Thursday, December 2, 2010

Columbus Art Gallery

The Columbus Art Gallery
“The Best Kept Secret in Columbus”

by Shelly Burke, Editor

Lisa Rosendahl and Susan Schoenhofer want people to know that art is not intimidating and that it is for everyone! Rosendahl has been the Columbus Art Gallery Manager for two years and Schoenhofer is the Executive Director of the Columbus Arts Council, of which the Columbus Art Gallery is a part.

Although it has been located in the lower level of the Columbus Library (2504 14th Street) since 1984, many people are not aware that there is an art gallery in Columbus! Rosendahl says that the gallery exhibits a large variety of artwork and promises “something for everyone’s taste.” There is no cost to visit the gallery.

There are 12 exhibits a year and in 2010 the exhibits focused on Nebraska artists. As Rosendahl says, “Our state is filled with amazingly talented artists,” including Mike Hagel (brother of former Senator Chuck Hagel), who has artwork at SAC Airforce Museum and many other military museums, and Mario Arango, a Cuban native who now lives in Nebraska. Arango’s art was popular in Cuba and his paintings are in the Cuban Embassy in Canada.

When a new exhibit opens, the gallery hosts an Opening Reception at which visitors can meet (and be inspired by) the artist.

Every spring the Columbus Art Gallery sponsors a traveling exhibit from either the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln or the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) in Kearney. Over 900 students typically tour these exhibits and create art projects related to that exhibit.

The gallery also works with the library upstairs. The library staff and Rosendahl have developed a StoryART program with Mr. H (Brad Hruska), the Children’s Librarian, and have also done projects with Rachelle McPhillips, the Young Adult/Teen Library Director.

The gallery offers a variety of youth and adult classes (jewelry-making classes will be offered this spring), workshops, and even concerts. Recently Thunder Power, a group from Omaha, and Gunnar Cleeman from Denmark and The Homestories from Switzerland, performed. Rosendahl hopes to have Gunnar return in the spring of 2011. The concerts and exhibits are sure to fit everyone’s budget, as they are FREE!

Beginning November 29th, you can even do your Christmas shopping at the Columbus Art Gallery! During the annual “Christmas Unwrapped” event the formal exhibit space is turned into a gift shop featuring the work of artisans from across Nebraska.

The large variety of unique merchandise includes glass, wood, stained glass, photography, ornaments, stationery items, home décor, books by local authors, and much more! Most gifts are priced under $100 (many under $20) and commission from sales goes back into funding educational programs the gallery offers. Hours will be extended during “Christmas Unwrapped;” you can shop from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday through Thursday; 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM on Friday, and 1:30PM -4:30 PM on Saturday.

Regular hours for the gallery are Noon – 5 PM Monday through Thursday; Noon – 4:30 PM on Friday, and 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM on Saturday. Groups are welcome; call ahead to schedule a special tour by appointment. Contact Lisa at (402) 563-1016. Check out for more information on upcoming events.

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