Bemis hosts three new artists-in-residence


June 1st, 2011

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Omaha, NE – The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is hosting three new artists-in-residence this month.

Artist April Behnke uses pencil, ink and watercolor to create delicate images of nature and human sexuality. (Image courtesy Bemis Center)

The three artists are widely different in their work. From Washington, D.C., April Behnke uses watercolor, pencil and ink to create delicate images of nature and human sexuality. Based in New York, Nathaniel Sullivan uses paintings, performance and playful and ironic video in his work, exploring themes of mischief making, gender identity and the male experience.

Sullivan and Behnke are the newest artists to join the Bemis’ residency program. A third artist, Derek Cote, from Nashville, Tennessee, has already set up shop, and has been working for the past two weeks. Bemis Residency Manager Heather Johnson describes his work as an exploration of alienation.

Artist Nathaniel Sullivan combines paintings, video and performance in his work. (Image courtesy Bemis Center)

“He’s interested in anthropological stories… he works predominantly in wood with architectural forms, and he’s really interested in symbology and the different contexts that people can bring to that.”

The three artists will discuss their work Thursday, June 2nd at 7pm, at the Bemis’ regularly scheduled, and free, Art Talk series. The Bemis’ artists-in-residency program typically hosts 24 artists each year, but is expanding this summer to 36. Johnson said the Bemis accepts about two percent of the artists who apply to the competitive program.

“One of the benefits of the residency program is that the work does not need to be pre-determined,” she said. “This is really a place for them to come, work out their ideas take risks, experiment with new media, themes they’ve been thinking about, so it’s a very open process here.”

Artist Derek Cote has been working in the Bemis for two weeks, creating sculptures and installations that explore themes of alienation. (Image courtesy Bemis Center)

Johnson said the Bemis’ residency program, which includes a studio and monthly stipend, provides artists with the gift of time, space and support – three things critical for the creative process.

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