Artistic Outliers at the Artists Coop
March 7th, 2012
Omaha, NE – The latest exhibit at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery shows a variety of work by three local artists – some familiar names and some fresh on the scene.
“Along the wall are some, what I call wallflowers, they’re blown into a flower shape,” said Frank Daharsh, a local glassblowing artist, originally from Lincoln. He walked me through the Artists Cooperative Gallery in Omaha’s Old Market, where some of his latest work is on display.
“I like to do these in fairly bright colors, different patterns and shapes,” he explained. “There’s a lot of different things you can do with the glass and the patterns.”
Daharsh has worked for several years in Omaha in graphic and product design. He recently turned to glass blowing, and works mainly in the Hot Shops Art Center a few blocks away creating vases, bowls and sculptural pieces.
“It’s an art form where I’m always learning new things all the time,” he said. “It’s just a very unique medium to work with.”
Installed alongside Daharsh’s work is a series of pieces by Linda Hatfield, another local artist who grew up in Omaha, and has been involved in the arts for much of her life. Her work is featured in several galleries across the region, and is distinguished by distinctive, bold colors.
Using acrylics on wood, Hatfield creates pieces with slightly twisted imagery and a comedic feel. Hatfield says her work is often inspired by snippets of overheard conversation, and a wry sense of humor.
“This unusual looking man flying over a landscape in a basket with his hand up lie he’s asking a question is titled ‘Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?’” she said.
“So it’s those sorts of things that I hear and they strike me. And there’s usually a comic element, at least to me, not everybody gets that,” she added with a laugh.
The third artist in the exhibit, Dale Macafee, is new to the art world. Originally from New York State, his work includes several landscape paintings of rural farmland.
“I love Nebraska, I love Iowa, both of ‘em,” he said. “There’s a unique picture here because I didn’t grow up around corn fields and wheat fields. We had mountains, but not bluffs that were that delicate. (It’s) sort of stark, I like it that way.”
Macafee studied education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and says he worked in a structured job for 30 years and had a yearning to create. Five years ago, he picked up a paintbrush.
“That’s the exciting part about it,” Macafee said. “Pick up a brush five years ago, and start doing it, and it’s pathetic what you don’t know… You stand on the shoulders of other people, and learn so much and so quickly just by looking around, and visiting galleries, which is the exciting part.”
The exhibit, Artistic Outliers, runs through Sunday, April 1st at the Artists Cooperative Gallery.