Get involved with your local arts organization

Art Column
By: By Paul Apfel Special to The News Messenger
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The Art League of Lincoln is off to an exciting start for 2013 with plans for gallery exhibits, two theater productions, a fashion show and America’s Clayfest highlighting the Art League’s first six months of the new year.

And membership chair and Art League Vice President Mike Daley tells us that membership stands at 284 and growing.

While the art group continues its search for a permanent gallery, it plans to continue partnering with Lincoln merchants to display a variety of local two- and three-dimensional art. The art group staged its first partnering venture over the 2012 ChriLstmas-New year holiday season with 20 artists joining nine merchants to display art at their stores. Those displays are still in place and will continue for the next several weeks.

The Lincoln Community Theatre debuts

The Art League’s Lincoln Community Theatre group has scheduled two productions for the early months of the 2013 season. The first show, Nora Ephrom’s smash-hit comedy, “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” goes into rehearsals on Monday.

Auditions were held last Tuesday and Wednesday for the theatre group’s inaugural production, which is still running on Broadway, according to director Judith Jesness. The show will run March 13 to 17 at Beermann’s second floor theater with four night performances and two matinees. A special preview performance is scheduled for Art League of Lincoln members on Wednesday, March 13 with tickets available half-price. A wine reception will follow.

Dinner and luncheon theatre packages will be available at $45 per person. Single show tickets will sell for $15 per person.

While the theater group is recruiting actors for this production, invitations have also been extended for a variety of volunteers needed for backstage work.

According to Jesness, volunteers will include stage managers, assistant directors, staff for the box office, ticket-takers, publicity and advertising copy writers, sound and lighting technicians, stage hands and costume designers. Anyone interested in these positions should contact Jesness at  677-9327.

The theater group’s second production of the 2013 season, scheduled for June  is “Old Love,” a show featuring 10 characters played by two actors. According to Jesness, this is a humorous and touching story of many kinds of relationships. Three night and two matinee performances are scheduled for June 6 to 9. The special preview performance for Art League of Lincoln members is a night show on June 5, with tickets available at half price and a wine reception to follow.

Women’s High Tea and Wearable Art Fashion Show

A special show for women will be on March 24 at Beermann’s restaurant. The tea will be held in the second floor ballroom theatre from 1 to 4 p.m.

Arts League executive director Jean Cross, who belongs to a sewing group, Sew What!, will display a jacket that she is making entirely from items purchased at a local hardware store. She and event chairwoman Rhonda Campbell are encouraging attendees to dress for the occasion with their finest and most imaginative hats, boas, gloves and other accessories.

Only 80 tickets will be available for $25 per person. Look for the special fliers and ads the Art League will publish to provide more details.

Art and History of Gladding McBean

Cross will also give a presentation on the art and history of Gladding, McBean at a luncheon at Beermann’s restaurant on April 6. The presentation is sponsored by the Sacramento chapter of the Stanford Alumni Association and will be open to the general public.

Cross was the only female sculptor ever hired by Gladding, McBean. While employed at Gladding, McBean, she produced and collaborated in the production of several architectural terra-cotta pieces.

Those interested in attending this presentation should contact Cross at or phone 316-6173.

Sewer Pipe Art

The Art League is sponsoring an art challenge open to the entire community, including individuals, organizations and businesses. The idea is to have some fun and raise local awareness of the Art league of Lincoln, the upcoming America’s ClayFest and our partnership with Gladding, McBean. And yes, it’s also a fundraiser for the art league.

Here’s how it works: Participants buy a 5” x 12” small length of Gladding, McBean sewer pipe from the Art League of Lincoln at $10 each. Pipe may be purchased at the Lincoln Area Archives Museum on the first floor of the old city hall at 640 5th St. Pipes will be on sale until February 8.

Decorate the pipe in any way you see fit. After you have created your masterpiece, return it to the Archives Museum by March 22. The decorated pipe will be displayed at businesses throughout Lincoln and at the Twelve Bridges Library from April 8 to May 18.

Prizes will be awarded and announced at the one-day Lincoln ClayFest, currently scheduled for May 18. Decorated sewer pipes will be auctioned to the general public.

America’s ClayFest

Lincoln’s internationally-acclaimed ceramics art show with tours of the historic Gladding, McBean clay manufacturing plant is back. After a one-year absence, the ceramics event will return in April and May. Now named America’s ClayFest, the celebration runs from April 25 through May 26. A reception at the factory, known as the Pottery by residents, kicks off the four-week event on April 20.

This premiere art show features a ceramics art exhibit in the 138-year old Gladding, McBean factory with docent-led tours of the historic plant, including special tours for artists and photographers.

Although the event name is new, the show itself is celebrating its silver anniversary in Lincoln. More than 100 volunteers are expected to contribute their time in planning and staging this unique event. And between 3,000 to 4,000 visitors are expected to observe the art and tour the plant. While many will be residents, tourists from throughout California, Nevada and neighboring states are expected to join the throng.

Lincoln’s own art organization

We rely heavily on community support. In return, we promise you our best efforts to deliver the finest art exhibits and educational opportunities possible. Our commitment is candor and cooperation.

This is an exciting year for the Art League of Lincoln. If you would like to join, we would love to have you. Examine our website at or contact us at


Paul Apfel is president of the Art League of Lincoln.