This coming weekend my husband and I will be in Lincoln so we can attend the Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska artVenture program reception, which will be held at Lincoln Station Great Hall.
The reception is one of several being held across Nebraska. Others were held in Omaha and North Platte, and besides the one in Lincoln this weekend, Grand Island will host it there in May.
This is one of the most popular programs offered by the Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska organization. ArtVenture is an arts education-based leadership program and fundraiser, which provides girls the opportunity to collaborate with professional artists to create an original work of art. Girls work alongside artists throughout the entire process; from conception through completion. Girls get to learn problem-solving, teamwork and creative self-expression. These pieces of art then are sold at a silent auction event, and the proceeds go to Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska, where they will benefit their programs.
As a supporter of the arts, not only in my job here in the Columbus Art Gallery, but as a Girl Scout volunteer and a simple art lover I know that art programs in the schools are being eliminated in some areas and are not as strong as they could be. So this program gives girls another way to be exposed to the visual arts and get some hands-on art experience, and they get an opportunity to work with some very talented local artists.
I know several local Columbus area artists have collaborated to create artwork with the girls, including Doris Lux, Linda Wheatley and other ceramic and glass artists. One year Columbus artist Brad Zywiec worked with a group of girls to create a beautiful canvas painting in which you could tell all the girls’ own personalities came through on it.
Last year I was fortunate enough to go down, in the local Girl Scout office van, to the Lincoln reception, which was held at the Lied Center, with a group of the local Girl Scout staff members and another Girl Scout troop leader and her daughters. We had a wonderful time walking around looking at all the imaginative artwork made by girls, their collaborative partners and even some independent adult artists who chose to donate some of their artwork to benefit the auction as well.
The girls were great salespeople as they explained their finished artwork and the process it took to make it all. I came home with a fun red plate made by a team of girls led by pottery artist Linda Wheatley. I was also persuaded to buy a very large unique table and lamp made from all recycled materials which I carefully had to hold on my lap in the Girl Scout van but which my husband and I really enjoy having in our home.
This year I get to attend the Lincoln artVenture auction reception as a donating artist, which I am a bit proud and excited of doing. Last summer while in Kansas City I found these really neat Asian and Hispanic newspapers, and I was completely inspired to do a large paper mixed media sculpture and knew right away I needed to donate it to the artVenture auction.
It took me a year to finally get back into my kitchen “studio” and complete it. I told my husband that we will be spending more time admiring all the other artwork and visiting with the rest of the artists so that I don’t think too much about if my piece sells.
I did make my husband a promise that this year I would not purchase a large piece of furniture like last year and that any of my purchases will be able to fit in my purse such as jewelry or some small pottery. I am just thrilled to be part of the whole Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska artVenture program.
Upcoming events in the Columbus Art Gallery
*Now until May 3: Columbus Area Artists Spring Show & Competition.
*May 5-May 10: Central Community College Art Department Graduate exhibit. Reception: Thursday, May 8, 6-8 p.m.
Lisa Rosendahl is gallery manager of the Colubmus Art Gallery.