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FAAA plans artists' reception for new show

Patty Wilson was in her early 20s when a friend, who was teaching Tole painting, invited her to a class.

Wilson had never taken a painting class.

But the Fremont resident agreed to try this form of decorative painting.

“I fell in love with painting and art,” Wilson said.

This month, Wilson and fellow Fremont Area Art Association members — Nancy O’Connor and Adrienne Herbert — are displaying their works at Gallery 92 West.

The public is invited to an artists’ reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday in the gallery at 92 W. Sixth St., in downtown Fremont. Admission is free.

Those who attend will see paintings, drawings and pottery. Stained glass, prints and sculpture also are included in the exhibit of some 60 pieces.

“They’ve been working hard for a year to make this happen,” said Barbara Gehringer, FAAA executive director.

For O’Connor, the collection of works represents a combination of people and places she loves along with “nine months of angst, my curiosity and in incurable urge to ‘make’ something,” states FAAA information.

Herbert is an Illinois native, who has spent much of her time near the Gulf Coast of Florida and near Lake of the Woods in Canada.

Her primary sources of inspiration have been nature and people.

Whether hiking in the woods or swamps or sitting on a beach, she has a camera ready to capture her subject and savor memories of the experience to paint them.

Herbert paints in an Old Master’s technique. She also teaches painting.

And although she discovered a love of art from the Tole painting class, Wilson said she didn’t paint for several years.

“I was raising a family and working full time,” she said. “After I retired, I looked for a place where I could start painting again.”

She found the Fremont Area Art Association online and began attending their “Open Art Tuesdays.”

Since then, she’s done lots of painting.

“I’ve also taken up pottery and stained glass and I’ve got a little bit of all of that displayed in this show,” Wilson said.

Wilson enjoys art.

“I just love it,” she said. “I love creating. I love any kind of art – whether it’s pottery, stained glass or fiber art, but I always seem to go back to painting.”

Now, Wilson urges others to try their hand at art.

“I never thought I had any artistic talent,” she said. “So many people have this hidden talent they don’t even know about.”

Wilson commends the FAAA for the opportunities it provides.

“The art association is a fabulous place,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for anybody who’s got any desire to be creative.”

This show will be on view throughout the month. Regular gallery hours are 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays and admission is free.

At the same time, gallery guests also have the opportunity to see “The Legacy of Nebraska” paintings by Todd Williams through Dec. 30.

The entire collection of those paintings is on display at five different galleries across the state including the FAAA building.

“At the end of the year, they’ll be dispersed to their private collections and will likely not be shown together again,” said Gehringer, urging area residents to use this opportunity to come and see the works.

Barb Tellatin, exhibits committee member, also noted that someone bought copies of Williams’ book, “The Legacy of Nebraska.” Those same copies now are being sold at the FAAA building with all proceeds benefiting the art association and its programming. Such proceeds can help the FAAA, which pays to bring some shows to the gallery.

A new lineup of shows is planned for both the front and back galleries of the art association building for 2018.

In January, the FAAA will host a show by Robert C. Therien Jr., retired art department chairman at Midland University. The show will be on exhibit in the main gallery. In the back gallery, area residents may view works by Fremont Public Schools students.

Tammy Real-McKeighan, Fremont Tribune  

Randy Ruppert of Fremont casts a vote on Wednesday during a student art contest underway until Dec. 10 at Gallery 92 West. The public is invited to vote for their favorite work in the Fremont Area Art Association building at 92 W. Sixth St.

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Trinity/Bergan STEM Club recipient of two grants

The Archbishop Bergan and Trinity Lutheran Schools’ STEM Club accepted on Thursday a generous grant from Pinnacle Bank enabling the after-school program to purchase additional equipment that will benefit the 50-or-so fourth through eighth-grade students who attend the Thursday sessions held inside of Trinity’s lunchroom.

The club was founded in October when Bergan Principal Dan Koenig reached out to Brett Meyer, STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Art and Math) coordinator at Trinity. Both Schools are affiliated with Project Lead the Way, which integrates STEM practices into everyday school curriculum.

Trinity implemented Project lead the way in 2015, and Archbishop Bergan started the program at the elementary level this fall. The goal, Koenig said, is to have the program fully implemented at the high school during the 2018-2019 school year.

“While I was still at the University (of Nebraska), Dan Koenig contacted me to talk about Project Lead the Way and STEM, so I had been helping them kind of get involved with STEM,” said Meyer, who previously served as K-12 Outreach Coordinator for Engineering Education for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s campus.

During Thursday’s STEM Club meeting, Pinnacle Bank President Scott Meister presented Meyer with a $3,000 check that will pay dividends in terms of the club being able to accomplish what it set out to do. Meyer said the grant is annual, and will continue to be renewable for some period of time.

“We think that this a great program for Trinity, Bergan and the whole community,” Meister said. “Part of what Pinnacle Bank does is invest back into the community, and this is one great way that we can.”

In addition to the Pinnacle Bank grant, Meyer said the club will soon be receiving funds from a Youth Philanthropy Grant through the Fremont Area Community Foundation, which is going toward providing 20 STEM kits which will be utilized by children benefiting from Care Corps Family Services.

The kits are filled with K’NEX, which come with engineering challenges.

“It’s an opportunity for them to get lost in their creativity and imagination, to kind of take them away from the stresses of their situation,” Meyer said.

To secure the grant, members of the STEM Club went before the Fremont Area Community Foundation Board.

“Some our students from STEM Club went before a panel – like with Sid Dillon Jr., Jerry Rinne and others, and presented this proposal,” Meyer said. “So some of these guys in here got that opportunity to propose a grant, which is pretty rare.”

Prior to Meyer becoming STREAM Coordinator this fall, he was already heavily motivated to get students involved with STEM; and he was around the school frequently because he has two children attending.

Prior to STEM Club becoming a formal group this year, Meyer talked about how he’s hosted summer STEM camps for area youth, as well as children living at the Masonic Eastern-Star Home for Children. Integrating STEM principles into young people’s lives is incredibly beneficial, he said.

“It’s something that’s hands-on, and it teaches the students to come up with solutions to problems without just going one way to get there,” he said. “ … It’s taking out the memorization, and replacing it with more collaboration, teamwork and critical thinking.”

Watching students struggle with a STEM concept, and then coming out on top with a solution is always incredibly gratifying for Meyer.

“There’s no monetary value you can place on that,” he said. “It’s just the coolest thing, it just gives you goosebumps when you see it happen.”

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Employee charged following report of alleged deposit bag robbery

A report of robbery to the Fremont Police Department ended with charges of false reporting and theft by unlawful taking on Thursday morning.

According to Fremont Police, at approximately 9:45 a.m. a robbery was reported at a retail business in the 3000 block of East 24th Street.

An employee of the business alleged that while taking a deposit to the bank she was confronted in the parking lot by a lone male who forcibly took the bank bag containing the deposit and fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money.

After arriving at the scene, investigators’ located video surveillance that disputed the employee’s allegations that a robbery had occurred.

Authorities said that upon further investigation the bank bag was found hidden in the trash can behind the business.

As a result of the investigation Michele J. Pospisil, 42, of Fremont was arrested and charged with false reporting, tampering with evidence and theft by unlawful taking.

The investigation into the incident was conducted by the Fremont Police Department and the Fremont Police Detective Bureau.