Omaha Arts: Awards for the unique and talented


Written by Madison Knopik


Omaha Entertainment Awards, Inc. is proud to announce the winners of the 8th annual Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards show.

Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards (OEAA) is put on by Omaha Entertainment Awards, Inc., to showcase the unique and vibrant talents in performing arts, visual arts and live music of the Omaha area. OEAA recognizes talented artist from one of the three categories who have performed or exhibited their talents between Sept. 1 of the previous year to Aug. 31.

The ceremony took place at the DoubleTree Hotel where they announced the winners for the 2013 awards.

In the visual arts department, artist Tim Guthrie took home the awards for Best Visual Artist and Best New Media Artist. Guthrie was born in Omaha, Neb. in 1965. He is a visual artist and experimental filmmaker. Guthrie graduated from Creighton University in 1989. He has left his name all over the world including New Zealand and Italy. OEAA is recognizing a man with an enormous amount of talent.

“Play Me, I’m Yours,” The Omaha Creative Institute won Best Public Art. “Play Me, I’m Yours” is an international artwork exhibit created by Luke Jerram. More than 900 pianos have now been installed in 36 cities across the globe, from New York to Sydney, bearing the simple invitation “Play Me, I’m Yours.” Omaha Creative Institution had 10 pianos installed throughout the Omaha area, including one in Aksarben Village.

Many students may have noticed the colorfully painted piano during homecoming week. Any willing participant had the opportunity to play one of pianos painted by a local artist. The street pianos that were still in working order at the end of the installation have been donated to local community groups, not-for-profits and educational facilities.

Matt Whipkey took home two big awards this year, Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. His album, titled “Penny Park: Omaha, NE: Summer 1989,” is believed to be modeled after Peony Park, the amusement park that was located at 87th and Cass streets.

This album was inspired by the time Whipkey spent in Peony Park. He wants the listener to be transported to a time where their only concern is what to do with the summer days. The teenagers turning into stuffy adults, their emotions running wild with one thing on their minds, Penny Park.

In the concept album, Penny Park is a young woman and everyone wants to tell her story. Penny Park is Whipkey’s most notable accomplishment yet to date. Visit Whipkey’s website,, for further information on him.

OEAA is happy to congratulate these talented artists as well as others for keeping these three categorizes unique. For a full list of winners or more information on the OEAA, visit