Katie Kros can sum up quickly why she uses art as expression. “I’ve never been good with words,” Kros says, “so I let my art speak for me.”

Kros will be one of four artists, including Jenny Suing, Joe Stickman and Paul Heft, who will be showcasing their artwork at the latest installment in the art series, Art Bar, Wednesday, April 24, at the Old Market Tavern. The purpose of Art Bar is to give new and emerging artists an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work in a unconventional, yet relaxed setting.

Katie Kros uses a variety of mediums but prefers charcoal. She considers it a bold and classic way to convey emotion through shading. Acrylic is another favorite of hers; she paints to release those “inner demons” artists are always talking about. Kros utilizes dramatic color contrast and experiments with splatter designs. Kros has recently dipped into fashion with Dominikat Clothing. Painting provides Kros with a free-flowing stream of emotion. When drawing it’s more of a specific moment in time she’s focusing on.

The second artist is Jenny Suing. Suing’s parents always enjoyed art, so she grew up with that influence. After attending Boystown, Suing realized just how much her art teacher inspired her. Abstract art and Surrealism has always captivated her. Suing looks up to Frida Kahlo as a strong female artist. Her biggest piece depicts Kahlo, which took months to complete. Suing is intrigued by eyes, insects and texture. Art helps Suing turn off her mind and help with sobriety. She sent out Christmas card designs to donors across the U.S. one year at Boystown.

Joe Stickman has been an artist ever since he could pick up a pencil. He has progressed from standard drawing and colored pencil portraits to creating pieces using metal, plastic and paint.  As an artist, Stickman excelled in his classes through high school.  He knew from the beginning that he wanted to build a career utilizing his talents. In 1997 Joe Stickman enrolled at Universal Technical Institute of Commercial Art.  He graduated in 1999 with his Associates Degree. Upon graduation Joe began working at a sign company in Omaha and he continued working in the sign business until he started Stickman Graphics & Signs, Inc in 2003. Stickman often uses recycled materials in his art. His pieces have been sold and displayed at various locations. His unique use of materials and paints sets his work apart from many artists. Many people are surprised to learn that Stickman is also colorblind. He has not let that get in the way of his true passion of creating and has found a way to still create art in a form and color that only he can see.

Paul Heft has always wanted to dip into painting, so a few months ago he did. Definitely new to the field, Heft enjoys mixing dark colors like red, black, purple and navy blue to make gradual mixing and shades, hopefully evoking emotion. He also is intrigued by using bright neon colors against the stark contrast of black. Heft experiments with text. He uses lyrics from songs; some from his favorite bands and some of his own lyrics. Heft feels he can excel at art that doesn’t have much form; drawing and painting distinct shapes have always been a challenge for him, so he sticks with a loose, abstract feel. His favorite mediums are acrylic on canvas. He feels his art is best when he isn’t pressured by the outcome. It’s all about shutting off your mind.

Besides getting to take in all the original art, Art Bar’ers can compete in the Potluck Challenge by bringing a potluck dish to the event, with patrons selecting the best dish. The winner will recieve a special prize. Also, the Old Market Tavern will be kicking off its special Summer Beer Sampler Week by offering $2 bottle special on certain summer lagers, including Leinenkugel Summer Shandy.

Art Bar begins at 8 p.m. at the Old Market Tavern, located at the corner of 10th and Jackson in the Old Market next to Fringes salon. For more informationt, click here.

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