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Collection Connection


Michael James: Quilting Icon
Wednesday, September 25 • 2:00 p.m.
Michael James permanently changed perceptions about the purpose and language of quilt making. In 1973 he graduated with an MFA in painting and printmaking from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. However no longer feeling inspired by the process of painting, he moved toward spending his time experimenting with quilt block patterns, color theory and design. By applying his existing knowledge of art history to a tradition that was experiencing a rebirth of interest, James was able to produce innovative quilts, with modern new designs. His teaching and quintessential quiltmaker’s handbooks have encouraged a generation of global makers to express themselves with textiles in a way that has never happened before. Currently Michael James is the Ardis James Professor and Chair, Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design, at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Threaded, October 1, 2019 – February 9, 2020.

Dr. Doyle Howitt: Wood Wizard
Wednesday, October 23 • 2:00 p.m.
Self-taught artist Doyle Howitt felt a connection with the energy and beauty of natural wood from an early age. His expert wood turning skills are a labor of love, working with brilliantly colored exotic wood in this manner is a process that involves years to complete one piece.

After the initial turning on the lathe, recently cut green wood can take up to three years to dry out before it is stable enough for final shaping. The wood is then finished by applying many layers of old-world paste wax. It is an approach to making objects that requires a masterful consummate understanding of a laborious, unique, and exquisite material.

Dr. Doyle Howitt graduated from the Nebraska State Teachers College at Kearney with a degree in business administration and communications in 1956. After obtaining his doctorate, he worked as a school principal, and school superintendent, before returning to the now Kearney State College (renamed the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1991) to become the Director of Housing from 1965-1972. Further positions at UNK included the Director of the Elderhostel Program.

Presented In conjunction with the exhibition Compelled to Tell: Contrast, October 1 – January 26, 2020

David Wells: Christmas in Wartime
Wednesday, November 20 • 2:00 p.m.

The holiday season during wartime has weathered many changes as a direct result of the pressures of war. This program explores how Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions have evolved through the American Revolutionary War, American Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, into the familiar rituals we know today.

Independent historian David Wells attended Northeast Community College, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and University of Nebraska – Omaha. He has completed extensive research on Nebraska’s connection with the American Civil War and the Nebraska Department of the Grand Army of the Republic. His work on soldiers’ monuments and memorials in Nebraska was given a Certificate of Commendation by the American Association for State and Local History in 1997, and he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Civil War Veterans Museum in Nebraska City since 1993.

Just Can’t Make it to a Collection Connection?
Watch recordings of past MONA Programs at iTunes.

MONA’s Not Just A Book Club

Avid readers whose interests lie in authors from Nebraska or reading about Nebraska or art are welcome, and may join at any time.

1st Tuesdays: September 3, 2019 – January 7, 2020
Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
MONA: Gary E. Zaruba Library & Research Center

October 1: Renoir’s Dancer: The Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon by Catherine Hewitt
November 5: A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America’s First Indian Doctor by Joe Starita
December 3: Still Lives: A Novel by Maria Hummel
January 7: Landline: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell

MONA Showcase

MONA Showcase is a six-program evening series featuring talented visual, performing, and literary artists held once a month in October, November, December, February, and March. Each program is 7:00-8:00 p.m., followed by conversation, art viewing, and light refreshments. Free and open to the public.

Program Podcasts

Watch recordings of past MONA Programs at iTunes.

Video Profiles of Nebraska Artists

Across the 500 miles of Nebraska, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of accomplished artists living and working. Here. Now.
Each of their stories is unique. Our goal is to help tell those stories within the context of the new Nebraska Fine Arts Educational Standards.

For further information, call (308) 865-8559.
Museum of Nebraska Art
2401 Central Ave.
Kearney, NE 68847
(308) 865-8559