Art History Education Is My Livelihood

 

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Amy’s Story

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the direction of my career at the moment! I came to the University of Nebraska at Omaha three years ago as the Renaissance/Baroque art historian. Recently, I received tenure and became the Acting Coordinator for Art & Art History. In March I will journey to Berlin for the Renaissance Society of America’s annual conference and in May I take students to London for a study abroad program.

 Present circumstances aside, pursuing a career in art history has presented its share of challenges. As the first person in my family to go to college, art history may not have been the most practical major. It involves, as I have learned, travel and language acquisition. While on the surface these appear to be great endeavors, they also take time and money – two things that I did not have, especially since I funded much of my education myself. There were many times in my graduate career that I felt completely deficient and inadequate – for example when I would talk to somebody from Switzerland who spoke four languages fluently. Despite the moments that I chastised myself for aiming for something that seemed so out of reach, I earned a Master’s degree from Kent State University in Ohio and a PhD from Indiana University.  

My life is so rich because my soul and brain are constantly nourished by my discipline.

Similar to my graduate studies, my teaching career also had its share of twists and turns. I took a position as the sole art historian at Wittenberg University before completing my PhD. After teaching and writing my dissertation simultaneously for years I did not complete my degree in time to get tenure. With my degree in my hand shortly thereafter I accepted a job at Southeastern Louisiana University where subsequent budget cuts and personal issues encouraged me to seek employment elsewhere.

Despite the tails of woe, the moments of triumph have far outweighed defeat and following a career in art history has given far more than its taken. My life is so rich because my soul and brain are constantly nourished by my discipline. In any given day, I will learn about a contemporary artist, prehistoric Britain, and the costumes of sixteenth-century German soldiers. Equally gratifying is being able to share the knowledge and culture that has so enriched my life with others. Nothing is better than getting a text from a student letting me know that they were accepted into graduate school. More than anything I can teach students that following your passion and remaining persistent does pay off. Yes, the arts can be challenging, but the opportunities to learn and meet the most interesting people in the world are worth all the hardships.

About Amy

Amy Morris is currently Acting Coordinator of Art & Art History and an Associate morrisProfessor of Art History. She was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and received her B.S. in Advertising and M.A. in Art History from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. At Indiana University, where she earned her Ph.D. in 2006, she specialized in Northern Renaissance art. Currently Amy teaches survey courses and upper division courses in Early Modern European art history, including Italian Renaissance Art, Northern Renaissance Art, and Baroque and Rococo Art. Prior to teaching at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Amy gained extensive teaching experience at Wittenberg University in Ohio and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.

 

Art, Education, and Music Are My Livelihoods

 

King of the Hill 2014 10 X 12 inches oil on linen

King of the Hill 2014 10 X 12 inches oil on linen

Byron’s Story

I am an artist, educator, and musician.  I am also a lifelong producer of creative content.  Education is my vocation.  My livelihood comes from my training and aptitude as a teacher.  The content of my teaching practice is parallel to my striving for a painting practice that is authentic, contemporary, and ambitious.

I learned early on that I was much happier when I was a little too busy rather than a little too bored.  I have the tendency to think that everything is a good idea.  I have a hard time separating my personal interests from my professional life.  As an artist and art educator, this relationship between my enthusiasms, being emotionally invested in work, and always having new problems to tackle has been a happy union.

Fight 2014 10 X 12 inches oil on linen

Fight 2014 10 X 12 inches oil on linen

My favorite aspect of being an artist is that there is no creative terminus.  There are always new goals, new ways to improve, new projects, new collaborations, new collectors to meet, and new context for the work.  The rewards of an art practice are also related to finding something that resonates bigger than the original intention.  The idea for a work and the final result almost never match.  Allowing the work to surprise me never gets old.

Red 2014 6 X 8 inches oil on panel

Red 2014 6 X 8 inches oil on panel

Nebraska has been very good to me.  I came here for Graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Painting.  I met my fiancé here. I have taught classes at UNL, UNO, and Nebraska Wesleyan University as well as working as the gallery preparator in Elder Gallery at NWU.  I have a beautiful and affordable painting studio.  I have a band, Red Cities that is tons of fun and has a growing fan base.  My livelihood comes from being a teacher but my success as a teacher is tied directly to my life as an artist and my active pursuit of sustained production of creative content.

About ByronHeadshot

Byron Anway is an artist, educator and musician living and working in Lincoln NE.  Byron received his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Studio Art and a BA in Art and Education from Luther College in Decorah IA.  He has taught Drawing and Painting at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, The University of Nebraska-Omaha, Nebraska Wesleyan University, the International School of Brussels, in Belgium, and the American Academy-Casablanca in Morocco.  Byron is a founding member of the artist collective Sexy/OFFENDER and the guitarist and vocalist for the rock band RED CITIES.

To see more of Byron Anway’s work check out the Modern Arts Midtown in Omaha and Art Seen: A Juried Exhibition of Artists from Omaha to Lincoln at the Joslyn Art Museum from 6/21/2015 – 10/11/2015. byronanwayart.com

 

 

Theatre Directing Is My Livelihood

The Drowsy Chaperone at Omaha Community Playhouse.  Photo by  Christian Robertson

The Drowsy Chaperone at Omaha Community Playhouse. Photo by Christian Robertson

 

Hilary’s Story

livelihood

The word “livelihood” comes from a combination of two Old English words that translate to “life” + “course.” My lifecourse centers around theatre and the use of creative imagination.

When I look back over my lifecourse, it comes together as a narrative about the examination of story, of people, of our lives here together through the medium of theatre. A lifecourse must have purpose, the reason for continuation forward, the verb behind the noun of life. The purpose that moves my life forward is to give back.

I see stories as the main way that we orient ourselves in our timeline; stories are a tool through which we understand where, why and how we are. Theatre provides an opportunity to step into other timelines, to see from other perspectives, and to safely examine consequence and difficult narratives.

…it was clear from early in my childhood that theatre somehow spoke to me in a way that made it more than an entertainment, more than something that I could visit on occasion.

Theatre was something I have been fortunate to have access to my entire life. My mother and her mother were both avid theatre, opera, ballet and symphony attendees. It was their intention to cultivate and appreciation for the arts, not necessarily that I’d go into it as my vocation, my life’s work. However, it was clear from early in my childhood that theatre somehow spoke to me in a way that made it more than an entertainment, more than something that I could visit on occasion.

Since I started acting when I was five, which makes it almost four decades of theatre being the center of my world. It is a rare thing, I feel, to be able to do what you love as your way of providing your daily bread. Now in Omaha, I am finding a new community of theatrical artists to create, collaborate, make glorious fictional worlds with. It is my hope that I can give back to this incredibly artistic city, using theatre as a tool for not only artistic growth and achievements, but also community development, social and personal growth, and as a catalyst for dynamic conversations and engagement with arts in all forms.

About Hilaryhilary

Hilary Adams joined the Omaha Community Playhouse as its Artistic Director this June, where she’s directed The Drowsy Chaperone, Hands on a Hardbody, and is about to direct Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Prior to joining the Playhouse family, Hilary was based in NYC where she worked for 18 years as an award-winning professional director. Highlights include a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Director of a Play, a Drama League Fellowship and receiving five Manhattan Theatre Club Directing Fellowships.  On Broadway, Hilary assisted Richard Jones (Titanic), David Henry Hwang (Flower Drum Song) and assistant directed for Robert Falls (Aida) and Mark Brokaw (Reckless). She has a Master’s in Applied Theatre from CUNY, School of Professional Studies. Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and League of Professional Theatre Women. www.hilaryadams.com

Click here to read more about the Omaha Community Playhouse.

 

 

Music Is An Important Part Of My Livelihood

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Pete’s Story
Music isn’t my career, but it’s always been an important part of my livelihood and well-being.

I grew up surrounded by music primarily due to my clarinet-flute-saxophone-piccolo-wash board wielding father.  He loved the law and was a very good lawyer, but traditional jazz was his passion.  His band played every Wednesday night at a popular local restaurant in the Dundee neighborhood and he toured and produced several albums.  I just thought it was normal to fall asleep listening to live late night jazz coming from our living room.

I started taking piano lessons at a young age as did my flute and trumpet playing sisters, but it didn’t take me long to figure out drums and percussion were going to be my thing.  We all became second generation attendees of the internationally known Interlochen Arts Camp (my kids will become the third generation this summer), and I played in rock bands in high school and college.

The 5:30 a.m. alarm clock can come quick some mornings, but making the time for the art form that inspires you is always worth it.

I continued to play on my own, but it didn’t take long before political, business, and family pursuits overtook the time commitment needed to play in a band.

About a year ago, however, I became inspired to tune-up the drum set and get back in the game!  Part of my inspiration came from my work on the City Council to renovate our neighborhood business districts.  In particular, the resurgence of Benson into one of the city’s hottest spots for new restaurants, art, entertainment, and live music.  Just recently, my band played its first show at Benson’s newest live music venue and had a blast.

The Omaha World-Herald covered the band’s formation and first performance and the response has been gratifying.  We’ve all received numerous contacts from people with successful careers in something other than music – business, medicine, and politics – who continue to pursue their love of music or have now been re-energized to do so.

The 5:30 a.m. alarm clock can come quick some mornings, but making the time for the art form that inspires you is always worth it.

About PeteFestersen_Pete_300dpi.jpg

City Councilman Pete Festersen was elected to the Omaha City Council in 2009 and re-elected in 2013.  He is currently President of the City Council and is the owner of his own small business, Strategic Business Development, LLC.

Prior to serving on the City Council and starting his company, Councilman Festersen helped shape Omaha’s future in senior management positions with the Peter Kiewit Foundation, The Mayor’s Office, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, and Alegent Health, one of Omaha’s largest private employers.  He has also served as Chairman of the Omaha Planning Board for three years and on various community boards such as the Omaha Children’s Museum, the Benson-Ames Alliance, College World Series Inc and AK-SAR-BEN Future Trust.

Pete was born and raised in Omaha and graduated from Central High School and Connecticut College before earning his Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  He is a graduate of Leadership Omaha and has been recognized for his work as a business leader by the Midlands Business Journal.  He also received the Excellence in Public Service Award from the UNO College of Public Administration and Community Service in 2012.

Pete and his wife, Paige, have two children, Anna and Caroline and they attend Dundee Presbyterian Church.  Pete enjoys racing sailboats by competing on the regional and national levels and is a former Nebraska State Champion in both soccer and curling.  A lifelong musician, he also spends time playing the drums.

Click here to read the Omaha World Herald article on Pete Festersen’s band.

Light, Transparency, Color & Paper Is My Livelihood

Open Wide Time To Die

Open Wide Time To Die

Cody’s Story

These words best describe my mixed media collage artwork. A majority of the pieces I have been working on for this art show look different depending on the light. If a light is shown through the paintings it changes the image and new images or colors appear. The rest of the pieces have transparent qualities that show multiple layers.

The Ancient Ones

The Ancient Ones

Color sets the mood for my artwork. The time of year plays into what colors appear in my compositions. From Blues, Reds and Black in the winter time to Greens and White in the summer.  I have always used paper as a medium and enjoy cutting it up . Taking one image and turning it in to something unexpected.

Everything is fair game when it comes to components that make up my artwork. One of my favorite things to do is take the scraps from other projects (trash) and sweep it off the floor and make a new piece of art.

 

Things To Come

Things To Come

I’ve always described my process of make art as painting with paper. Although paper is the main material I use it’s not the only medium I work in.  Anything from flowers, leaves, wall paper, metal, feathers, dye, trash, bones, insects, charcoal, oil pastels, acrylic and oil paint.   I could list a dozen or more things but you get the idea. Everything is fair game when it comes to components that make up my artwork. One of my favorite things to do is take the scraps from other projects (trash) and sweep it off the floor and make a new piece of art.  I have been around art my whole life. Everyone in my family has always been into one form of art or another. The earliest memory of art is watching my Dad paint in the living room in the early 80s. Watching over my sister and me at the age of 4 while going to college to be an art teacher.  Now my 4 year old daughter is watching me work on art for this show. It’s amazing how my child can experience art the same way I did at a young age. Being exposed to art at an early age made me want to become an artist.   Art is the one thing I never had to struggle with, it’s always been there for me.

About Cody

Cody Slim Heinert was born and raised in Nebraska along the Niobrara River in the Sandhills. He comes from a family of artists.  Cody’s dad isbio pic a high school art teacher, his mom is a quilter, one sister is a photographer and the other is a graphic designer. From a young age, Cody knew that he wanted to be an artist. Cody has spent many years coming into his own, trying many different styles and techniques in an attempt to find his own style in mixed medium collage. Cody also enjoys many other types of art forms such as photography, dioramas, leather work and creating bonsais.

Cody currently lives in the very small town of Sparks NE near the Niobrara River and lives with his wife, two kids and his parents.  He divides his time running a restaurant and working on the river and finds that there is a lot of down time in the winter that affords him time to concentrate on his art.

More of Cody’s work can be seen in the Fred Simon Gallery from February 23, 2015- April 3, 2015.  Opening Artists Reception , February 27, 2015 from 5:00-7:00pm.