2011 Emerging Artist Exhibition
The 2011 Emerging Artist Mentorship program presents six gifted artists to display their premier works at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery. The artists will gain valuable experience by installing and hosting their own exhibition. Each artist also has a stake in marketing the exhibit. Patrons visiting the show may vote for the artist who will spend a three-month mentored membership in the gallery. Opening reception during Omaha First Friday at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 405 S. 11th St., from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, July 1, 2011. A closing reception will be July 31, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Voting will close at 10 p.m. Saturday, July 30, and the winner’s name will be announced at the closing reception.
The group includes a wide range of style, subject matter, and media.
Sean Akers, a self-taught artist, rebuilds childhood memories influenced by southern folk art and Legos. Sean’s whimsical assemblage work in acrylic and wood aims to evoke an emotional response triggered by vibrant color and form of quilt-like depth. Each work has meticulously hand-carved sections making up organized and chaotic compositions. Sean’s work seems to characterize his ideal of a youngster learning through play.
Machaela Morrissey photographs a dollhouse that reflects an open domain of emotional memory. Following a family tragedy, Machaela found an obsession of documenting family images with a variety of cameras, but expanded her creativity after receiving an associate’s degree from Metropolitan Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State. With her rebuilt dollhouses as a subject, Morrissey’s symbolic art depicts society’s censorship of emotional experience while inviting the viewer to become open with her.
Reagan Pufall allows the illumination of nature’s aesthetic over ideas to dominate man’s sense of his world. Reagan’s emphasis on a balanced composition is clear. Contrasts between light, airy snow on a stout mountain slope, or the blue sky against a complimentary earthy desert puts the photographs in equilibrium. His prime inspiration comes from the compositions by American painter Maxfield Parrish.
Julie Schram-Emilo finds that Nebraska’s late Kent Bellows is a driving influence on her detail-filled graphite pencil drawings. Her daughter became a model for a drawing that proves Julie can produce an excellent rendering. The markings on the drawings range from broad strokes of the pencil to fine details surrounded by careful blended tones.
Jon Summers produces non-representational paintings inspired by glimpses of the daily sensory experience. Jon’s process of creating gives life to his original vision. But the results of his unique works are not conceptual; instead, they are material reflections, which enhance and adorn the driving thoughts. His use of color and tone in each composition seem to record a realm of creative storms in motion.
Kirk Vaughn-Robinson, with a bachelor’s degree in music, is a traveling opera performer who finds meditation in creating expressionist bronze sculpture. Kirk learns by the problem solving in finding the right “feel” of the piece. The sculptures are born directly from dreams. He says he enjoys the dramatic and magical process of “the eyes teaching the hands.”
The Artists’ Co-op has been showing the work of respected regional artists for 35 years. This cooperative group of artists conducts educational and cultural outreach activities, and it maintains and staffs a gallery that features works in a wide variety of media, including sculpture, weaving, painting, pottery, photography, printmaking, and drawing. Monthly opening receptions provide opportunities to meet member artists and learn more about their work.