about the exhibit
West Nebraska Arts Center, with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, is pleased to present God’s Grace in Color: A Retrospective, a duo art exhibit featuring the work of artists Virginia Harimon of Scottsbluff, NE and Mildred Wright of Gering, NE.
God’s Grace in Color opens Sunday, March 4th, with a reception from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served compliments the WNAC Board of Directors. All are welcome. The show can be viewed March 1st through the 25th. 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.
Virginia Harimon was born and raised near Lyman, Nebraska. She and her husband, Marvin lived southeast of Gering where he farmed for 49 years. They retired and moved to Scottsbluff in the fall of 2000. Virginia enjoyed painting before they retired, but has been able to enjoy more time for this pleasure after retirement.
Virginia considers herself a self-taught artist, but has taken several specialized classes under various artists. She also taught a drawing class at WNCC through the adult education program. Drawing and painting have always been a passion for her, as she considers the finished work very rewarding. Because of the challenge and the beauty of murals, she developed a great interest in that form of art. Several buildings in the valley showcase her work, including Rosita’s Restaurant, Barn Anew Bed & Breakfast and many private homes.
Virginia has received awards from the Southwestern Wyoming Art Association and the Western Wildlife Art show in Gering. These include the 1999 and 2000 People’s Choice awards and two purchase awards. In 2007 her painting entitled “Gods Plan” won Best of Show at the WNAC show “Red”.
Her previous two solo shows were held at the Western Nebraska Art Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and at Carnegie Art Center in Alliance, Nebraska.
“There is beauty in almost everything. God’s grace is all around us. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with any creative abilities I have, capturing that beauty and sharing with others. I take satisfaction in having tried several mediums in expressing my creativity. The many challenges I’ve face have proved rewarding in my completed artwork.”
Always a Nebraskan, Mildred (Arnold) Wright was raised on a small farm near Imperial, but spent most of her adult life in the Nebraska panhandle. She studied home economics at the University of NE and later took accounting course at Western Nebraska Community College. With encouragement from husband, Pat and children, Justin & Sonia, she began painting with watercolors in the 1970s, taking classes in Red Cloud from Melanie Schwartz, a local college student. She learned through experimentation and workshops presented by twenty different artists since then. During the years she worked as a bookkeeper, she painted only occasionally, concentrating on photography instead. Jo Haslow and Mary Hunt, local artists, have provided instruction and encouragement regarding painting in recent years.
With much enthusiasm, Mildred resumed painting in 2010 with watercolors; she added sketching in pen and ink, as well as painting with acrylics to her artistic endeavors. She won numerous ribbons the past several years at the S.W.A.A. Art Shows in Torrington, WY, winning Judge’s Choice awards with acrylic paintings in 2013 and 2015. Her large painting entitled Delightful Dahlia was awarded 1st place in the watercolor division at the 2011 Anniversary Show at Carnegie Arts Center in Alliance. Another large watercolor, Carnegie Courtyard, was awarded Best of Show there in 2012.
She competed annually in the Image Photography Exhibit at WNAC in Scottsbluff, winning the Excellence in Color Award in 1996 and several Honorable Mention Awards. One of her 2004 entries received the Viewer’s Choice Award. A photograph received the Honorable Mention Award at the Carnegie Arts Center’s Anniversary Show in Alliance in March 2010.
Mildred has been the featured artist in the floral art show at Carnegie Arts Center in 2011, at the Pinnacle Bank in Mitchell four times, and at Scotts Bluff National Monument five different times. Mildred was honored to be one of the artist featured at the Oregon Trail Days Art Show in Gering for three years, 2014-2016. As a member of the North Platte Valley Artist Guild for over 30 years, she has exhibited in most of the NPVAG shows and has participated in each of the annual shows at Scotts Bluff National Monument and Barn Anew.
Mildred photographs and paints a wide range of subjects, including anything with an unusual pattern or design, old buildings, and flowers (both wild and those blooming profusely in their yard). Her landscape photos and paintings include the countryside in Nebraska and nearby states, and scenes viewed from the boat while fishing for walleye with her husband, Pat. Photographs provide inspiration for many of Mildred’s paintings. She makes notecards featuring her photographs and paintings and loves painting silk scarves, using unusual color combinations and designs.
A special thanks to volunteers Vic Bentley, Vicki Schmitt, Jan Durnin, Karen Mecklem, & Phil Thompson for their assistance in the gallery. And thank you to the WNAC Board of Directors for providing food for the opening reception.
The West Nebraska Arts Center is a cultural non-profit organization committed to education, awareness and excellence in the arts, serving the North Platte Valley Region. WNAC is located at 106 East 18th Street in Scottsbluff, NE. Visit the Arts Center’s website, www.thewnac.com or find us on Facebook to learn more. The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, has supported this program through its matching grants program funded by the Nebraska Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Visit www.nebraskaartscouncil.org for information on how the Nebraska Arts Council can assist your organization, or how you can support the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.