Each month, this space will be dedicated to a library resource or service available free with your Omaha Public Library card.
Each year, hundreds of pieces of artwork created by Omaha-area students in grades six through 12 are showcased as part of the Omaha Summer Arts Festival in Omaha Public Library’s Michael Phipps Gallery. Sunday is the last day to view the Young Artist Exhibition, but there’s always amazing, new local art featured in Omaha Public Library’s gallery space.
The Michael Phipps Gallery has featured rotating exhibitions for Omaha-area residents and guests since 1997. Located on the first floor of W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., the gallery is open during the normal library hours and is free to the public.
When Main Library was built and opened in 1977, a space was designated on the fourth floor for the display of framed prints that would be available to check out to the public. Twenty years later, Omaha Public Library staff submitted a memo to the library’s Board of Trustees requesting that the gallery be named in honor of former library director Michael Phipps. Phipps was named library director in 1983, and worked until he resigned in August 1992, due to failing health, but continued to work from home until his death on Oct. 31, 1992. Citing many accomplishments throughout Phipps’ tenure as director, the staff and board agreed that naming the gallery in tribute to Phipps was appropriate.
The Phipps Gallery was moved to the first floor in 2001, following a library renovation. The space has provided opportunities to showcase local and national talent, as well as feature exhibits on important social and historical issues and events. Following the Young Artist Exhibition this weekend, the Phipps Gallery will display “Deep Surface,” featuring works by artists Rexo Droppers, Bob Mathews and Sophie Newell. In this exhibit, the artists draw from the ephemera of memory and inner consciousness to explore narrative through color, fabric and found objects.
Upcoming exhibits in 2019 include work by Buck Christensen, Betni Kalk, Casey Callahan, Ilaamen Pelshaw, Tyler Swain, Jaim Hackbart and Albert Rhea.
Learn more about the Michael Phipps Gallery and its featured exhibits at omahalibrary.org, and don’t forget OPL as a stop on your tour of Omaha’s entertainment and cultural venues.