Perhaps sometimes you have to grow up a bit before you can appreciate the finer things in life. While I have always been a creative person, I think my artistic eye has developed more over the last several years. Now that I have been to more art galleries, I definitely appreciate when others can help visualize the people and the places that I love in a whole new light. This week I returned to Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art for the fourth time to see their current exhibit, 150 for Nebraska’s 150th exhibit that is only there for another week.
The 150 for Nebraska’s 150th exhibition might be my favorite Bone Creek exhibit so far. What is wonderful about this exhibit is the fact that both professionals and amateurs were allowed to submit their artwork for selection. The goal was to 150 Nebraska artists (or at least with ties to Nebraska) contribute to the exhibition. The result is a diverse collection of varied mediums, techniques and effects. If I highlighted all of my favorites, this post would be several pages long. Instead, I will show you some of my favorite techniques that were featured.
Mixed Media Art
Some of the art was dimensional. This corn inspired piece was created by a student. I appreciate the theme behind this miniature sculpture. This is what Nebraska is known for – sprouting lives as the corn grows high. Although the piece seems simple , I am certain that winding the twine and molding the fabric still took a fair amount of time.
My feature image is a colorful painting entitled “Sing It Again” by artist Sheila Orr. This Nebraska artist is known for featuring birds and other aspects of nature in her artwork. Because she featured a meadowlark, Nebraska’s state bird, my eye was immediately drawn to her artwork.
When they were younger, my kids enjoyed creating scratchboard art. This is the kind where you scratch away a design on a board. What is left is beautiful colors underneath – definitely a thrilling way for children to create art. I am not sure that I have seen scratchboard art in a gallery before. Bartek’s skill at design went far beyond my children’s creations. Teamwork is an important part of Plains life and agriculture. Her design definitely caught my eye.
Last fall when I stopped into the Bone Creek Agrarian Art Museum take some pictures, they happened to be in between showings. “Corn” was about to take center stage in David City. One of the featured artists of that exhibit was Margaret Berry. She happened to be the first artist-in-residence at Lincoln’s Marriot Hotel. While she is not from Nebraska, she definitely has a connection to our state now. This is how one of her pieces is a part of the 150 for Nebraska’s 150th display. “Prairie Ribbons” is created using an unusual technique. Encaustic Art is almost a mixture of sculpture and paint since hot wax is used to create the design. The result is a beautifully textured display. Although this piece is abstract, somehow it typifies a Nebraska prairie.
One of my other favorite pieces in the exhibit is created using another unusual art technique. This piece of pottery added an interesting element to the 150 exhibit. Entitled “Nebraska Sunrise,” this circular piece of pottery was created by Michael Arnold. For this display of art, natural materials are the key elements. Besides using the unique type of raku clay, horse hair and pheasant feathers are transformed and make a new kind of artistic statement. Ferric chloride is another key ingredient. Producing this type of art requires scientific expertise as well. Gabrielle Comte, who is the Collections Manager at Bone Creek Museum graciously agreed to let me film her explaining more about the process of creating raku pottery.