Anderson O’Brien features new work by local staple
March 26th, 2012
Omaha, NE – A new exhibit by a local staple opens this week at the Anderson O’Brien Fine Art Gallery.
“That’s one of the first ribbon piece I ever did…it’s got this kind of wormy feel to it,” said Kristin Pluhacek, pointing to a large canvas of black, grey and creamy pastels.
Pluhacek has been working as an artist in Omaha since 1990. She’s known in the city for her work with large, colorful florals. But she’s currently preparing for a new exhibit at Anderson O’Brien, where she’ll be showing a series of pieces based on ribbons: some bright, some dark, all swirling with energy and life.
“I like them because they provide a lot of different lines and shapes that I can kind of choose from,” she said. “So I actually put a ribbon on my drawing board when I’m working.” Pluhacek said she’ll often think of a word as she works. “I have this whole list of words that I think are interesting. And the word might connote something that has nothing to do with … the actual definition of the word. More often than not, responding to the sound.”
For example, Pluhacek has a piece she’s currently working on called “Burble,” which is bright and playful, and filled with round, bubbly shapes.
She said she’s attracted to shapes and usually focuses on individual forms to base her work, and those are usually drawn from everyday life. Such as: she started working on florals when she began her first garden.
“I feel like I’m very tactile,” she said. “I can touch those things and all of a sudden, I started noticing small details that I found really interesting.”
“So I tend to take those small things and make them very, very large, so I can really emphasize things that maybe aren’t always noticed,” she said.
Pluhacek also has sketches of some of her other work taped up on the walls in her midtown studio. These are sketches many in Omaha might not see very often – they’re of figures and portraits, some left over from her life drawing class at Metropolitan Community College, where she’s an adjunct instructor.
It can be difficult to find a space to show figures in Omaha, Pluhacek said, adding that balancing what fits in a gallery with what she might otherwise be drawn to can be tricky, but it also helps her focus on what she’s creating.
“It’s nice to have a show because it consolidates what you’re doing,” she said. “I tend to just come in and draw what I want when I don’t have a show on the horizon. And then when you have this show, you don’t necessarily make all new work, but you sort of look at what you’ve been doing and see where it’s been going.”
“I think it’s true in most people’s lives. There’s a combination between sort of existing and doing and following what paths are in front of you and just focusing at some point and pulling it all together.”
Pluhacek’s latest exhibit opens at Anderson O’Brien Fine Art Gallery in Omaha’s Old Market March 30, and runs through April 22. An opening reception with the artist will take place the evening of the 30th.