Union for Contemporary Art Fellows Exhibition 2017 Tonight

November 3rd, 2017

By Corbin Hirschhorn

Omaha, NE—For the last 11 months, The Union for Contemporary Art in North Omaha has been hosting local artists as part of their artist fellowship program. This Friday is their 2017 Union Fellows exhibition, featuring fashion design by Samone Davis, visual art by Slowed Soul, light based installations from Jaimie D. Hardy, textiles by self-titled “Quiltrepreneur” Celeste Butler and sound and visuals by Edem K. Garro.

The Union’s mission overall is community focus and positive social change in North Omaha. While many residencies facilitate out-of-town artists’ ventures to Omaha, The Union focuses on local creativity.

“What the Union does that’s a little bit different, with bringing in local artists is it helps to build that community here and so once that community  is well-built, then we have this strong enough platform to where—yes international artists coming in that’s great—but now we have this network here of artists that we can help to raise as far as the youth,” Garro said. “We can help to educate youth and adults, and so I think one thing that this fellowship has done for us as the fellows is definitely help to build more of a sense of community which is part of our fellowship.”

Garro primary writes and performs music, and her current project, Sounds of 24th Street is inspired by ambient sounds recorded near the Union’s facility. During her time at the Union, Garro has composed several songs and has performed locally with a focus on audience participation.

“I recorded several sounds of traffic, people walking, and that’s kind of the backbone to a lot of my sound pieces. So there’s one piece called ‘Ketah.’ In the background you can hear noises of the traffic and that’s if you really listen but the piece is an interpretation of what I guess the general feelings of 24th Street—the energy of the street was in that particular moment in time—and then I have another piece that just kind of uses the traffic as its own music. So they’re different voices that I have layered on top of it and the listener supposed to listen to one voice and follow it all the way through just like how the traffic ebbs and flows and so those are some pieces that’ll be presented at the Union as well as some of my visual work.”

In addition to sound, Garro has also been working with acrylic paint.

“People that know me say I get deep really fast and especially in conversation and dialogue. So when I put forth my efforts in a direction, it’s always with massive intent and so my acrylic paintings kind of speak on our current state of existence in the sense that we are attached to material gain while attempting to find some form of peace—the sense of compassion and love and just this nurturing nature that we think we can chase after with material possessions. You can’t buy love.”

The 2017 Union Fellows Exhibition is this Friday, November 3rd at The Union for Contemporary Art from 6-9pm. There will be a special live performance of Garro’s music on Saturday the 4th at 7:00pm. For more information, visit u-ca.org,


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