My time at the studio thus far has been invigorating to say the least. I have been reinspired in my work, and full of new ideas. I have now been living in Benson for a little over a year, and before I was offered the Fellowship, I was in a creative slump. I was seeking an avenue into the art community of Omaha, and the Union made that happen for me, for which I am grateful. On the first day in my studio space, I christened it with some droning walls of sound from my very own sound object. It had been a while since this piece had been put to use, and it felt like talking to an old friend. The sound object is a handmade microphone embedded in a cube of cement, with a bed of nails jutting out from the bottom of the cube. I have plans to make at least two new sound objects to accompany my noisy old friend.
Since the beginning of my fellowship, I have completed two large scale paintings with four more that are currently in progress. In these large scale paintings, I have been using a process that falls heavier on the side of erasure than that of application. I build up layers upon layers of abandoned and mistinted house paints, and then slowly work away at the piece by scraping and sanding away at them until all that is left is an ethereal wasteland. I began painting in this fashion during my final year of my Undergraduate Degree at UNL as a Fine Arts Major. I am excited to put together a whole new grouping of paintings and hope to produce at least 12 altogether.
In terms of my volunteership that is included with my fellowship at the Union, I have decided to help create a bike program for the youth that attend the Union. This will hopefully evolve into a system that one could consider similar to a library. For instance, when someone from the North Omaha community needs a bike or assistance in repairing a bike they already own, they would be able to come to this location and have their needs fulfilled. This will be an honor based system, with perpetual volunteerism encouraged. We will be collaborating with local programs that are doing similar work. I am beyond excited to get this program up off the ground. This is another aspect of my life that I am looking forward to reigniting, as I was an avid biker in Lincoln and Denver.
I would like take this opportunity thank Brigitte, Paige, and Joshua for taking me on as a Fellow, and providing me with the chance to expand my experiences as an artist and advocate. I look forward to becoming part of the North Omaha community, and working to help those around me through my art, and bike project.