met Shelby Lyon, who is the daughter of one of husband’s co-workers. In addition to visual art, I’ve read that Shelby has also written poetry and participated in the performing arts.

AAAANNNNND . . . I can brag that I know the winner of the show’s President’s Choice Award, Christina Armstrong (otherwise known from her jam and lip balm sales at farmers markets and craft shows and for the tattoo shop she and her husband Ty own). Way to go, Stina!

If you’d like to take a peek at the creativity on display in this show, it’ll be up at WNAC through the end of July. The gallery’s open Tuesday through Friday 9 to 5 and Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5.

The show was supported by the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and locally sponsored by Nossaman Pettit Law Firm.

Copyright 2011 by Katie Bradshaw

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2011 8:11 am

    Yay Christina!!! Such a multi-talented lady!!!

  2. July 8, 2011 10:33 pm

    Haven’t been over to see this one yet–shall soon!

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