Bemis Center celebrates 30 years


June 22nd, 2011

Omaha, NE – The Bemis Center turns 30 this year. As the gallery celebrates its anniversary this weekend, it’s showing off its new studios and renovated third flood along with three exhibits including The Golden Year.

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One of the 365 days of "The Golden Year" by Keith Jacobshagen. (Photo by Angel Martin)

When you walk into the Bemis Center, one of the first exhibits you see is The Golden Year. Keith Jacobshagen painted 365 mini paintings that are now on display: one for each day of the year, showing different reflections at dusk from the ground to the sky. When you stand in the middle of the showroom, several shades of blue, gray, and black surround you.

“Artists are great thinkers and problem solvers, which is part of the creative process,” said the executive director of the Bemis Center, Mark Masouka. “In fact, we always see that when we put artists in certain situations…they always exceed our expectations in what they come up with.”

Expansion on the third floor at the Bemis Center (Photo by Angel Martin)

That exhibit shows a year of work. As the Bemis Center celebrates 30 years of work, art patrons will also notice the expansion onto the third floor which includes five new studios and more project space. Masouka said there will be an urban garden resting on the new loading dock in front of the center.

“The garden is going to be beautiful, and it will have a function at the same time,” Masouka said. The garden will recycle water stored off the Bemis’ roof, Masouka said, and the intent is to pose the question, “What does it really mean to be socially and environmentally conscious about how we address our everyday lives? And for us also, how do we address our water mitigation issues that are being used?”

The Bemis’ 30 year anniversary celebration is a free event, complete with cake and ice cream, and kicks off at noon Saturday at the Bemis Center located in downtown Omaha’s Old Market.

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