By Rosa Najera, Contributor
Paintings of Nate Burbeck and drawings of Joel Starkey will be showcased at the UNO Art Gallery through Nov. 14. The exhibit features work that addresses issues found in nature and the way nature co-exists with urban life and contemporary culture.
“I’d just hope that people find the paintings to be beautiful, but also somewhat off-putting, maybe in an intriguing way that sticks with you,” Burbeck said.
Burbeck stated on his website, “My paintings consist of large panoramic landscapes depicting isolated moments of the surreal within the context of contemporary culture.”
Burbeck’s paintings in the UNO Art Gallery include, “Deuel County, Neb.,” “Clear Lake, Iowa” and “Bloomington, Minn.” Burbeck said he likes things about each of his paintings in this collection, especially because he said the pieces are all different but still fit well together, yet “Robbinsdale, Minn.” sticks out as a favorite. “It has a darker palette or setting than most of my other works which made it fun to paint,” he said.
Burbeck’s paintings featured in the exhibit depict locations in the Midwest that he has found by research, using Google Street View or driving around. “I’d say usually it takes me about a month from the start of coming up with an idea, to taking location photographs, to building the canvas and finally finishing the painting,” Burbeck said.
Joel Starkey, the other Minnesotian artist, has his graphite drawings up in the exhibit with titled works such as, “Tearing Us Apart,” “Prayer Flags,” “Shelter,” and “Clouds.”
“In this body of work I am exploring the place where the planned meets the unplanned by using found imagery or architectural plans and natural formations as primary resources,” according to the artists’ statement at the UNO art gallery.
The art exhibit also features 3D art from Tana Quincy, a part-time art instructor at UNO. Quincy’s art on display includes tent sculptures named “Ohel,” which is Hebrew for tent, dwelling place, covering or tabernacle, according to her website.
“‘Tents’ is a narrative of existing in temporary structures, but having eternal spirits,” Quincy said.
Quincy said she developed tendonitis in both arms from excessive painting – for three years she could only dedicate 20 minutes to build the tea boxes as tents, which took a total of four years to make. Since then she said she has retrained herself to paint by gripping the paintbrush between her teeth.
“Painting with my mouth is more small and intimate. It’s economical because it takes more effort, but it’s still frustrating – I can only paint for a couple of hours a day,” Quincy said.
The UNO art exhibit will end with three public events on Nov. 14.
The gallery talks will start at noon with artist Tana Quincy and 3:30 p.m. with Minnesotan artists Nate Burbeck and Joel Starkey. The art show’s closing reception will run from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
“I’d also hope that the art students at UNO will find the work inspirational and maybe it’ll keep them motivated to push their own work further,” Burbeck said.