Bemis Underground highlights local talent

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March 30th, 2011

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Omaha, NE – A diverse collection of contemporary art from local artists is currently on display at the Bemis Underground in the gallery’s first juried exhibition.

The work on display at the Bemis Underground was selected from over two hundred entries by local artists all within 100 miles of Omaha: from Lincoln, the Missouri Valley, and within the city. Joel Damon, the curator of the exhibit, said it includes 36 selected pieces that “span a wide range of media, subjects and approaches.”

Arjan Zazueta's "Mandy and Me Chasing Ghosts Together" is one of the works featured in the Bemis Underground's first regional juried exhibition.

“It’s a lot of new faces,” he said, “a lot of artists that aren’t on a whole lot of people’s radar. We have artists that are just starting out at college to people that work as professors, to established mid-career artists… we have one that’s 88 years old.”

The Juror of the exhibit is Kate Hackman, the Associate Director of the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City. She awarded top prizes to three artists last week, who Damon said truly do stand out. The first, Alexandra Borovski is a brilliant young painter, Damon said. The second, Kan Seidel has created a “brave” and “smart” video piece as he described, which has also been controversial: it depicts the struggles of an older black woman in the United States, played by a transvestite. The third artist, Brittan Rosendahl, has taken large format photographs with a passport camera, which Damon said explore identities and personas placed on society. Damon said the exhibit shows just how much talent exists in our community.

Neil Griess' "Untitled" oil painting is on display at the Bemis Underground, along with the work of 35 other local artists, through April 16.

“There’s always, always new work out there to be discovered, and there’s always a high level being made just in our community,” he said. “We picked 36 artists, and this is only within 100 miles of Bemis Center…I think it just shows us and shows the rest of the community that … we should appreciate what we have, and also, that there’s always new work to be found…and we should always keep looking.”

The Bemis Underground’s Regional Juried Exhibition continues through April 16th, in the lower level of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in downtown Omaha.

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