BARBER, PAMELA CONYERS-HINSON, CHIKADIBIA EBIRIM, ASHLEY LAVERTY,
DOMINIQUE MORGAN | 2018 Union Fellows Exhibition
Opening Reception: Friday, November 16, 6–9PM (Includes DJ set by Chikadibia Ebirim)
On View: November 16 – December 15
What can working within communities mean for an artist’s practice? The Union’s Fellowship program offers an experience for local artists that not only supports their individual creative processes, but also provides them with opportunities to engage with North Omaha residents in mutually beneficial ways.
The 2018 Union Fellows cohort includes artists with disciplines as diverse as sculpture, R&B songwriting, painting, collage, theatre for the very young, education, justice advocacy, mixing, and branding. This multidisciplinary group exhibition is the culmination of the Fellows’ 11-month residency.
Performances + Events with the Fellows
Throughout November and December, the public will have multiple opportunities to engage with the Fellows’ work more deeply in a variety of public events at The Union.
January 25 – March 2, 2019
Wanda D. Ewing Gallery
The Wanda D. Ewing Gallery is dedicated to the Omaha artist and educator who passed away in 2013. Ewing’s work ranged from traditional print media to painting, sculpture, and fiber arts, and was influenced by folk-art aesthetics and the depiction—and lack thereof—of African-American women in popular culture and the canon of art history. Throughout her career, she represented the connections between autobiography, community, and history, often with a biting, comical edge.
Born and raised in Omaha and educated around the United States, both the artist and her work traveled around the globe: she felt strongly about the fact that where one has been in the past—literally and figuratively—affects how one proceeds in the future. This often led her to historical representations of women in popular and folk expressions, such as pin-ups, beauty advertisements, “Mammy” dolls, and “exotic” figurines, all of which promote sometimes powerful, sometimes problematic ideals of womanhood into which she often projected herself. In sometimes-humorous, sometimes-serious appropriations of works by white, male artists from Western art history she similarly, meaningfully recast the figures in ethnic and gendered configurations that require viewers to rethink the originals. In so doing, Ewing encouraged dialogue around questions of who is allowed to make, see, and be seen in visual culture, and whether the arts look like the communities we live in, challenging her audiences to believe in the transformative power of art to conjure images where people might be themselves wherever they can see themselves.