It happens every autumn. Just as the weather cools down, the Metro arts scene begins to heat up alongside Go Big Red and seasonal anticipation of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays. Key arts centers and galleries may not pull in the numbers similar to Memorial Stadium, but they make up for it in the quality of work they offer their patrons each fall, especially with contemporary art. 2017 promises to be no different.
Once again, the non-profit venues will lead the way with major arts events including a few that double as fundraising opportunities. It is, after all, the season to give thanks…and to give back. Autumn is also a time when private galleries roll out their major players offering public viewing and a chance to add to one’s personal collection.
But whether an arts collector or viewer only, galleries of all sizes, public and private, in all parts of the Metro are fine-tuning their exhibition schedules to offer their patrons value-added, alternative entertainment. What follows is a list of art event and exhibitions already on the books, primarily for October and November, except where noted. September exhibits are previewed elsewhere in or at reader.com and December is reserved for winter previews. Stay tuned online for updates, and best of all, many art exhibits are free to the public.
But not all. Two of the most anticipated arts events each fall are major fundraisers for the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and the Kaneko. The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts presents the Benefit Art Auction on Friday, October 27, 2017 from 5:30–9:30 p.m. The Benefit unites local and national artists in an effort to raise critical resources for the Bemis Center.
Special to this year’s event, the Bemis partners with Maha Music Festival to create an After Party Concert featuring Cults with Closeness, doors opening at 9:30 p.m. Tickets for the Benefit Art Auction and After Party Concert go on sale September 20.
Bemis Center members have the first opportunity to preview auction artwork at the Artist and Member Preview Reception on October 13 from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. The Benefit Art Auction Exhibition will be on view, October 14–27, during public hours, Wednesday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and until 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays. All artwork is available for purchase prior to the Benefit Art Auction at “Buy it Now” prices. More information can be found at bemiscenter.org/benefit.
Yet, nearly a month earlier, Kaneko kicks-off the arts fundraising season in September with its annual Soiree featuring possibly the year’s most significant art exhibition thus far, Kinetic, which ends Oct. 14. The Kaneko Open Space Soiree, Friday, September 22, from 6 – 9 p.m. features not only a viewing of this visually stunning exhibition of interactive sculpture, but also a musical performance from the noteworthy electric string quartet, Urban Electra. For event details and ticket prices, go to thekaneko.org.
Patrons of Joslyn Art Museum will also pay extra to see one of its two major October exhibitions, Marks of Genius: 100 Extraordinary Drawings from the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which opens Oct. 7 and closes Jan. 7, 2018. The exhibit includes drawings, watercolors, oil sketches and pastels dating from the Middle Ages to the present day from such artists as Guercino, Tiepolo, Delacroix, Degas, Kollwitz, Nolde, Hopper, and Ruscha, among others.
Joslyn’s Riley Contemporary Artists Project (CAP) Gallery exhibition opening this fall, also from Oct. 7 to Jan. 7, 2018, features artist Svenja Deininger’s elegant, intimate canvases offering a unique brand of cool abstraction. Balancing bold hues with variations on white, her paintings contemplate the singular power of color. For show details, museum hours, admission and more, go to joslyn.org.
But perhaps the most promising fine arts event this year for regional artists …and every other year to come…is organized and hosted by Gallery 1516; the return of the Nebraska Artist Biennial opening this Nov. 3. $10,000 in prize money for the 2017 version is offered in the following categories: best of show, drawing/printmaking, painting, photography, student artist, artist choice and people choice. A 3D category will be offered in 2019. Best of all for viewers, the Biennial is free and open to the public. For exhibit details, prize money, related events and gallery hours, go to gallery1516.org.
Additional non-profit venues have scheduled key exhibitions this fall including Union for Contemporary Arts, Metro Community College and the Fred Simon Gallery.
The Union’s Wanda D. Ewing Gallery will host artist Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez and her exhibit Chapter 5: River, which explores the experience of living between cultures and languages. The show, curated by Risa Puleao, opens Sept. 8 and closes Oct. 14.
Portraits of a Process: The Experience of Portraiture in a Clinical Setting opens Sept. 18, at 5:30 p.m., with an artist presentation at 7:00 on the South Omaha Campus of the Metro Community College. The exhibit features artist Mark Gilbert who returns with work similar to past shows in Omaha, Saving Faces and Portraits of Care. The work will hang at Metro for a year where it is hoped other curriculums will benefit from it as an educational tool.
The Fred Simon Gallery will feature Memento by Omaha artist Christina Narwicz from Sept. 1 – October 20. Narwicz’s body of work continues to explore abstraction and its connection to the natural world. Her current interest lies in the Loess Hills looking at earth, sky, plants, water, trees and the surrounding vista.
Many private galleries promise significant fall exhibits but none more promising than from Modern Arts Midtown, the Moving Gallery in the Old Market and Darger HQ on Vinton Street. MAM will open a two-month long survey of well-known regional artist Bob Culver Oct 6. Culver’s multi-media exhibit includes automata and 3D and 2D relief with his own unique point of view and stylizations both personal and cultural.
The nomadic Moving Gallery is hosting its next show from Oct 5 to December 3, featuring two Swiss artists Hendrikje Kuhne and Beat Klein who work in tandem on each piece. Kuhne/Klein, former 2012 Emmy Gifford Fellows at the Bemis Center, are visual artists whose work focuses on landscape ranging from sticker books, large installations, photographic works and videos. Their combined efforts will be on view at the Garden of the Zodiac Gallery in the Old Market Passageway.
Fragile Boundaries, opening Friday, September 8, at Darger HQ, will feature work by Camille Hawbaker (Omaha, Nebraska) and Julia Ibbini (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) and will be on view through November 5th. The opening reception will be 6 to 9 p.m., with an artist talk at 8 p.m. moderated by Alex Priest, Exhibitions Manager, Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts.