Local artists were invited to submit work related to the theme of Transport. Exhibiting artists are Eric Biehl, Mary Ensz, Jeff King, Peggy Krist, Jeffrey Mack, Tricia Menard, Janet Vadon, Scott A. Vadon, and Lauren Vana.
I have been painting in acrylics/mixed medium for eight years. Beginning as a simple way to deepen my sense of creativity and spirituality, painting fast became a wonderful creative outlet for me. I’m learning as I go, and I love it. Much of my influence comes from my contemplative approach to spirituality/life.
Mary Ensz (she/they) is a Nebraska based artist and muralist. Mary received her BFA in Studio Art from Creighton University in 2011 and is co-organizer with Nasty Artist Collective, a group of local artists seeking to use the arts to bring about social change. In the community, Mary creates vibrant murals and in her attic studio she experiments with painting, drawing, and collaging. She layers human forms and Russian nesting doll shapes to extricate intersecting identities and truths.
Mary’s curatorial experience includes several NAC group shows and their work has been displayed in the Kaneko, RBR G, Split Gallery, OutR Spaces, Apollon Art Space, Petshop Gallery, Hot Shops Art Center, and Creighton University. She has created several private murals as well as being lead artist for Westgate Pool’s mural through the Cammy Watkins for City Council campaign.
The thing my art revolves around is time. It has taken a couple of years to begin understanding what I want my painting to represent. It’s said, ” all things must pass,” and by virtue of this reality of passage I’ve found myself attempting to capture that passing, the details of what someone or something is when I’m painting. There’s no other meaning more profoundly important than recognizing what someone is at any given moment because that’s where they reveal themselves the most. This portrait of myself represents my attempting to capture time, and mark it as, ” complete,” though nothing really is.
Peggy Krist has a talent for expressing the beauty occurring in our natural world that moves our senses to feel the interconnectedness we all share with the Earth and all within it. Whether it be a simple pair of cardinals gracing her backyard or a moonlit landscape of majestic mountains, Peggy captures the feeling of that moment so gracefully with her oils and canvas.
A great challenge for landscape photographers is how to convey the scale and emotional impact of a scene. Having been a diabetic nearly all my life, hiking itself sometimes presents another hurdle. Years ago, while taking a break from the studio and going for a hike, I came upon a beautiful vista. As I got there, my blood sugar had dropped unexpectedly, and the hypoglycemia created a powerful and emotional experience. The sight touched me, and as I tended to my blood sugar, I continued to be amazed at nature’s beauty.
Once I had returned to a safe blood sugar, I took out my camera and snapped a few photos to capture the moment. Back in the studio later, I looked at the photos, and while they were well executed, they didn’t convey the visceral awe that I felt when I was there.
It was a while until I discovered infrared photography. As I explored the meda, I started to see these images with surreal color and contrast. Everything was recognisable, but the glowing white of vegetation and the high contrast added what I had been missing. They had emotion and weight. It reminded me of the scene I had seen earlier with low blood sugar.
My photography is about communicating the awesome feeling of connecting with nature in a way that conveys the emotion and wonder I feel observing the world around us.
Janet Vadon, from Omaha, NE, came to the world of art later in life. In 2016 she found herself stressed at her full-time job, so she began coloring to keep calm… that progressed into watercolor, oil, acrylic, and pastel painting. Entirely self-taught, Janet had not done any “art” since 4th grade! Through trial, error, and painting continuously, and mentoring from established professional artists, she developed her skills, technique, and style.
That practice paid off, and in June 2017 she was selected as one of four local artists to represent new and upcoming talent at the prestigious Omaha Summer Arts Festival with First National’s Gallery One. She was featured on local television and in the Omaha World Herald for her unconventional path to success. She now enjoys learning and refining her skills from other art mentors and teachers while remaining true to her own style and technique.
Janet will tell you that painting has allowed her to embrace imperfection in herself as well as her paintings… what may look like a mistake on the canvas often becomes the beauty of the finished painting… much like our lives and how God looks at us.
Janet believes that there is no right or wrong with art… it just is… she paints for the sheer joy of the process and pours her heart and soul into the florals, landscapes, and abstracts that she has become known for.
Married to the wonderful Scott, they have one grown son, Erik, who is married to the lovely Kate. They are also parents to three elderly rescue dogs, and they spend their non-painting time in their much-loved Jeep Wrangler (top down, doors off of course), or on their Harley exploring this beautiful country.
Scott A. Vadon
Scott A. Vadon will be the first to tell you that art is a sporadic hobby for him. His passion is everything transportation and related to the open road. From watching vehicles on dragstrips, dirt tracks, or even just appreciating interesting and fast cars and motorcycles on the highways and byways, he is a true automotive enthusiast. Even his profession as an 18-wheel truck driver reflects this love, as does the time spent on his Harley, in his Jeep Wrangler, and in his 2019 Charger RT.
He is a huge supporter of his artist wife and has sat at many art shows and festivals while his wife shares her art. Occasionally to pass the time, he will pick up a brush and sketch out a few painting of his own. He now finds it a relaxing way to unwind.
Some of Scott’s sketches have turned into distinctive and bold paintings that reflect his passion and are enjoyed by many.
Scott is a native of Trenton, NJ, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and now resides in Omaha, NE. He can be contacted through his administrative assistant, Janet (his wife), on her website.
I’m drawn to both rural and urban spaces. I often find myself unfulfilled in either space, yearning for the country when I’m in the city and for the city when I’m in the country. These works are from a series in which I paired photos from different trips to contrast these two spheres. Each pairing acts as a portal between both spheres, transporting between places, dates, and times. I looked for visual notes on space, proximity, and movement, looking to convey comfort, loneliness, and familiarity.
I am an artist, writer, and designer based in Omaha, NE. I received my BA in Art and English from Elmhurst University. I began my art journey in painting and collage, but currently work with photography as my primary medium.
Pat Byers Weddle
CREATURES OF THE HOOK
ABOUT THE ARTIST
I grew up in North Omaha during the 50’s and 60’s and like so many women my age I learned to crochet, knit and sew from my mother. I really enjoyed crocheting and found the process to be calming. Working a demanding full time job which took me to New Jersey, raising two kids and going to college for so many years meant I had to take a hiatus from crocheting. It wasn’t until I left the corporate world, moved back to Omaha and became a teacher that I found my love of crocheting begin to grow again.
Over the years I’ve made many pretty standard items like baby outfits, blankets for wedding gifts and shawls for friends and family who needed a hug. So where do the crazy crocheted animals come from? It started with a request from my great niece Piper and from there has become a way of being creative. Through the eyes of this wonderfully creative young girl, I learned that a corgi can also be a unicorn or a pink flamingo can also have butterfly wings. The use of yarn and other fibers to create has become a passion!