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From a very young age, my mother made conscious efforts to expose my siblings and I to the arts. Of course at the time, I may not have even truly understood the profound impact that art classes, theater attendance, museum shows, would have. There was a deep love of Broadway shows that extended to my grandmother and grandfather. Various art projects were always on our walls, even framed, subtly showing my siblings and I that our artistic voices mattered. Growing up in Dundee, I came to know and love everything Dundee meant to Omahans. It was in the sunks of Happy Hollow that I explored visually after a late spring snow storm in 1986 with my first camera, a Pentax K1000. In fact, as I reflect on my early memories of always being ‘the friend with the camera’ I know that my early draw to photography was (and remains today) people. The people of Omaha were the best subjects in the world.
Central High School created a lasting impact on how I view the world and continues to be influential today. At Central, I experienced diversity and culture in a way that taught me so many lessons. It was an honor to be amongst so many different people, a microcosm of the world in one school. I still value that experience and know it has impacted how I have been a parent. Difference is celebrated. Everyone is unique. Visually, Central’s architectural beauty never ceased to amaze me. I loved being able to walk to the Joslyn Art Museum’s galleries and continue to love the close vicinity of these two great Omaha institutions. Looking back on my younger years in Omaha, it’s hard to separate one aspect as all these pieces- exposure to arts, cultural diversity, and great, kind community- that have influenced and shaped where I am today.
My path to visual arts clearly began early, was formed in Central’s art studios, and later took me to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College. There may have been a time in my life that I was admittedly nerdy about school, seeing arts not as a career but more as an interest, a passion. Understanding that I could make this passion a career was enlightening. In fact, it was Omaha that drew me back to do this in 1995. It was in an Omaha photography studio that I serendipitously crossed paths with my husband Charles. We had both moved home after our big city experiences- mine in Chicago, his is New York and LA. We knew immediately we would share an incredible visual journey together through love and life.
During my twenty year career as a photographer in Omaha, I have photographed countless amazing faces of our beautiful city. My visual journey is intricately tied to living here. This is a town where people care for one another. It where philanthropy combined with creativity and energy gets great things done. I love seeing how interconnected the many creative pieces are in this city. The creative is layered with culture on so many different levels. When I refer to creativity, I’m also referring to organizations that are doing work in areas of the city that need it most.
So you ask, what is my livelihood?
My livelihood is life in Omaha that includes diversity, culture, intelligence, creativity, peacefulness, kindness, and thoughts of living in the nation’s best city. My livelihood is one that includes creating portraits of people in our community that they can enjoy in their homes for years to come. The happiness this gives me is immense. I could not creatively do any of this if I was not inspired every day. Living in Omaha gives me just that- liveliness about life.
Exploring and interpreting her surroundings through the lens of a camera, photographer Laurie Victor Kay studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College in Chicago where she received her B.F.A. in photography in 1995. For the past twenty years, she and her husband Charles have collaborated, owning their studio Laurie and Charles Photographs. Their commissioned portraits have attracted clients to Omaha from across the country. Laurie and Charles’ extensive client list includes Fortune 500 companies, Accenture, AT&T, Citibank, and more, publications such as the New York Times, Travel and Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, and notables such as Tiger Woods and the Tiger Woods Foundation. Laurie’s work is represented by galleries in New York, Chicago, Sun Valley, and is in prominent collections throughout the US. She has been featured in Photo District News, New York Mag. and Camera Arts, and was a past winner of the Prix de la Photographie.
Laurie Victor Kay’s work can be seen as part of the Art Seen: A Juried Exhibition of Artists from Omaha to Lincoln exhibit at the Joslyn Art Museum from
June 21- October 11, 2015
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.
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.
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.
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 is 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.
More and more, I have been describing myself as an artist. I had always linked that title with some external indication, like income, publication, or time spent in the studio. Only recently have I come to realize how integral every aspect of my life is to the portion of it which is art. Removing or replacing any part of it might be detrimental to my process. There is a balance that allows me to pay the bills while building my resume and exploring my ideas. My background and work in graphic design has improved the ever growing need for marketing my work. My construction background and workshop have allowed my photographic work to develop into sculpture. Some of my first photo-shoots took place in the abandoned buildings that I was remodeling. My inclination towards architecture leads me to photograph and create space. This is my version of living an artistic life. Everything is taken together.
Like everyone else, I am connecting memories to ideas. Thankfully, I have ways to show them.
For me, sincerity is a process of immersion. My models are my friends (I recently traded modeling time for building a wardrobe), my preferred scale for prints is based on making the characters larger than life and the perimeter of the frame large enough to evoke a room. These large scale prints can reach the sizes such as 80″ by 120″, and I print them by means of photo transfer, a process that requires good deal of had rubbing of paper and panels with the help of my wife, leaving us with smooth sore fingers and palms but a strong attachment to every finished piece. If you see one, you will note that it looks worn, imperfect. If it’s large, you might imagine stepping into a room. Within that room/space are my ideals and fears. Like everyone else, I am connecting memories to ideas. Thankfully, I have ways to show them.
Todd Brown is an artist, carpenter and designer living and working in the Hastings, NE area. Todd graduated, along with his wife, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a masters degree in Architecture. He began showing his work publicly 5 years ago. Since, he has had solo shows, been awarded Juried prizes and has been profiled in several publications. His work can be found in several prominent collections including a large photographic sculpture in the Karen and Robert Duncan Sculpture Garden. Todd is the featured artist at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney, NE, October 11, 2014 thru January 4, 2015. He is represented by Modern Arts Midtown of Omaha.
From the time I was very young, I had this distinct notion that everyone early in life, first learned to crawl, then walk and then of course, dance and choreograph. I see movement, line, texture and gesture in music, art and everyday surroundings. I hear music and sound and see color, movement and gesture.
In the performing arts, especially dance, the medium includes body, sound and space. After the dancer has been trained with technical skills, the choreographer takes the movement vision and develops it. The performer then becomes part of the composition and creative process.
Having been a dance maker most of my life and dance educator for three decades, I have had the opportunity to create and teach in a vast array of settings. Among the many classes I teach, choreography and composition are my favorites. Watching, mentoring, and guiding young choreographers into the world of creating art through movement has been an exceptional experience.
Watching, mentoring, and guiding young choreographers into the world of creating art through movement has been an exceptional experience.
The process of composition has similarities regardless of the medium. This became highly evident to me several years ago when a number of our dancers needed audition photos for college scholarship and summer intensive auditions. After a great deal of frustration in orchestrating and attempting to capture the right moment, I invested in a professional camera. Following the audition season was I discovered something new… choreography for the page. The Sony camera, affectionately named Trixie, became a constant companion and fellow adventurer. She accompanied me as I enticed a dancer to pose before a cloud filled sky, against the backdrop of ornate architecture, or was showered in diffused light from a window. Trixie was named after a class lecture about the muse of dance, Terpsichore. A late-comer waltzed in, not knowing what the lecture topic was about and innocently chimed in “Who is Trixie?!” The name stuck and refers both to my camera and the creative muse. Trixie doesn’t take no for an answer and will bother me until I do something about what she is attempting to show me, be it choreography, writing, or photography.
With the addition of photography to my creative adventures, everything looks new to me, similar to when I hear music and see movement. To add to it, I see diffused light, fog, or shadows and I am drawn to create something. Often times with little warning, the nearest subject is drawn into my vortex of creating new work.
Regardless of the medium, a new piece of choreography, directing a stage production, penning a new piece or capturing a dancer on film, creativity is the basis of all… and I am fortunate to be able to act upon the creative adventures, making a living as an artist. Some things you do and some things you are… this is definitely something that is an innate part of me.
For over four decades, Julian Adair has performed in and choreographed numerous productions in the Omaha metropolitan area. As the successful business owner of Adair Dance Academy, she was one of the first to establish a modern dance venue for area choreographers. These companies, Tanzlust, Inc. and Dance Conspiracy, Inc. provided annual exhibitions for modern choreographers to showcase their work.
A recipient of a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Creighton University, she has used this experience in creating works for major dance programs and has performed and choreographed professionally for thirty years.
As an award winning choreographer and director, she has been on the creative staff in over 100 theatrical productions and has served on the boards of the Omaha Modern Dance Collective and Theatre Arts Guild. Her latest venture involves her production company, Ever After Productions. Julian is the producer, playwright and director of the annual holiday presentation, “Nutcracker Delights” now in its eighth season.
Her supporting cast includes her husband, Steve and their daughters Camille and Colette, who are budding performers themselves. All three share her enthusiasm for the performing arts and her art photography.
To read more about Julian’s work: