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Uplift & Elevate

An Evolving Exhibition Series Celebrating the Work of Local and Regional Contemporary Artists of the African Diaspora


Mars X
DeAndre Rhodes

Avry Victor

Uplift & Elevate reflects a new stage in The Union’s longstanding mission of promoting the development and vision of artists who have traditionally been underrepresented in gallery spaces. In light of the ongoing threat to public health posed by COVID-19, particularly within the North Omaha community, The Union is pursuing new ways to bring art and artists to the public.

Uplift & Elevate presents the work of socially conscious artists outside traditional gallery spaces, highlighting the work of a rotating community of artists, including poets, photographers, painters, musicians, and more.

While The Union’s 1,600 square foot exhibition space, The Wanda D. Ewing Gallery, will remain closed to the public during the outbreak of COVID-19, the gallery’s street-facing windows will be activated for public presentation of artwork. The work of artist pairs was selected to compliment one another, adding a new dimension of expression when presented together.

Multiple musicians will contribute their talents each month as well, sharing various aspects of their work and practice via The Union’s social media channels, concluding with a virtual concert near the end of each month.

Union Program Coordinator and Uplift & Elevate curator, Mary Lawson says: “The practice and performance of Black musicians in Nebraska has never been recognized, documented, and celebrated in a way that is sustainable. By including their work in this program we are helping to lift our local collective consciousness in reclaiming music as an ever-changing and evolving art form.”

Uplift & Elevate is part of The Union’s larger, organization-wide response to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the local community of working artists. Their multifaceted Radical Hearts initiative includes both virtual arts offerings and multiple concrete actions that serve to alleviate the social impact of the pandemic, including sharing free produce grown in The Union’s Abundance Garden with the North Omaha community.

100% of the funds used to support all artists contributing to Uplift & Elevate have been sourced through public donations made during The Union’s Black Lives Matter poster printing initiative in June 2020.

Currently Featured Artists


DEATHGOD is a self taught rap artist, songwriter, and producer based out of Omaha, Nebraska. His musical inclinations provide a versatile style transcending genre definitions. From Hip Hop, to Rap, to Emo Rap with R&B influences. DEATHGOD’s eclectic and mystical sound intersected with vibe-uplifting performances allows the audience to be their ecstatic free selves which sets him aside from his peers. DEATHGOD has performed with multiple headlines at local Venues such as Outrspaces, Reverb Lounge, The Bay, The Lookout Lounge, and The Slowdown.

Portrait photo of DEATHGOD

Jacoby is a multifaceted artist - a singer, writer, producer, dancer, and more - who uses art as a vehicle to explore humanity, express emotion, enter conversation, and celebrate life. Through performance he encourages spaces for thought, joy, healing and discomfort.

Portriat photo of Jacoby
Mars X

There are no limits to what Mars X can create. They are a genreless nonbinary artist that uses music to express and connect Black queer/trans/non-binary/GNC people around the world.

Portriat Photo of Mars X
DeAndre Rhodes

2020 Union Fellow, DeAndre Rhodes resides in North Omaha. He has presented his work The Art Bank, Hyde Park Art Center, and Harrington College of Design, all in Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Digital Photography.

Portrait photo of De Andre Rhodes
Avry Victor

pronouns: she/her

My name is Avry Victor and I’m a 19 year old graphic design major studying at the university of Nebraska- Lincoln. I also create visual art through paintings and drawings. I’ve been focusing on my art for almost 9 years now and hope to continue to share it for years to come. Recently, I’ve been spending more time creating visual art or graphic art that aligns with the black lives matter movement as well as what it’s like to be black in America and Black History.


Portriat photo of Avry Victor
Erica Johnson (contributing videographer)

As our world changed, so did long-time Video Producer Erica Johnson as she found a way to continue to provide her clients with world-class, high-quality video production. Introducing The Opus Collective. The Opus Collective provides high-quality, multi-camera, professional live stream services to creatives and business owners when they want a production that will make them stand out and present themselves in a hard-to-miss way.


Portriat photo of Erica Jay

Contributing 2020 Union Fellows


Alajia McKizia


DeAndre Rhodes


Patty Talbert