Omaha First Friday means gallery openings. Coming up this Friday, January 4, 2013, 6–9 p.m. is the 2012-2013 Emerging Artist Mentorship Exhibit at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 405 S. 11th St. The Artists’ Co-op’s Mentorship Program provides opportunities to learn more about the business of being an artist. From installing and hosting, to marketing their own exhibition, the seven aspiring artists are competing for a three-month mentored membership in the gallery. Included in the group are Robert Bauer, Hope Dendinger, Jesse Medina, Denice Peters, Erin Sanders, Robyn VanLaningham, and Brian Winters. “They are trying to get an edge, get recognition, and get their name out there,” Travis Apel, Emerging Artist Program Director said. “We’re here to give them a primer.” Apel credits Julie Schram-Emilo, a participant in the first Emerging Artist Exhibition, with optimizing the benefits of participation. “She shows at Hot Shops occasionally, and is doing commissions now,” Apel said. ”She has the drive and passion to keep stepping up, and going further.” Apel, a third year Co-op member, is getting ready to wrap up his own work from a 2-person show at the Norfolk Arts Center. “It was very good. I sold some pieces,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot being at the Artists’ Co-op.” The Artists’ Co-op has been exhibiting regional artists since 1975. This 35-member, artist run gallery features work in a wide variety of media including sculpture, weaving, painting, pottery, photography, printmaking, and drawing. The 2012-2013 Emerging Artist Mentorship Exhibit invites gallery patrons to vote for their favorite artist’s work during the run of the show. Voting closes at 10 p.m. Saturday, January 26, 2013. The winner’s name will be announced at a closing reception, Sunday, January 27, 2013, 1-3 p.m. Regular hours, Tues-Wed 11 am-5 pm, Thurs-Sat 11 am-10 pm, Sun noon-6 pm

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