Art connoisseurs from all around Omaha will now get the chance to rent pieces from local artists at the Omaha Art Lending Library, which was created by Jennifer Hernandez and her husband Lawrence.
The art library makes art accessible to everyone while also supporting local artists. The idea began in 2016 when President Trump proposed a budget that would cut funding to arts programs across the United States.
“I felt like I needed to do something,” Lawrence said. “So, my wife and I got a group of friends together and we came up with some ideas – the art library was one of those ideas.”
While the couple made plans for their own library, they turned to the Minneapolis Art Lending Library, which answered their questions and helped them through the beginning stages.
The library features a rotating collection of pieces that are loaned directly from the artists. There are currently about 50 pieces for people to rent to decorate their home. The works of art vary, featuring paintings, photographs and sculptures.
The couple has been involved in the art community for years, as Lawrence is an artist and Jennifer is a writer and art collector.
“We love Omaha and want to bring more awareness to the wonderful artists who live and work in the community,” Jennifer said.
The library doesn’t have a set location. Instead, they stage new events every few months in different parts of the Omaha metro area. It is free to rent the art, but there is a limit to one piece of art per household, and the pieces must be returned within three months.
Currently, the library features the work of Bart Vargas, Brian Tait, Cathy Sugar, Daren Jud, Emil Kozel, Jason Smith, Lawrence Hernandez, Liz Boutin, Luke Armstrong, Lyndsay Dunn, M Dailey, Molly Nicklin, Sabina Eastman, Travis Apel and Travis Sing.