NCE 2015 Road Trip Review

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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.

I Am My Livelihood

craig2Okay, I get that is an arrogant statement. However, when I sat down to write this it never felt correct saying what I do is my livelihood. While I could have said design or web coding or branding is what pays my bills, they do not. What does pay them? I do.

Yet again with the arrogant surface statement. This time, let me explain where I am coming from. All the things I do are services I provide. They are nothing on their own, but require me to bring them to action. They are skills and tools in a vast arsenal of options. Collectively, I pick and pull the necessary choices to fulfill the requests and needs of my clients. Clients know what I can do because I inform them, not because web design brought them in to our conversation.

Granted, people seeing my work product in the wild on mobile devices, business cards or social media channels put my name on their mind. In reality, most of them arrive from word of mouth. From there, it is my personality and social abilities that get me to the point of deploying anything.

The biggest keys of my success thus far have been listening, internalizing, interpreting and executing.

The biggest keys of my success thus far have been listening, internalizing, interpreting and executing. All of these interpersonal skills I garnered from a life of interacting with people and wanting to find out more about them now prove invaluable to me staying above water. Those skills are also, not coincidentally, what keep my clients returning and referring me to other friends and businesses.

Having the talent is one thing, but knowing what people are needing is entirely another. In the industry I spend most of my time servicing, it is very easy to bowl people over with technobabble and hot buzz words. The main hurdle I have is that they barely understand the terms and why they should even be considering implementing them. I do my best to educate and thereby empower clients so they can make informed decisions once they understand what is really being said.

Sometimes this means that I do not get nearly the project’s original scope. Other times it surpasses and even becomes something never even originally discussed. While I would not encourage any business owner from taking money off the table, I absolutely do suggest you make the best call for the person you are speaking with. There might be times where it is best to update what they have instead of completely re-branding. It is hard watching those immediate dollars slip away, but I have found they make their way back in other routes.

Through this whole process, HTML, Photoshop, SEO and all my other skills never hit the playing field.  The vast majority of my time is spent listening to what the client is saying and providing solutions for what they really need from my skill sets. It is up to me to determine what those needs may be. If done well the client will keep coming back.

This is why I feel my true livelihood is me.

About Craig craig

Craig Coffman is the owner of octoberland, a creative service providing web, print, social media and branding offerings. When not sounding important, he is busily fathering his son who just might be the coolest human being on the planet. If time permits, he enjoys comics and music.

To read more about Craig’s work, Click

Gathering Together Is My Livelihood

Peter’s Story

Sake Bottle. 2012. 5"x5". ceramic

Sake Bottle. 2012. 5″x5″. ceramic

The act of gathering and eating is what compels the art I make. Through functional pottery I am able to convey a sacred idea; that we should gather, make food and eat together.  The sculpture I create extends my thoughts beyond the table, using symbolic schema and historically inspired forms like tablets, tools and weapons.

I learned to work in my childhood home. Stacking firewood and tending the garden were common. That time has inspired my present life as a child-rearing homemaker and dedicated gardener. I’m an outlier in the traditional world of domesticity and this has influenced my work in ceramics. Currently, making pottery and growing food is the bulk of my effort. This adjustment reveals a message; home making and handmade pots are essential because we need to gather and eat.

The place of pottery in everyday life helps me to recognize the potentials it has for building a community – we should gather and eat, drink and discuss


Dessert plates.  5" dia. 2013. ceramic

Dessert plates. 5″ dia. 2013. ceramic

The forms I make are full in volume but reserved in character.  I use brick clay that is mined in Southern Nebraska, near Endicott. It is fired to a mid-range temperature of 2150 degrees F. Throwing on a wheel, pinching and coiling, and pounding flat slabs are my typical forming techniques.

A way to describe my decorative technique is analogous to how I dress. Pots are painted on the inside with a white slip, like a t-shirt. That gets covered with a bright colored glaze, like a dress shirt. I paint a dull matte slip on the exterior to unify the form, like a coat. I prefer earth tones on pottery exteriors, and sometimes interrupt this surface with spots, stripes or non-representational characters. Sculptures are painted with varied colors of slip, drawn through and stained with oxides.  I use illustrative images to convey contemplations about the world I experience.

Encounter 2. 2014. 10.4" x7.5", ceramic

Encounter 2. 2014. 10.4″ x7.5″, ceramic

The place of pottery in everyday life helps me to recognize the potentials it has for building a community – we should gather and eat, drink and discuss. I am compelled to make art because it engages my intellect and allows me to express what I read and think about. The fundamental process of transforming clay engages my curiosity and rewards my mental and physical effort.

About Peter

PETER SCHERR was born and raised in Hastings, Nebraska. He is a ceramic artist – making both functional and sculptural pieces – living and working in Bellevue, Nebraska. Peter assisted in the studio of Jun Kaneko (1999-2000) where he learned and experienced the labors of a studio practice. He later received his BFA (2005) from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, under the tutelage of Gail Kendall, Eddie Dominguez, and Pete Pinnell. He and his wife live and garden on an acre South of Omaha, raising two young daughters, a toddler son, and laying hens. History, trains and food are his favored discussion themes.

See more of his work at

He is also on Instagram.




Smiling Turtle Art Spot is My Livelihood


Dori’s Story

I’ve made my livelihood in a variety of settings, from jewelry store manager to sign language interpreter, software test engineer to artist.  Along the way I’ve found that what I most enjoy is helping people find something inside of them that ignites their passion, makes their eyes light up, or an aha! sound off in their head.

As a child, I had the opportunity to explore a variety of mediums in summer and weekend art classes.  Some of my fondest memories involve scented markers (yes I’m a child of the 70s!)  During undergraduate studies in Sign Language Interpreting, Communications and Linguistics, I took several elective art courses. I “retired” to motherhood and as the children have become more independent, found myself more involved in creative endeavors, spending a great deal of time at Goodwill scouring the racks for discarded fashions to turn into purses and other accessories. In pursuit of creating one-of-a-kind upcycled purses, my husband gave me the gift of lamp working classes. This led to renting a studio in the Hot Shops.

After a year of commuting downtown while the kids were at school, I decided to move operations home. I missed the opportunity to teach as well as the art talks with other artists and patrons.  I realized that the Western part of Omaha was missing Art. In late Summer 2013, I opened Smiling Turtle Art Spot, a working and teaching studio with a small gallery of local art.

Over the last 18 months, I have had the opportunity to work with artists who want to grow their art businesses; groups have formed to discuss business aspects, hold art critiques, and explore new mediums or new approaches to old mediums.  I’ve been able to introduce self-proclaimed “non-creatives” to techniques that allow them to express themselves through art by offering classes led by myself and other local artists.

I look forward to many more years providing West Omaha the opportunities for art to take folks out of their shells.

About Doridori

Dori Settles is the founder of Smiling Turtle Art Spot in West Omaha.  She works in three distinct mediums; Fiber, Glass and Ink.  Until recently, most of Dori’s art has been functional – personal and home accessories, which she markets under her line, Funky Dori.

She believes that people should be surrounded by happy, and over the last her art has grown bigger, bolder and brighter.

Dori is an area representative for the Surface Design Association,  and an active member of Studio Art Quilt Associates and Omaha Artists Inc.  She also teaches occasionally for Fremont Area Art Association and Omaha Creative Institute.

To learn more about Dori and Smiling Turtle Art Spot,