Shawnequa Linder’s portraits are dreamy, enigmatic and thoroughly captivating. The painter, long known for her textural abstract work that focused on decay as process, has reinvented her practice to create a new body of work, on view starting this weekend in Benson’s Little Gallery.
“My subject matter is movement, texture and color, whether it’s applied in a nontraditional landscape or portraits,” Linder said. “The work explores the varying relationships between pop culture and fine art.”
The artist uses a variety of materials and techniques to create a hint of chaos within her subject matter. Using unconventional tools such as crumpled-up plastic, squeegees and business cards allows her to control the work in a rapid way, building up sculptural textured forms.
“I sometimes use my fingers as a paint brush to give a more intimate look and feel within the work,” Linder said. “Working in this way allows me to add a depth and meaning to my work that is often challenging for viewers, and even myself, to recognize.”
Those viewers might spy a chip of newspaper print or a hint of a crossword puzzle embedded in a subject’s ear.
The disarray of textures and colors, ranging from subdued blacks and blues to vibrant reds, also evoke a sense of depth and movement throughout the painter’s work.
Faces are blurred and features frequently blurry or out of proportion. Eyes can be larger or necks smaller, depending on the portrait’s proportions. Keeping the portraits indistinct, in turn, enables viewers to project their own interpretations and feelings onto the work.
“I’m experimenting, and I want to take this work in a different direction than typical portrait styles,” Linder said. “People often want to know who the subject is. They say, ‘I know someone who reminds me of that portrait. But there is more emotion and a hint of mystery this way.’”
The Little Gallery, 5901 Maple St. “Shawnequa Linder: Remixing: An Experimental Portrait Series.” Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Through Aug. 31. Gallery hours: 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
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This complete guide of local music, movies, dining and entertainment will have you weekend ready.
NEW THIS WEEK
Anderson O’Brien Fine Art, 3201 Farnam St., Suite 6109. “In the Nude: Work by Amy Smith.” Features a celebration of figure drawing. Opening reception: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Through Saturday. aobfineart.com or 402-884-0911.
Artists’ Cooperative Fine Art Gallery, 405 S. 11th St. “Pigment Patina Prints.” A new series of works by Jenna Johnson, David Loyd and George Skuodas. Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Through Sept. 1. artistsco-opgallery.com or 402-342-9617.
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St. “Open House/Open Studios.” The public can meet artists-in-residence, visit their studios, see works in progress and view the current exhibition, “Inner Ear Vision: Sound as Medium,” which includes all-ages activities, live performances and an ice cream social. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Free. bemiscenter.org or 402-341-7130.
Cali Commons, 518 N. 40th St. “Melt Book Release.” A collaged conversation snipped and pasted from furniture and cooking magazines. 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. calicommons.com or 402-513-2321.
CHI Health Center, 455 N. 10th St. “American Philatelic Society Stamp Show 2019.” Includes over 75 stamp dealers and appraisers, over 800 frames of exhibits on philatelic topics ranging from penguins to Disney, a live philatelic auction and the dedication ceremony for the new U.S. Postal Service Military Dogs stamps, featuring working dogs from Offutt Air Force base. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free. stamps.org.
Citylight Arts Project, 5603 Northwest Radial. “Pratik Raymajhi and Assad Komi.” Features work by Raymajhi, a Nepali folk artist, and Komi, who was born in the Nuba Mountain region in Sudan. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. facebook.com/citylightartsproject or 402-551-0760.
Daisy Jones’ Locker, 6003 Maple St. “BFF Artist Showcase: Cheyenne Kavan.” Features portraits that explore what makes the eccentric ordinary and what makes the ordinary eccentric. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. daisy-jones-locker.comor 402-933-1390.
Do Space, 7205 Dodge St. “State of the Art.” Artist Dan Richters discusses how he uses technology in his work. 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday. dospace.org or 402-819-4022.
El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St. “Saturday Paint Fun.” Participants can build a three-dimensional pyramid out of recycled materials. 10:30 a.m. and noon Saturday.
Also at El Museo: “Gallery Talk: Joseph Broghammer.” A talk by the illustrator of the children’s book “Chica.” The original drawings are currently on view through Aug. 24. 1 p.m. Saturday. elmuseolatino.org or 402-731-1137.
Florence Mill Art Loft, 9102 N. 30th St. “Journey: Travels & Travails.” Features three generations of Latvian artists, who endured war, displacement and tragedy. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. theflorencemill.org or 402-551-1233.
Galleria Circo, 1001 Farnam St. “First Friday Art Walk with Jason Price.” Features paintings by the artist. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. galleriacirco.com.
Hardy Coffee, 6051 Maple St. “August Benson First Friday Gallery Opening.” Features work by Heather Bennett. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. 402-916-4190.
The HideAway Art Gallery, 5701 Northwest Radial. “Bizarre Bazaar: An Arts and Crafts Expo.” Includes work by crafters, artists and other vendors. 2 to 10 p.m. Friday. facebook.com/pg/hideawayartgallery.
Jake’s Cigars, 6206 Maple St. “Alajia McKizia: Return Home.” Features work by the multi-disciplinary artist, who focuses on visual art, modeling and performance. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. jakescigars.com or 402-934-9633.
Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. “Garden Yoga.” Instructors from YOGA NOW guide participants through basic poses to help strengthen body and center the mind. Suggested donation: $5. 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday. joslyn.org or 402-342-3300.
The Kent Bellows Studio & Center for Visual Arts, 3303 Leavenworth St. “Full Bloom: KBMP Young Artist Exhibition.” The multidisciplinary exhibition showcases individual works from the 2019 summer semester young artists. Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Through Aug. 22. joslyn.org or 402-661-3891.
Omaha Kroc Center, 2825 Y St. “Community Mural Painting on Pavement.” The public can learn how to plan, design and create a mural painted on the ground surrounding the Kroc Center Amphitheater. 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday. omahakroc.org or 402-905-3500.
Maple St. Construct, 5912 Maple St. “The Hand and The Arm: Curime Batliner.” Features work by the architect and artist, who explores mediums ranging from film and installations to architectural interventions. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. facebook.com/maplestconstruct or 402-630-7854.
New American Arts Festival, Military Avenue and Maple Street, downtown Benson. Features immigrant and refugee cultures from Iraq, Nepal, Syria, Bosnia, Burma and more, with food from around the world, performance and visual art, cooking and crafts workshops, live music and vendors. 5 to 11 p.m. Friday. bffomaha.org or lfsneb.org.
Petshop Gallery, 2725-2727 N. 62nd St. “The Grass is Always Greener: Rob Walters.” Using photography, video and film, the artist’s work explores his personal journey in the places he lives and his relationship to communities, his family and the friends he has met along the way. Opening reception: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday. Through Sept. 27. facebook.com/bensonpetshop.
Star Deli, 6114 Military Ave. “Conrad Hinz.” Features work by the artist. Opening reception: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Through Aug. 31. omahastardeli.com or 402-880-8481.
St. Cecilia Cathedral Sunderland Gallery, 701 N. 40th St. “First Friday Reception — Artist Invitational Exhibit Summer 2019.” Reception with artists featured in the current exhibition. 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. cathedralartsproject.org or 402-558-3100.
Warlock Gallery, 6208 Maple St. “Kitty Brougham & Kris Rosa.” Features work by the artists. 8 to 10 p.m. Friday. facebook.com/pg/warlockgallery or 402-502-8322.
Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 N. 24th St. “Writing in the Garden.” Participants are invited to spend time in the current exhibition “Homecoming” contemplating and responding to journal prompts around the themes of sanctuary, self-care and nature. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Also at the Union: “Community Yoga.” 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Focuses on mindful movement, restorative poses and relaxation. Free ($10 suggested donation). Mats provided. “Abundance Garden Open Harvest.” The family-friendly gathering provides an opportunity for the public to learn more about the garden through food tastings, cooking demos and art activities. 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. “Forever North Design Workshop.” A community design workshop for “Forever North” to define the direction for housing and transportation along North 24th Street. Noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday. u-ca.org or 402-933-3161.