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Therese Straseski might have an antidote to the cold winter weather.

And it may come in the form of some warm and whimsical artwork at Gallery 92 West in downtown Fremont.

The public is invited to a free artist’s reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday at 92 W. Sixth St.

Here, attendees can view Straseski’s paintings and sculptures. Her work is on exhibit this month in the Hinds Gallery of the Fremont Area Art Association building.

At the same time, works from the “Bridges: Sharing Our Past to Enrich the Future” exhibit, are on display in the Dugan Gallery.

These works are a compilation of photographs, which are part of the FAAA’s permanent collection and include scenes from around the state, captured by amateur and professional photographers.

The Straseski exhibit features several acrylic paintings on canvas with weavings incorporated into the artwork.

In these works of art, warp threads are wrapped vertically around the canvas. The weft pieces are strips of canvas and other wool or fiber, which are woven through the warp threads.

“They’re really unique,” said Barbara Gehringer, FAAA executive director. “I don’t know that I’ve seen anything like this.”

Gehringer noted something else about Straseski’s work.

“She’s pushing the envelope of both painting and weaving and really successfully and beautifully joining the two,” Gehringer said. “If people are discouraged with the cold and snow, these are certainly a bright spot.”

And they’re colorful.

Vibrant blues can be seen in some paintings, while pinks and oranges are found in others.

Straseski’s fiber art sculptures have deeper colors and are unique as well.

“Her sculptures are really whimsical and titled after quotations by Dr. Seuss,” Gehringer said.

Gehringer believes Straseski was inspired by Nebraska artist Sheila Hicks, who’s internationally known for her fiber art.

“Sheila would appreciate the whimsy,” Gehringer said.

The wall pieces also were inspired by a visit Straseski made to Opus 40, a modernist sculpture garden and art environment near Woodstock, New York.

“My work celebrates layers of textures, materials, colors and invites the viewer to slow down and explore,” Straseski said in an artist’s statement.

Gehringer said local artists can gain ideas and inspiration through viewing works by Straseski and others.

“Our artists might see something that causes them to go in a different direction or try something new,” Gehringer said. “(Straseski) took inspiration from a couple of very well-known artists, while maybe somebody here takes inspiration from what they see in this show.”

The local art association benefits the community in various ways which include exhibits, classes and other educational opportunities.

“You don’t have to go to the big museums to see first-class art — it’s right here,” Gehringer said.

In the past, the art association has exhibited some works by famous artists including: Pablo Picasso, Ansel Adams, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Dale Nichols, Alexander Calder and Andy Warhol.

And while most artists who have exhibits here aren’t internationally known, Gehringer said she believes their work is every bit as good.

Straseski received her bachelor’s of fine arts degree in drawing and papermaking from the Milwaukee Institute of art and design.

She has attended graduate classes in papermaking and printmaking at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is an educator at Joslyn Art Museum.

In addition to Straseski’s art, guests to the FAAA building can see works by Donna Kriete of Hooper, who is the featured Loft artist for December.

Gallery hours are 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. Admission is free.

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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