Omaha born and bred artist Robyn O’Neil was invited by UNL’s Department of Art and Art History to be artist-in-residence the week of October 22 – 26.  Faculty and students in UNL’s printmaking studios assisted O’Neil in printing an edition of etchings for the Under Pressure Print Club. O’Neil discussed her life and background in the evolution of her narrative vision during a public lecture at Richards Hall. Expecting the standard artist’s talk, I was surprised by her candor and openness. She humorously related a pivotal childhood experience, describing her first consciousness of existential terror. This event became a trigger for an art career devoted to the pathos of the human condition. A mechanical graphite pencil has been her tool of choice in creating a body of work whose alienation and deep sadness paradoxically provide curiosity and wonder. “Hell”, at 14 feet wide and taking two years to complete, is her largest drawing to date. Inspired by Giotto’s “Scenes from the Apocalypse”, she created an odyssey incorporating over 35,000 collage elements and 65,000 figures. I was moved and inspired by her dedication of purpose in transforming personal anxiety into a broader vision. For further information about “Chimney Rock”, the print completed in the UNL print studio, contact Karen Kunc at “We, The Masses”, a short animated film based on O’Neil’s drawing style may be viewed at her website

The Sioux City Art Center is celebrating the opening of “Larry Roots, On the Surface”, Saturday, November 3, 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Roots’ thoughtfully composed abstract works, capturing the ephemeral and felt, will be on view through February 3, 2013. The Art Center is bringing together a large selection of his work from recent years. Artist and Gallery Director Larry Roots will give a Gallery Talk at 5 pm on November 3.

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