Eclectic mix at the Artists’ Coop

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June 21st, 2011

Omaha, NE – An eclectic mix of art is on display at the Artists Cooperative Gallery this month.

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Dar Vandevoort's signature puzzle pieces are showcased in this 1997 work, Emotional Evolution II. (Image courtesy the artist)

This month’s members’ exhibit showcases the work of three local artists, with widely varied work. The first artist, Richard Markoff, is a retired art teacher in Omaha, who has created large, bright floral paintings with striking backgrounds. Dar VandeVoort’s work might be familiar to some Omahans, who may have seen her signature puzzle pieces embedded within boldly-colored paintings.

“All of the pieces are so textural, and have such color sense that it’s really fun,” said Linda Hatfield, the third featured artist in the exhibit. Hatfield said each artist’s work, though different, shares a common theme of bold colors and use of texture.

Artist Linda Hatfield uses wood burning and acrylics to create brightly colored pieces, embossed with images inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. (Image courtesy the artist)

For her work, Hatfield uses wood burning and acrylics to create tongue-in-cheek pieces about the darker side of life. She’s a collector of artwork typically used in the annual Mexican festival: Day of the Dead. Hatfield says the holiday looks at death and darkness a little differently.

“Not the way our culture views death,” she said. “The skeletons are fun, and in the images of Day of the Dead, they’re doing fun things, playing music and dancing, and they’re brightly colored. It’s really just a light-hearted look at things that many people think of as scary and unsavory.”

In Hatfield’s work, she plays off the lighthearted darkness of Day of the Dead, with voodoo dolls and cartoonish figures of Satan.

“I have his third grade picture and his eighth grade picture. So it’s like school pictures of Satan,” she laughed. “They’re quite fun, and his little goatee that he had even in preschool is getting quite big by the time he’s in the eighth grade, and he’s also taken up smoking by eighth grade. So it’s just a fun topic to explore.”

This eclectic mix of local art is on display in the More is More exhibit at the Artists Cooperative Gallery in downtown Omaha through June 26th.

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