10 Showstopper Omaha Artists
As these outstanding artists make loud and clear, exciting things are happening in the Omaha, Nebraska, art scene right now. Working across mediums, these ten artists use paint, film, textiles, clay and more to examine everything from the intimately personal to global crises, creating artwork that captures the diversity and vibrancy of the Midwest.
Ready to be inspired by Omaha? Check out the ten artists below.
Jave Yoshimoto was born in Japan to Chinese parents and immigrated to United States at a young age. His bold and graphic visual work grapples with contemporary social and global issues such as the refugee crisis in Greece and the 9.1 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan in 2011.
Prolific sculptor, ceramic artist and painter Jun Kaneko is drawn to creating installations that promote civic interaction. He has completed over sixty public art commissions and designed sets for three operas. In 1998, Jun and his wife Ree formed KANEKO, a nonprofit cultural organization that serves the Omaha community as an open space for creativity. Insider tip: ALIVE features Jun Kaneko in our second print issue of the year; be on the lookout for this inspiring story.
An avid journaler, fiber artist and painter, Camille Hawbaker found that the words she wrote in her journal did not fit what she was trying to express. She began writing with flammable liquids, burning the pages, printing over them, and sewing pieces back together in order to reflect on the value of the process of journaling as well as the failure of language to truly express.
Barbara Simcoe’s paintings capture the breadth of female archetypes. She explores both women’s strengths and vulnerabilities through surreal and often serene figurative depictions.
At 20, when Jody Boyer’s father was diagnosed with cancer, he gave her a camera; this sparked Boyer’s long-term interest in photography and installation. Her many works explore concepts of personal memory, landscape, cinema and sense of place.
A sculptor who considers himself to be an object-maker, Luke Severson’s striking works, such as a giant Jenga game made from cinder blocks, speak to themes of opposition and resolution, craft and production, hero and villain, natural and produced, fair and foul.
Maps have always intrigued painter Kristine Hansen-Cain. Her still and muted cityscapes are framed from an aerial perspective, bringing quiet reflection and fresh perspective to everyday scenes.
A ceramic artists with ecological concerns, Jess Benjamin’s artwork focuses on water usage in the Great Plains area: a regional concern related to the phenomenon of global drought. Her work references the world’s increasing struggles over water rights.
Victoria Hoyt’s mixed-media art is strongly rooted in the homemade craft aesthetic. With keen attention to pattern and color, Hoyt layers painting, embroidery, collage and other forms into expressive, narrative works.
Print maker and painter Amy Haney’s love of the natural world shines through in her prints of birds, animals and insects, which are often put in juxtaposition to man-made objects, highlighting the distinction(s) between animals and humans.
Cover image courtesy of Luke Severson.