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about the exhibit

West Nebraska Arts Center, with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, is pleased to present Wit and Wisdom: A Retrospective, a duo art exhibit featuring the work of artists Richard Schaneman of Scottsbluff, NE and Cheryl Wilkinson of Gering, NE.  The exhibit is generously sponsored by Dr. John Kabalin in loving memory of Pamela Kabalin. 

Executive Director, Donna Thompson, says, “Pamela was a steadfast supporter of West Nebraska Arts Center.  She contributed considerable time, money, and morale to strengthen the arts in her community and left a lasting memory that is still felt by all who knew her.  Richard and Cheryl are also long-time advocates for the arts.  I am sure I am not supposed to have ‘favorites’, but this exhibit is going to rank right up there at the top for me this year.  Richard and Cheryl are very special to me, to our members, and to the Arts Center itself.  They have each given so much of their time and talent to us over the years and we are excited to see their life’s work and honor them through this show.”

Wit and Wisdom opens Thursday, August 31st, with a reception from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Wine, hors d’oeuvres and other refreshments will be served compliments of Questers chapter #1346 and the WNAC Board of Directors. All are welcome.

Richard Schaneman

A native of western Nebraska, Richard’s family moved from one farm to another in his early years.  His first four school years were spent in both town and country school houses in the Scottsbluff area, while grades 5 -8 were at Springer Country School south of Mitchell.  He graduated from Scottsbluff High in 1950 and served in the Navy during the Korean War doing three tours of duty in Japan. During this period of time in the Far East, his artistic desires and interests to one day be an illustrator gave way to the medium of photography.  Two years prior to his discharge from the Navy, he made up my mind to go to New York City and attend the New York Institute of Photography and in 1955 he did just that, acquiring his first job through their job placement program.

Richard had a successful career of thirty-eight years as a commercial photographer for three major studios in New York City and several top advertising agencies. He was sent him on assignments to Spain, London, the Caribbean, and many cities in the U.S. during that time.  Wanting to return to his roots, he moved back home to Scottsbluff in May of 1993.  Soon thereafter he joined the North Platte Valley Artist Guild.

“This was a huge asset for me since I had very little contact with artists working in other mediums. In New York, I could view work of the great masters of the past and present, as well as many photographer friends.  Through the guild, I can speak with artists working in other mediums. This association with artists in the surrounding area had a huge effect on me.  It helped me think about the style of my own work in a different way. I have always had a fascination with surrealism, abstract, and impressionist art. With the development of digital cameras and computer software programs, I now have the tools to use digital pixels as a medium to alter my images. This ability to speak with, and observe the work of, many of the fine artists in the area gives me the incentive to strive to fulfill my creative goals.” Richard says.

Cheryl Wilkinson

Cheryl was born and raised in the Nebraska Sandhills. The love of home and nature has been the background for most of her paintings which are largely still life and wildlife. In 1952, she moved with her husband and three children to a shack on the banks of the North Platte river, three miles west of Oshkosh, where she was surrounded by wildlife—rabbits, mountain lion and everything between one cardinal to thousands of Canadian geese that roosted nightly near the barn on the river bank. She taught school for 25 years, worked for Paul Christian in Gering and Slaymaker Studio of Alliance doing color work and negative retouching. She taught a batik class at a family camp at the Lake of the Ozarks, had numerous one-woman shows at different towns in western Nebraska, judged children’s art and at county fairs. She was on the board at the Halsey Autumn Art Workshop for fifteen years. Thirteen of those years she was the registrar. She is a past member of the National League of American Pen Women with letters in both art and writing. She had the first batik art show at West Nebraska Arts Center in Scottsbluff in April and May of 1975. After her husband’s death in 1995, she spent her time painting, writing, photographing, and fixing fence to keep the cows, donkeys, emus, sheep and llamas from wandering away. In 2003, Cheryl sold the acres she owned to hunters and moved to Gering, where at 95 years of age she is still painting and writing and volunteering at West Nebraska Arts Center.  She is a current and long-time member of the North Platte Valley Artist Guild.

Wit and Wisdom: A Retrospective can be viewed August 31st through October 1st. Visit the gallery Tuesday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. WNAC is closed Mondays. Gallery admission is FREE and open to the public. 

special thanks

Thank you to volunteers Vicki Schmitt, Vic Bentley, Jan Durnin, Phil Thompson, and Margaret Chase for their assistance in the gallery this month. 
Thank you to the WNAC Board Members and Questers Chapter #1346 for providing the reception refreshments.

A special thank you to 

Dr. John Kabalin

for sponsoring this exhibit