Left: "The Span of His Hand," 2018, by Rexo Droppers; center: "The Ship of the Desert," 2018, by Bob Mathews; right: "Toothbrush," 2017, by Sophie Newell.
Left: “The Span of His Hand,” 2018, by Rexo Droppers; center: “The Ship of the Desert,” 2018, by Bob Mathews; right: “Toothbrush,” 2017, by Sophie Newell.

The next exhibition opening Friday, May 3 at Omaha Public Library’s Michael Phipps Gallery brings together Rexo Droppers, Bob Mathews and Sphie Newell–three artists who combine materials in a way that illuminates their process and entices the viewer into their journey.

Rexo Droppers treats her mixed media work like a drawing. She makes quick, bold strokes with thread, fabric and other materials then adds intricacy, texture and color to create abstract works that  initiate memories of her cultural root in Papua New Guinea. 

Bob Mathews’s work evolves from simple form as well. Rejecting traditional art instruction, his art comes from childlike sensibilities and technique. With animals as his main subject, the fun in his art making shines through with bright blocks of color.

The art of Sophie Newell tells stories through her mixed media collage. Found materials and photographs join with handmade elements to elicit a sentimental and expressive history told through the objects. The more used the objects feel–with smudges, handwriting and wrinkles–the more personality they lend.

The exhibit opens Friday, May 3 with a reception from 4-6pm and runs through June 30 at the Michael Phipps Gallery in the W. Dale Clark Library branch, 215 S. 15th Street. For more information, visit r-e-x-o.com, bobmathewsart.com, sophienewell.com or omahalibrary.org/browse_program/michael-phipps-gallery.

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