Feb 01

February Art Exhibits- Hinds Gallery: Megan Ripke

The Art of Megan Ripke: Not your garden variety paintings

Slide 1Megan Ripke’s warm and inviting floral explorations are featured this month in the Hinds Gallery. Her paintings offer a refreshing touch of springtime to fend off the bitter chill of winter!

After earning her BFA from Concordia University Nebraska in 2008, Ripke was a middle school art teacher at Green Park Lutheran School in St. Louis, MO. Since moving to Hooper, she has taught art classes here at Gallery 92 West as well as at Immanuel Lutheran School in Hooper. Megan’s work has been featured in a variety of group shows in Nebraska and Wisconsin. She had a solo exhibit in 2013, and has been a part of the FAAA All-Member and ANAC shows for the last several years.

Slide 1A visual interpretation of the ephemeral qualities of the natural world, Ripke says her paintings “explore the transient beauty that can be seen in nature and created life. This life can be temporal, fleeting and yet beautiful. Sometimes this beauty lasts months, weeks, or even just days. Eventually, life fades and death inevitably comes for every living thing.

“Each year that natural world experiences a cycle of life and death. However, life is restored again every year in the spring. Winter comes to an end. Soil is worked and seeds are planted. My work signifies a restoration of life. For me, this restoration brings hope and peace.”

Please join us in welcoming Megan and her serene and cheerful promises of the sun to come at an Artist’s Reception on Friday, February 5, from 5:00-7:00p.m.

Bristol Gallery: Doug Rasmussen- Art from nature to the cosmos


Rassmussen1The art musings of Doug Rasmussen will be featured in the Bristol Gallery. His pastels and paintings have an almost surreal quality that expresses his view of our place in nature and the cosmos, and what he considers the mythology of humanity

Doug grew up in a rural area and found it intriguing to depict his favorite aspects of nature. Drawing trees was his first love. To this day, he says, “whenever faced with the dreaded ‘block’ creative people inevitably encounter from time to time, I go to the organic and free flowing and forgiving rendering of our ancient arbor guardians. Shaping the gnarled, aged trunks and meandering chaotic branches, then shaping the leaves is always a first Go To for me in times of indirection.

“Coupled with my later education and the fascination that warm colors come forward to our eyes, while cool colors recede, I learned that adding depth could add a whole new dimension beyond making a mere ‘engaging image.’ In so doing, warm and cool seem to be the nature of not only color, but also humanity as a whole.

Rasmussen3”For Rasmussen, this other dimension is also bridged into his renderings of the human form, albeit highly stylized and expressive. It leads the viewer to Rasmussen’s exploration of “the myth that is our own nature in real life fantasy. We’ve all enjoyed the lore of our humanity, as we love to walk in a grove of trees or stargaze at the planets that may inspire thoughts of said ‘myths’ and all the warm and cool colors within them.”


Gallery hires Olson as new assistant

AngieAfter years of discussion and a growing need, Gallery 92 West has hired a part-time assistant to help Barbara with day-to-day needs.

We received many qualified applications and Barbara and Sandi Brune conducted interviews. Following these interviews an offer was extended to Angie Olson.

A life-long art lover, Angie Olson has been teaching kids art classes at the FAAA for just over a year. She holds a BA in English from Midland and also attended the College of Saint Mary legal studies program.

Angie was intrigued by the position at the FAAA because she loves spending time at the gallery, finding it peaceful yet creatively energetic.

Olson hopes her experience as a contract administrator will be useful in her duties at the FAAA, along with her love of organizing and planning. Angie is grateful to be a part of the gallery and looks forward to continuing to spread the FAAA mission.

Olson officially began just after the first of the year.

February Loft Artist- Randy Ruppert (Metal Engraving and Photography)

The Reception for the February Exhibits and will be held Friday February 5th, from 5-7pm

Jan 03

January Art Exhibits- Hinds Gallery: Albert Rhea

Poetry of Space- The Art of Albert Rhea

Hinds1Omaha native, and current Papillion resident, Al (Albert) Rhea is gracing our gallery with both sculpture and photography for the month of January. Al is a graduate of Bellevue College (now University), and studied both media when working toward his degree. Al is better known for his monumental sculptural contributions to our environment. Notable commissions are: the Joslyn Castle Neighborhood Association, and Aksarben Shopping Center in Omaha, The Columbus Public Library in Columbus and at the Jewish Community Center of Omaha. He has exhibited throughout the United States, and we feel very privileged to have his work come to our gallery.

Al comes by his love of photography naturally. His father was a wildlife photographer, and Al grew up with the world of photography, still using some of his father’s equipment. The macrophotography (also sometimes referred to as close-up photography) segment of this show, is often described as magical. In Al’s Butterfly Habitat Series the viewer is taken into a smaller universe of vibrant colors, exquisite details and breathtakingly extraordinary patterns. “This style of photography can be challenging because it involves moving in close and magnifying what is there, beyond the normal perception of the object – a magical realism as seen through other eyes.“

The Medicine Metaphor segment of the show arose from a personal confrontation with back pain, and the need to medicate. “One morning while opening a new medication, I noticed the white, sterile inside of the box. There is no message to see inside a box with warnings plastered all over the outside of the package. I replaced the sterile, clean, hard edges of a mass produced object with a nature message. I want to illustrate the beauty and the beast in the unexpected – and ugly – places. The butterfly is the only animal that has a meaning of freedom, because it is the only one able to connect with the earth and the sky.” The photos in this series are all one-of-one prints that are numbered, signed and dated.

Rhea has always been a person who is interested in creating something with his hands. Photography does not fulfill this need, so, while at Bellevue College, Al connected with professor and prominent Omaha sculptor, Les Bruning. Bruning shared his feeling that “sculpture is a hard sell because it takes up living space”. Al decided that outdoor sculpture is the answer to that problem.

Hinds2Rhea has been producing monumental sculptures ever since college. His father was a welder and maintenance man at Offutt Air Force Base, and taught Al how to weld and paint sculpture. For the first fifteen years he produced figurative painted steel works, however he has since switched to creating stainless steel sculptures. The Cosmos Series on exhibit here, represents the study of galaxies, alternate universes, black holes and stars. Rhea is interested in the origin structure and space-time relationships of the universe. He utilizes stainless steel arcs and spiral elements with painted spheres that combine to form structure.

You are cordially invited to meet Al Rhea at the reception for this show, January 8th. It will be a feast for the eyes and the senses!

Bristol Gallery: FPS Elementary and High School Select Exhibit

Gallery celebrates young artists

Several works of art in paint, crayon and marker color the walls of the B.H. Gehringer Gallery at Gallery 92 West in January. The works were created by select Fremont Public Schools Elementary students. (Chris Bristol, Fremont Tribune)

Several works of art in paint, crayon and marker color the walls of the B.H. Gehringer Gallery at Gallery 92 West in January. The works were created by select Fremont Public Schools Elementary students. (Chris Bristol, Fremont Tribune)

During the month of January, the Bristol Gallery will host a wide variety of masterpieces created by local young artists from the Fremont Public Schools. Elementary Art Specialists, Julie Bristol, Jesse Kiefer, and Jenny Trapp along with Senior High Art Teachers Mara Hornig, Amy Gillespie, and Jennifer Gay promise delight for the viewers as they peruse the gallery!

Included in the artworks are evidence of their classroom studies: of specific artists, fundamentals and principles of art, technique and craftsmanship, as well as students’ personal stories. Examples of drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, sculpture, pottery and graphic computer art will be exhibited. Come enjoy the uplifting, unfettered creative spark that only young minds can express! The exhibit runs January 5th through the 31st.

A reception for all of our young artists will be Friday, January 8th from 5-7pm

The Reception for the January Exhibits will be held Friday January 8th, from 5-7pm

Dec 01

December Exhibits- Lubker Gallery: Joyce (Martinson) Mickelson

Remembering “An Art-full Life”

MickelsonJoyce (Martinson) Mickelson wanted nothing more than to be an artist. “As far back as I can remember I wanted to make an oil painting,” Mickelson wrote in 2005. “A small square of cardboard (2”x2”), some found oil paints, and a picture of a lighthouse I dabbed with a small brush and this painting was born. I framed it by gluing wood shavings around it to make a frame. When Scotch tape was invented I fastened a safety pin on the back and wore it as a pin. I think it was 1934 or ’35.”

Growing up in the depression era- the daughter of a salesman father and a creative mother- Mickelson’s family moved frequently.”I learned to be adaptable, thrifty, creative and curious.” Those attributes have served Joyce Mickelson well throughout her art-full life. “My inspiration is the world around me.”

Joyce Mickelson “An Art-full life” brings an eclectic retrospective exhibit to Gallery 92 West-Lubker Gallery. Featuring the diverse artwork of 91 year old Duluth, Minnesota artist and teacher, Joyce Mickelson, this exhibit highlights Mickelson’s enthusiasm for and love of the creative process by showcasing over 80 years of artwork.

Mickelson 2Mickelson earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1946 from the Duluth State Teachers College (University of Minnesota-Duluth). From an early age she loved to sew, knit, draw, paint, create paper dolls and design costumes, sketch movie stars and created an extensive art portfolio by the time she graduated from high school and college. She began her teaching career in Beaver Dam, WI. Following marriage in 1948 and raising three kids, she went on to teach Art in the Duluth Public Schools for 25 years. Mickelson earned her Master of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1970 and studied with respected artists Birney Quick (co-founder of the Grand Marais Art Colony along the North Shore of Lake Superior), Ben Cunningham, Glenn C. Nelson (ceramics), Arthur Barbour and Cheng-KheeChee.“I didn’t want to be a teacher at all. I wanted to be an artist- even if it meant ‘starving in an attic.’ My degree in art education was strictly economical. But, that first year of teaching was FUN, even though I hated to admit it! Teaching art is a wonderful way to earn a living. For me, being an art teacher is pure FUN! Julie M. Broska of Duluth wrote about her favorite art teacher in a 2013 Duluth News Tribune article: “Long ago I met a known, talented, and inspirational artist who said, ‘An A is not as important as effort is’. My deepest gratitude to my then high school art teacher, Joyce Mickelson.”

Joyce and Daughter KittyWhen her family was younger, Joyce would often pack a lunch, put the kids in the car and head for a spot somewhere near Lake Superior. “Water colors are perfect for outdoors painting. It is easy to carry all the materials I need, plus a thermos of coffee, in a large shoulder bag and I’m ready for a pleasurable few hours of painting. Duluth is a scenic city. I am often drawn to the boat basin on Park Point, where all manner of craft are moored, from fat, squatty fishing boats, to tall, graceful sailboats. The light reflected off the water makes lighting conditions perfect for the transparency of water color. I enjoy painting watercolors because they suit family life. Watercolors can be done in a few hours on a Sunday picnic. Children love to explore the area that mother is painting and some of our nicest family experiences happened on painting excursions.”

Following her retirement in 1985, Joyce was a popular instructor at the Duluth Art Institute, teaching watercolor, portraiture, Oriental brush painting, and Kids Art Camps. She created sacred artwork for First Lutheran Church and was a member of the board of Arts and Worship. She was also an active member of the Duluth Needle Art Guild, Duluth Art institute, and contributed glazed ceramic bowls to the Duluth Empty Bowl fundraising event.

In addition to teaching and painting, Joyce was a long time photographer, avid reader, and traveled the world on a shoestring. Her travels are well documented in numerous sketches, paintings, photographs and journals.

Joyce artwork has been displayed at the Tweed Museum of Art in Duluth, University of Wisconsin-Superior, the Duluth Art Institute, and hangs in many private homes, businesses, and churches.

Joyce Mickelson currently lives near Duluth, MN. She is the mother of FAAA/Gallery 92 West board member, Kitty Hoden.

B. H. Gehringer Gallery: Chris Bristol, Mixed Media

Board President is Drawn to Art-

BristolGraphic artist and sign maker, Chris Bristol, has been creating art for most of his life in one form or another.

“I went to Midland Lutheran College majoring in Computer Science,” Bristol said, “After one semester I discovered that I was missing that creative component in my life.”

He took a course in computer graphics and quickly changed his major.

“I enjoy creating realistic imagery,” he said, “I feel it gives viewers a chance to see details that are often overlooked when we are just ‘passing by.’”

His preferred media are oil painting, photography and graphite.

Bristol enjoys imagery that has a variety of depths, evidenced by some of his work, which is creating 3-D photography.

“I’ve enjoyed being able to exaggerate the depth of some photos by using my computer skills to seperate those layers in a stereoscopic kind of way” he said.

Chris graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Commercial Art in 1999.

In the sixteen years since graduating he has been a graphic artist at Midland Lutheran College, freelance graphic artist, photographer for the Fremont Tribune and most recently business owner where he creates Websites, print graphics, vinyl graphics and more.

“Because of my career choices, I create something almost all day, every day, so often times it makes it difficult for me to create fine art in the evenings. I have enjoyed the opportunity to purposefully set aside time in compiling this show,” he said.

December Loft Artist: Brian Weber (Photography)

The Reception for the December Exhibits will be held Friday December 4th, from 5-7pm

Nov 01

November Exhibits- Lubker Gallery: Debra Joy Groesser Oil Paintings

Groesser Art is a Breath of Fresh Air

Groesser2Nebraska artist Debra Joy Groesser is passionate about plein air painting in oils. Her landscape paintings have garnered national recognition and awards. Being outdoors in God’s creation, whether in her perennial garden, in the mountains, or by the sea, provides endless inspiration for her work. Debra’s ability to capture mood, emotion, atmosphere and a sense of place in her work attracts collectors, both private and corporate, worldwide.

Debra also paints portraits and figurative works. In 2011, she was commissioned by Omaha Performing Arts to create a large portrait of Richard and Mary Holland, which hangs at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Groesser received her BFA degree in art in 1978 from Bellevue College (now Bellevue University) in Bellevue, Nebraska. She has studied with such renowned artists as Kevin Macpherson, Scott Christensen, Kim English, John Cosby and Kenn Backhaus.

“I started painting in oils but switched to watercolor when my children were small and I didn’t want to use solvents in my home,” Groesser says. She used watercolors to create commissioned architectural renderings and house portraits. Later, she taught art to children in the basement of her home, as a way of staying involved in painting while selling real estate and raising her children. In 1997, Groesser was able to build a studio/gallery and leave real estate behind. “I switched back to working in oils and began to participate in workshops, including several taught by Kevin Macpherson; he encouraged me to stop painting from photos and instead paint from life. That advice was tremendously valuable and has made all the difference in my work and my career.”

The subjects that appeal to Groesser tend to be those with dramatic lighting and atmosphere, often situations in which the light emanates from behind the subject. “Of all the subjects I have painted, I have to say that the California coastline is my favorite,” she says. “I think it has something to do with the fact that I was born on the southeast coast of England and my parents walked me along the top of the cliffs there almost daily. I may not have a clear visual recollection of that, but I think that’s why there is something in my soul that makes the Pacific coastline feel like home to me.

Groesser1“My greatest satisfaction in being an artist comes from successfully connecting with people on an emotional level through my artwork. My challenge is to create a sense of place and to render my subjects in such a way that the viewer will feel their spirit, the emotions I felt as I painted, and understand what attracted me to the subject.”

Groesser is the current president and a signature member of the American Impressionist Society, a signature member of American Plains Artists, a signature member and board member of Plein Air Artists Colorado, and an associate member of Oil Painters of America. She is represented by SouthWind Art Gallery, Topeka KS; Bay Art Gallery at Sister Bay Trading Co, Sister Bay WI; Abend Gallery, Denver CO; and Geren Gallery, Tubac AZ.

B.H. Gehringer Gallery: “Changing Phaces,” Mixed Media Portraits

Javier by Pat Lontor“Changing Phaces” is a mixed media collection of portraits created from live models. This exhibit features the work of five artists who gather on Sunday evenings in Omaha to sketch, draw, paint and hold each other accountable to her art. Each presents a unique vision of the session’s model from a particular vantage point, in a singular style, and in her preferred media. As viewers we are invited into the studio, in a way, to witness various phases of these colorful faces.

Pat Lontor has always loved art, both the history of and the making of. She has studied with artists in Baltimore, St. Louis and Omaha as well as participated in many workshops. Although Pat has “dabbled” in many media, including pottery and welding, she enjoys painting in oils, especially portraits, best. She is currently a member and past president of Omaha Artists, Inc., a docent at the Joslyn Art Museum, and teaches art to Englishas-a–second-language students.

by Renee MehrerRenee Mehrer is originally from Wray, CO and after studying at Colorado State University, earned her BA in Art from Hood College in Frederick, MD. Her work was featured in a solo show at the Psychiatric Institutes of America in Washington, D.C. Renee has also participated in group shows at Hood College, the Lutheran Medical Center Employees Exhibition, in Denver, Colorado, HotShops Art Center in Omaha as well as here at Gallery 92 West. Renee serves as a Docent at Joslyn Art Museum and her current media of choice is graphite.

A native of western Nebraska, Cindy Simon has a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts, with an emphasis in drawing. After raising her family in western Nebraska, Cindy continued her art education attending drawing and painting workshops in Colorado and Arizona. Cindy primarily enjoys drawing and painting the figure.

Jim by Cindy SimonRachel Mindrup, is a professional artist and art educator. She received her BFA from the University of Nebraska – Kearney and continued with atelier studies at the Art Academy of Los Angeles. She received her MFA from the Art Institute of Boston. Her current painting practice is about the study of the figure and portraiture in contemporary art and its relation to medicine. Mindrup’s client list includes: Kiewit Corporation, Boys Town, Creighton University, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Her artwork is held in many private collections including those of Primatologist Jane Goodall and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Kurt by AzaretAzeret, known by her alter ego as Teresa Armagan, grew up in North Dakota, finally coming to rest in Omaha, Nebraska. She started painting for the first time in 2005, after a bout with ovarian cancer made her realize she was possibly mortal. She started taking art courses in 2010, when a friend asked her to manage a small art gallery in his silver shop (Silver of Oz). Azeret joined the portrait group at its inception. Her style of using bright colors and often distinct boundaries continues to evolve. She works in oils, acrylics, watercolors, and inks, preferring inks for abstract portraits rich in color with sometimes surprising effects.

Bart by Rachel Mindrup

November Loft Artists: Melody Chvatal and Barbara Gehringer, Mixed Media

The Reception for the November Exhibits will be held Friday November 6th, from 5-7pm

Oct 04

October Exhibits- Lubker Gallery: Child’s Play Themed and Juried Show

Child’s Play: Members Get Playful With Their Art

child’s play n. 1: an extremely simple task or act

Child's PlayThe contributing Artists to the exhibit featured in the Lubker Gallery this month would probably disagree with that definition! Two simple words, limitless possibilities of expression—narrowing those options proves anything but simple! However, perhaps the impression that Artists make the creative process appear easy qualifies…

Back by popular demand, the Themed and Juried Show is here! Artists were challenged to represent the intentionally broad, and wide-open-to-creative-interpretation theme, “Child’s Play.” Each work is accompanied by a brief statement from the Artist which explains the connection to the theme, and his or her thought process in its creation.

The idea for this challenge was inspired by the exhibit at Fremont’s Louis E. May Museum currently on view. May Museum Director and Curator of their “Child’s Play” exhibit, Jeff Kappeler has agreed to judge the entries for us. Awards will be announced during the Artists’ Reception on Friday, October 9th.

childs2YOU are invited not only to come view the diverse interpretations of the theme, but also to become the Judge! An additional prize will be awarded: “Viewers’ Choice Best of Show.” Votes may be cast all month long, and will be counted when the exhibit closes on October 25. The Viewers’ Choice Award will be announced in the November Newsletter.

B.H. Gehringer Gallery: All Dolled Up With Some Place To Go- Carolyn (Faltin) Holtzmann

A few words from Carolyn (Faltin) Holtzmann:

dolls1I grew up on a farm by Dodge, Nebraska, and currently live in Yankton, South Dakota, where I escape the reality of weeding and cleaning my house by sneaking upstairs to design period doll outfits. My challenge is to use vintage materials such as old curtains, aprons, gloves and men’s ties to create an outfit that a 19th century woman would be proud to wear. Hats and shoes complete each outfit. My mom made sure her girls could sew and after years of striving for perfection in 4H, in high school I decided to drop all the sewing rules and paper patterns and just place the material directly on the doll and start playing. Later I discovered that what I was doing is called designing. It’s been an adventure ever since!


October Loft Artist: Barb Tellatin (Fiber Arts)

The Reception for the October Exhibits will be held Friday October 9th, from 5-7pm

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