The Bemis Center was founded in 1981 by artists, for artists. Our mission is to support artists of exceptional talent. Alongside our international artists-in-residence and community arts programs, our exhibitions program provides direct support to artists' process and catalyzes their work to engage and challenge the public. The program strives to serve as a laboratory that gives the institution to artists working at the forefront of contemporary culture.
Our first floor galleries span 12,000 square feet of finished, flexible space. These galleries present curated solo and group exhibitions with international, regional and local artists. Recent exhibitions have focused on commissioning new works, with an emphasis on site-specific, cross-disciplinary, immersive and socially-engaged projects that take advantage of the unique resources available to the Bemis Center. Alongside these exhibitions, the program presents an ongoing series of multi-disciplinary events, and develops ambitious projects beyond the galleries that highlight the transformative role art and artists play in our world. We are excited by art that changes its audience and interested in artists whose work embraces the breadth and flux of contemporary life.
Hesse McGraw, chief curator
firstname.lastname@example.org | 402.341.7130 x 13
Jessica Scheuerman, Carver Bank program coordinator
email@example.com | 402.341.7130 x 20
Alex Priest, exhibitions assistant
firstname.lastname@example.org | 402.341.7130 x 21
Exhibitions Presenting Sponsor
Justin V. Allen Design + Development, Brand Metal Works, Clark Creative Group, Davis Erection and Crane Rental & Rigging, Echo Systems, Education Power | Robert Webber, Larry Gawel Photography, Chris Headley / OmahaComputerHelp.com, Min | Day, Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Rybin Plumbing & Heating, Laura and Gregory Schnackel, Sherwin Williams, Mike Sinclair, Upstream Brewing Company, Visions Custom Framing, Warren Distribution
Architecture + Design
The Bemis Center frequently collaborates with architects and designers to present programming and develop projects that explore intersections of contemporary art, design and culture.
Two permanent commissions by the Omaha and San Francisco based firm Min | Day have been installed in the first floor galleries. The Bemis Infoshop, a design-build collaboration between Min | Day and students from FACT at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, was completed in 2010 to transform the main entry and reception area of the center. Soft Cube was designed and built with FACT in conjunction with the Endless Summer exhibition in 2009.
The Bemis Gardens exhibition of 2011 utilized a charrette process to consider the exterior landscape of the Bemis Center and resulted in a permanent landscape installation at our front entry.
Recent lectures, in partnership with AIA Omaha, have included 2012 and 2011 AIA Firm of the Year winners VJAA and a BNIM. Other recent lecturers were Min | Day, el dorado architects and during the Midwest Architecture Forum, Rockhill and Associates, Randy Brown and substance. Upcoming events are posted here .
The Bemis Center has commissioned permanent works by Michael Beitz, Claudia Cuesta, Min | Day and James Woodfill. Recent temporary commissions and installations include projects by Sean R. Ward and Aeneas Wilder.
Microcinema is a dedicated single-channel video space and program that presents solo exhibitions of contemporary artists' work in video and film. The space provides dynamic viewing conditions for a wide range of works, including native HD and 5.1 audio.
Microcinema is sponsored by Echo Systems.
The Bemis Center frequently presents concerts and site-specific performances by contemporary musicians within the galleries and installation spaces. Recent performances include Tatsuya Nakatani, Chicago Undergound Duo, John Wiese, Jack Rose, Daniel Higgs, Mountains, Tape, Eli Kezsler, Ashley Paul, Sissy Spacek and Expo 70. The Omaha-based musicians Dapose, Fathr^, Dereck Higgins, Carnal Torpor, Tilly and the Wall and Simon Joyner have frequently performed at the Bemis Center or been in residence.
Performance + Events
Recent performances and events have included dinners presented within the exhibitions of Vera Mercer and Paul Renner, participatory events by Whoop Dee Doo, and performances by Cinema Zero, aetherplough and Cartune Xprez.
Library + Publications
The Bemis Center periodically publishes books in conjunction with exhibitions and projects. Publications are currently available about the work of Vera Mercer, Keith Jacobshagen, Adam Frelin, Mark Gilbert, Endi Poskovic, Karen Kunc, Jun Kaneko and George Woodman.
The exhibitions department maintains the Clare Haas Howard Art Research Library, a non-circulating library containing 4,000 volumes on modern and contemporary art. The collection is searchable on Library Thing. Artists, students and researchers may make appointments to use the library by contacting Alex Priest at email@example.com | 402.341.7130 x 21.
Donations to the library are very welcome.