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

 

 

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 peterscherrceramics.com

He is also on Instagram.

 

 

 

Somehow ,This Is My Livelihood

todd brown work

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.

 

tablepo

table/pitcher/oranges 60″ x 1200″ Collection of Kathy and Marc LeBaron

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.

About Toddtodd brown
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.

www.toddbrownart.com
http://www.modernartsmidtown.com/artists/Todd%20Brown

 

 

 

 

The Art Of Editing Is My Livelihood

Kevin Reiner edit

The weight of my work is in creating videos in Advertising and Marketing – commercials, corporate videos, capital campaign videos etc. The wonderful thing about Clark Creative is that we also get involved with many local arts and nonprofit organizations, including The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, The BLUEBARN Theater, KANEKO, Omaha Performing Arts, and Opera Omaha.  Because of this, I always feel that my work is going for worthwhile causes.

In 2005, artist Jun Kaneko approached Fred Clark, the owner of Clark Creative Group, and me to seek our help in creating video animations for his upcoming opera production of Madama Butterfly done in collaboration with Opera Omaha. It seemed like a fun project, one that landed outside our usual territories.  Jun was very organized and specific about his needs, so the job was more about bringing his visions to fruition than creating something from scratch. The experience turned out to be a great success. When Kaneko was asked to design the production of Fidelio for Opera Philadelphia in 2008 and a production of The Magic Flute for the San Francisco Opera in 2012, he graciously brought Clark Creative Group along for the ride.

My whole role in all 3 opera productions was to provide background animations that were projected during the performances. Each opera production seemed to get a little more complex, culminating with The Magic Flute which contained a total of 9 screens using over 11 hours of animation for each performance.  For The Magic Flute, I animated in video what Jun does with the art. Using a program called Adobe: After Effects, I recreated the drip art and lines that Jun had created and animated them according to his storyboard.

The equally difficult challenge came in delivering the files. During the live performance, all of the animations must be cue-able to the score; the tempo can change drastically from night-to-night.  This entailed a ton of planning and cooperation between the opera technical staff and myself.  I ended up learning how to follow an opera score and timing my animations to that score, making sure that my animations were able to be looped and allow for correct cueing.  Difficult enough for one screen, but we were working on up to 5 screens at one time.  All of those screens had to stay in sync.  It was a challenge to say the least.  I leaned on my editing partner Mark Grossardt and after many long nights, we delivered The Magic Flute animations to the San Francisco Opera. One of my proudest moments was when the crew in San Francisco asked if I could bring two or three of my crew members out there.  Little did they know it was only two of us working on the entire production.

 

About KevinKevin Reiner

Kevin Reiner grew up in a tight-knit family in Omaha, NE. After graduating from Omaha Creighton Prep, Kevin went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In 2000, he was hired by Clark Creative Group as their video editor. With the use of books, online user groups, and trial-and-error, Kevin taught himself the art of editing.  Kevin’s loves in his life include all types of music (indie, pop, punk, folk, alt, alt-county, classical, ska etc.), film (Coen brothers being the favorite), and food (cooking and eating).  Kevin states the most important aspect in his life to be family, his wonderful wife, Kim, and their two kids, Henry and Charlotte.  “They keep me going.”

Kevin’s work can be seen in April 2015 when Opera Omaha presents the Jun Kaneko production of Fidelio.   www.operaomaha.org/operas/fidelio

 

Torch Singing Is My Livelihood

torch singer 1

Torch Singing 101, Zen’s Lounge, Lincoln, NE

About 15 years ago while living in Chicago I came across an online article about fantasy occupations. In the men’s category on the top of the list were Airline Pilot and Professional Baseball Player. On the women’s list, the top fantasy occupation was Lounge Singer. I thought to myself, that’s what I do! There is a need here I could fulfill as I was already teaching jazz voice at the college level. I needed to design a simplified course to help adults (including men) fulfill their lounge singer/jazz singer fantasies with a top level band in hip music room (about that time, “The Fabulous Baker Boys” movie was out and I recall Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in a red sequin dress, stretched across a grand piano singing a torch song which may have inspired this too).

I moved to Lincoln three years ago and thought to recreate a similar course I’d created in Chicago (which was a huge success by the way). After convincing several new friends here to be the first students, I taught the first class out of my home and we had the first show at Zen’s Lounge on 11th St. with Tom Larson, piano and Hans Sturm, double bass, accompanying them up . It has just taken off, attracting both men and women. Last fall I was even invited to give Garrison Keillor on his show, A Prairie Home Companion, a Torch Singing “lesson” at the Lied Center. It was quite spontaneous and tongue-in-cheek. We had a blast!

torch singer 2

Torch Singing 101, Zen’s Lounge, Lincoln, NE

The class is called Torch Singer 101 and its designed for the novice but anyone can take it. It’s taught out of my home in Lincoln’s Country Club District. Class is limited to 8 adults and meets once a week for 2 hours. Classes run 6 weeks, culminating in a free public performance at a local venue. We focus on songs from the “Great American Song Book” and jazz standards. We have fun with vocal improvisation to get singers loosened up and to get inside the harmony of a song. We discuss lyric interpretation, stage presence, stage fright and microphone technique along with vocal range and melody transposition. Singers perform one group song and 2 solo selections backed by professional rhythm section in front of friends, family and new fans!

Students get to explore singing beyond the written page with vocal improvisation in class and the thrill of doing it on stage.

Students get to explore singing beyond the written page with vocal improvisation in class and the thrill of doing it on stage. They solo with uniquely crafted arrangements with professional jazz musicians who, in addition to backing them up, follow and support them in the event a section is forgotten or beats are “dropped” in the heat of the moment. Singers experience a live, supportive and enthusiastic audience cheering them on, there’s nothing quite like it! In fact, classes usually include students who want to do it a second or third time.

For me, I learn new musical ideas from my students (who often don’t know the cliches yet) and I get to be the nervous mom in the front row, watching my students take risks, get over stage fright and entertain an audience with wit and poise. I get to know so many cool people in Lincoln as well.

Next Torch Singer 101 show:
Zen’s Lounge, 122 N. 11th St., Lincoln Tuesday, October 14, 7:30PM (402-475-2929).
No cover charge (donations for the band appreciated).

www.zenslounge.com
www.torchsinger101.com
www.jackieallen.com

About Jackie 

jackie allen

Photo by Matt Elwood

Jackie Allen, vocalist, songwriter, educator and recording artist, has toured the US, Europe, Morocco, Brazil, China and Taiwan. Last spring, 2014 she released her 10th album, My Favorite Color (Avant Bass). Her group includes guitar, piano, acoustic bass and percussion. “Allen’s greatest strength is her sheer musicality and the way in which she both frames and interprets her song.” (Los Angeles Times)  “Utterly distinctive and even innovative…a masterpiece. “(Billboard Magazine) “This is four-hundred-dollar-a-bottle jazz” (Rolling Stone) Musically sophisticated and artistically daring…” (Chicago Tribune).

Allen teaches voice and songwriting at Doane College (Crete) and has taught at UNL, Ball State University (IN), and Roosevelt University (IL). Allen was featured with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s Ella Fitzgerald Celebration (Auditorium Theater). She has served on the Board and Jazz Committee for the Recording Academy (Grammy Awards).  She’s married to bassist Hans Sturm with their son Wolfgang.