“Possessions:  literary characters and the things they carried” is the theme for (downtown) Omaha lit fest’s 2011 literary-themed art exhibit October 14 at the Downtown Omaha Public Library.  The lit fest is seeking ideas from artists to interpret literary artifacts — like props, objects, fashions, foods, or jewelry of famous literary characters.  Examples might be Sherlock Holmes’ pipe, Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, album from High Fidelity, pills from the Valley of the Dolls, Tom Sawyer’s paintbrush or the Hogwarts’ textbooks. The artwork needn’t be literal or to scale. The project is open to artists of all styles and media. Art must be ready to hang September 30.  To submit your idea visit http://bit.ly/hxVCAm, omahalitfest.com or search for “Omaha lit fest” on Facebook.

Album cover artist Jeffmetal Sayers is showing some of his “old school black velvet paintings” at Brothers Lounge.  The second installment of his “velvet” series, the first exhibited in May, this time Sayers’ images of Elvis, other dead celebrities and pin-up girls are painted in the style of zombies.  Sayers said he and art manager Dave Rabe plan to take the “Black Velvet Zombie Paintings” series national, aiming for Minnesota when this show concludes at the end of the month.

Artist Wanda Ewing, fresh from her first residency in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is working on her next show on site — Peerless in Midtown.  The multiple award-winning artist and tenured University of Nebraska-Omaha professor of art, is joining painter and teacher Kim Reid Kuhn in curating “Les Femmes Folles Presents.” It’s a pop-up exhibit set for July 22 (Full Disclosure: I co-produced this event for my blog of the same name).  Ewing and Kuhn are producing work in the space until the exhibit starts, and bringing in work from women artists including Rebecca Herskovitz, Lisa Boumstein-Smalley, Dana Damewood, Jackie Sterba and more. The opening date will include live music by violinist Kaitlyn Filippini and Rene Gosch of Blue Rosa, food by Two Birds Bakery and libations from Nosh Wine Lounge and Upstream.

The OPPD Refrigerator Art Project, a Green Themed temporary art installation using refrigerators has been postponed until mid-July. The five artists selected:  Paul Konchagulian, Machell Owens, Charlene Potter, Sarah Rowe and Liz Vercruysse, are hard at work on their recycled appliances which will be displayed in the Old Market.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts welcomes five residents this month.  Sophie Barbasch hails from Brooklyn. She is a photographer who examines everyday events that point to larger struggles and incongruities.  Sculptor Eve Bailey of Nancy, France, uses her body as a primary tool to create pieces that experiment with equilibrium through physical, mechanical, plastic and conceptual means.  Peter Owens of New York City explores the urban landscape through his drawings and paintings. Tim Devoe from New Milford, Connecticut, makes truth become subjective through his sculptures of faux materials. Lucrecia Troncoso of Berkeley, California is an installation artist who has exhibited internationally,

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