Congratulations to all the visual arts nominees and winners of the 7th Annual Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards event held Sunday at the Hilton Omaha. This year’s winners and their categories included: Kim Reid Kuhn and Josh Powell in Best Group Show, Best Emerging Artist, Gerard Pefung, Best 2D Artist, Reid Kuhn, Best 3D Artist, Ying Zhu, Best Solo Show, Mary Day, Best New Media, Caleb Coppock, and Best Visual Artist, Bart Vargas. Art may be understood as the result of technical skill and imagination fusing together to successfully communicate some aspect of the human experience. The OEAA honors musicians, performing artists and visual artists in the Metro area who have done just that.
“When it comes to awards, there’s really no way to pick the best,” Rob Gilmer, chairman of the Visual Arts Committee, said. “There’s a lot of talent in this town we like to celebrate. All the nominees are considered the best.” Gilmer himself, an accomplished photographer, understands the qualities of each nominee’s art form as a unique contribution to their discipline. “We don’t pick nominees lightly,” Gilmer said. “We see shows throughout the year, looking for originality and presentation. You can’t really compare. I look for what moves me.” The committee for the Visual Arts component of the OEAA is made up of collectors, curators, and teachers. “At least one of the nominees is picked by the Reader’s Public Poll,” Gilmer stated. “The committee, made up of people dedicated to visual art and seeing a lot of shows, adds other deserving nominees as well.”
Now for a correction: A Feb. 7 – 13, Pick Paper Forest: An Installation by Travis Graves Pick (print edition) incorrectly included an image by Mary Zicafoose labeled as by Travis Graves. The Reader apologizes for the mistake.