Metro area artists and art supporters Tom and Jean Sitzman have created a new venue. The Connect Gallery and Studios at 3901 Leavenworth St. will have an Opening celebration Friday, Feb. 15, 5 – 9 pm. “We spent 7 months renovating the building and getting a good lighting system,” said gallery owner Tom Sitzman. “Our mission is to connect the arts in Omaha through music and painting. We want to connect artists in ‘meet and critique’ situations. Jean encourages young artists. It’s a passion with her. Connect Gallery and Studios is a place for artists to come together and share. Artists can contact us about teaching classes and workshops.” Their first exhibition includes work by Kent Behrens, Ken Heimbuch, Judith Anthony Johnston, Jean Mills, Jean Sitzman, Tom Sitzman, and JK Thorsen. Photography, Painting (abstract and plein-air), Sculpture, and Fiber are featured. “The permanent gallery is on the first floor,” said Sitzman.”There is also an area for teaching classes.” JK Thorsen will be teaching plein air landscape painting in the spring. Jean Mills will be doing a fiber arts workshop the last two weeks of March and first two weeks of April. In addition to the Sitzman’s personal studio space, two studios have been rented to artists working on projects. “The opening is a dual celebration of our building and our birthdays,” said Sitzman. “We’ll have food, drink, art, and live music by Dan Cerveny.” The show closes Feb. 28, 2013. Hours, Wed – Sat, 11 am – 5 pm, 402.991.8234,!/tom.sitzman.5?fref=ts

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