By Sarah Meedel
Looking for something to do in Omaha? Want to feel inspired by greatness and beauty? Wishing to spend some time pondering life’s possibilities without reading a plethora of philosophy and self-help books? Or just want a cheap date?
Many have visited the Old Market but not taken notice of the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery. The gallery is currently holding a feature show that includes all 33 Omaha members. The special production is entitled *Peace of Art*. Admission to the art exhibit is free and 10-50 percent of the proceeds of purchased artwork goes to the Omaha Food Bank.
With the gallery displaying all their artists at once, there is much for the eyes to behold. There are multiple variations of paintings, as well as black and white photography. Also featured throughout the building are intriguing sculptures and pottery pieces.
One artist who made me stop in my tracks was Mary M. Kolar. She sculpts colorful, odd-shaped faces and gives them each a different personality. To go with the unique style she has funky names for them like *Very Berry Man*, *Bugsy* and *Zonked*.
Another creator of art who caught my attention was Jeffery Charles Smith. He used bright acrylic paints, but other than that he did not really seem to have one set painting style. In one work he was very abstract, while in another he simply depicted a Victorian house in all the seasons. The most eye-catching was his *Youth Hiding From Maturity* piece. It depicts much clutter, including a beer can, a house, an egg with a balloon for a head and a married couple with a green dot over the groom. The whole scene goes on while a child hides behind a boulder.
There is a short quote near an artwork that reads: “I see treasure in the mundane, as we drive by at 85 mph, always moving too fast to wonder enough.” The painting *Drive By 85 mph* shows what one would imagine seeing when looking down from a plane onto a city if one was going near the speed of light and doing mind-altering drugs.
There are more mellow pieces in the gallery as well. Some of the artists are able to capture the simple beauty of still life. Many of the pieces make viewers stop a moment to smile and think for a bit.
For anyone looking for something to do, a visit to the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery is recommended. It is located at 405 S. 11th St. and admission is always free. Every month there is a new feature show. Until January 27th, one can see the members’ artworks on display during the *Peace of Art *showcase. You never know where you might find that special something for your dorm, apartment or house.