Shortly after opening its doors to the public in 1931, Joslyn Art Museum began regularly staging juried exhibitions. Intended to bring the work of artists from throughout the Midwest to Omaha audiences, these exhibitions showcased painting, sculpture, graphic arts, and utilitarian design. In the 1950s, Joslyn initiated a regional biennial that continued until 1988.
Art Seen: A Juried Exhibition of Artists from Omaha to Lincoln honors Joslyn’s traditions and celebrates the vibrancy of the current artistic moment in our area. While the Museum’s programming is often national or international in scope, Art Seen provides an exciting opportunity to carefully consider our immediate context. Featuring thirty-seven artists who live and work in Nebraska’s two largest cities, this exhibition represents a broad cross-section of the artist communities that thrive in Omaha and Lincoln. Selected from a pool of more than 200 submissions by Karin Campbell, Phil Willson Curator of Contemporary Art, and Bill Arning, Director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, these artists work across media to respond to issues of personal, local, and global relevance. Political concerns, such as sexual and racial identity, gender roles, and environmental change feature prominently in Art Seen. Other artists are deeply engaged with topics that originate within the art world, including the importance of the handmade in an increasingly digital world, the intersection between written language and visual art, and the ongoing relevance of abstraction in American art. Placing the work of younger artists alongside that of more established artists, this exhibition opens up the rich dialogue taking place among our creative communities to a broader public.