Bemis Hosts Open House/Open Studios

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July 21st, 2018

Omaha, NE—At the Okada Center at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, artist Jenny Yurshansky is forming metal into coils, which will become integral pieces to one of her larger ceramic works. It’s all part of the current Artist Residency Program at Bemis, hosting 10 artists out of almost 300 hundred applicants. It’s a chance for artists from all over the country and around the world to live and work carefree in Omaha for about three months. Their works in progress and studio spaces will be on display at Bemis this Saturday.

Yurshansky, based in LA, works in many forms, utilizing sculpture, ceramics, and photography. Conceptually, she is inspired by her family’s exodus from the Soviet Bloc in the 70s, when Jewish families who had lived there for centuries became refugees.

Yurshansky has since returned to Moldova with her mother, finding artifacts and conversations that would inform her work. Her mother wasn’t enthusiastic about it, however, since even after settling in the US, there was still a void.

Another artist in residence at Bemis who deals with time and place is Ian Weaver.

Weaver’s mother is from Chicago, part of the West Side known as the “Black Bottom.” It’s a neighborhood that has since vanished due to urban renewal, but it is still an important ideal for Weaver.

A trained painter and printmaker, Weaver is also no stranger to many media, venturing into collage, sculpture, and assemblage. He’s put together abstract constructions and imaginative narratives, even creating a fictional historical group native to the neighborhood, the Black Knights–part medieval knight, part Black Nationalist.

The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts’ Open House/ Open Studios is this Saturday, July 21 from 11 to 4pm. The event will feature a talk from the artists at noon, an ice cream social, and an all ages art activity. For more information, visit BemisCenter.org

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