Art notes: ‘Abstract-technical’ is how artist describes his work | GO – Arts & entertainment

Mike Nesbit is comfortable working in buildings — as well he should be. The L.A. artist is a project designer with the award-winning architectural firm Morphosis, and he understands the importance of buildings not just in their cities, but also within their communities.

That’s why he’s eager to bring “Flood,” his first solo exhibition outside California, to downtown’s Standard Oil Building as part of the lecture series for the American Institute of Architects Omaha.

The artist, a former minor league outfielder in the Seattle Mariners organization, explores the nexus between art and architecture in a genre he describes as “abstract-technical.”

“I’m comfortable working in buildings and thinking of their cities and their cultural institutions and how they all come together,” he said.

Nesbit also wanted to engage local manufacturers, so he collaborated with several Omaha businesses to create his work. He turned lightweight cement slabs provided by Enterprise Precast Concrete into canvasses and painted them with black basement waterproofing supplied by Stetson Building Products. Weighing as much as 2,300 pounds, the works are quiet, meditative pieces that draw in and hold the viewer’s gaze.

The Standard Oil Building serves as their “museum.” The building, constructed between 1920 and 1922, was designed by the father-and-son architecture team of John and Alan McDonald, known for their work on the Joslyn Art Museum, Dundee Theater, First Unitarian Church and Beth-El Synagogue.

Now owned by Dicon Corporation, the building will be converted into apartments — but not before the public can experience Nesbit’s work.

“You’re hit with a feeling of how the art happened,” he said. “You can relate to the pieces and the building itself. There’s something really quite romantic about it.”

Mike Nesbit

Where: Gallery 1516, 1516 Leavenworth St.

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday

Where: Standard Oil Building, 500 S. 18th St.

Library accepting applications for its downtown Omaha gallery

Omaha Public Library is accepting applications from Omaha-area artists for its 2018 exhibition series in the Michael Phipps Gallery at the W. Dale Clark Main Library. Each exhibition runs roughly two months.

Submissions should include five digital images as well as a brief artist statement or description of the artwork. Deadline is Sept. 8.

Artists can submit applications three ways: email images to; submit a flash drive in person at the W. Dale Clark Main Library first floor information desk to the attention of the Gallery Exhibition Coordinator; or by mail: Omaha Public Library, Attention: Gallery Exhibition Coordinator, 215 S. 15th St., Omaha, NE 68102

Great Plains Black History Museum, 7400 Dodge St. “On Canvas & Stage African-American Artists of Omaha.” LeClara Gilreath leads a workshop focusing on African-American Artists in Omaha. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. or 402-932-7077.

KANEKO, 1111 Jones St. “Soundscapes.” The performance-based installation by Graham Ulicny invites the audience to affect sound through movement. 7 p.m. Thursday. Cost: $10. or 402-341-3800.

Museum of Nebraska Art, 2401 Central Ave., Kearney. “SUNday Sounds.” In celebration of the solar eclipse, the concert features music by Formerly Three in the museum’s Cliff Hillegass Sculpture Garden. 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Free.

Also at MONA: “Wright Morris: The MONA Collection.” Features 131 black-and-white photographs by the Nebraska artist, known for documenting the mid-century structures and artifacts of rural America; “Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio: the MONA Collection.” Thirty-three lithographs of some of the artist’s paintings, which recorded the disappearing customs and culture of Native Americans. Both open Tuesday and run through Feb. 25, 2018.

“Home School Program.” The monthly interactive lessons include discussion, drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Thursdays: Aug. 24, Sept. 28, Oct. 26, Nov. 16 and Dec. 21. Times vary. Ages: 8 to 18. Cost: $40 members; $50 non-members for all five classes. Registration deadline: Monday. or 308-865-8559.

UNL’s Sheldon Museum of Art, 12th and R Streets, Lincoln. “Look! at Lunchtime.” Abby Groth, assistant curator of public programs, discusses Judith Godwin’s “Male Study” and Willem de Kooning’s “Woman” in the exhibition “Now’s the Time” on view through Dec. 31. 12:15 p.m. Thursday. or 402-472-2461.

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