It is such a contrast.

Frigid winter winds seep through clothing and whip snow into small drifts across the landscape.

But colorful flowers bloom — albeit through photography — inside Gallery 92 West in downtown Fremont.

This month, the Fremont Area Art Association is hosting three exhibits.

On display in the Hinds Gallery is the 32nd Annual Sheldon Statewide exhibition called, “Family Style.”

Another exhibit in the Dugan Gallery features the photography of Chelsea Krafka and jewelry of Hope McCulley.

In the west gallery, about a dozen quilts are on view in an exhibit dubbed, “One Room Schoolhouse,” which opened in January.

The public is invited to see these shows during regular gallery hours from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.

Admission is free.

“The Sheldon Statewide Exhibition is a great opportunity to see internationally recognized artwork,” said Barbara Gehringer, FAAA executive director.

This exhibition investigates the meaning of family through the work of 18 artists. The display offers a range of perspectives on family and relationships from tight-knit to distant and from intimate to communal, states FAAA information.

“Together, the artworks demonstrate that families of all types work through the events and routines of everyday life with members performing essential functions, providing structure and guidance, and growing in their own ways,” the FAAA states. “‘Family Style’ represents a wide range of viewpoints from which artists examine the intricate relationships that make up parenthood, marriage, teamwork and community.”

In the Dugan Gallery, colorful poppies bloom in the same room as a purple water lily — all photographs by Krafka.

Krafka pursues photography as a side job to her work as director of education at the Unitarian Church of Lincoln, states FAAA data. She has had had several exhibits of her work in Lincoln and Milwaukee.

She talked about her work in an artist’s statement.

“Photography is a meditative, spiritual practice for me,” she said. “I am inspired by the colors and intricacies of nature, and thus, I often use a macro setting on the camera to be as close to my subject as possible.”

Krafka said she often spends hours in a garden or at a lake.

“I love the patience and stillness required to photograph the shimmer on a dragonfly’s wings or the light which can be caught on the softness of a flower’s pedal,” she said. “…My photos remind me to be continuously grateful for the beauty that surrounds me.”

McCulley is known to jewelry collectors in the area, the FAAA states.

She’s a member of the Noyes Gallery and is showing work at the Chapin Studios and Gallery in Lincoln. She has sold her work at Sheldon Art Museum and the Haymarket Farmer’s Market in Lincoln, HotShops Art Center in Omaha and at regional farmer’s markets.

McCulley was in her teens when she found her love of jewelry. She since has traveled the world, admiring jewelry from ancient civilizations, royalty and the “random hippie street vendor.”

She is inspired by patterns, colors and textures found in nature. Her style includes spirals and wire-wrapped stones. Her process includes forming and hammering metal.

Quilts in the west gallery include one that depicts the scene of a boy and girl standing near an old-time schoolhouse and water pump. Another quilt is of a chalk board on which someone has written “I will be good” several times.

One-room school houses — prevalent during the 1800s and 1900s in the United States — were a source of pride in many communities. Data in the art association building states that by 1918, Nebraska had 7,000 one-room schoolhouses.

But by the early 2000s, all those schoolhouses were said to be gone. Artists whose work is in the exhibit used historical events and memories from family members to create their quilts.

Gehringer invites area residents to visit the FAAA building.

“We’ve got three galleries full of artwork and the Loft Gift Shop and a Loft Artist of the Month, so it’s a good opportunity to come out see lots of different artwork,” she said.

More information about the art association can be found at: http:// www.92west.org or by calling 402-721-7779.


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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