The West Nebraska Arts Center, with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and the National Endowment for the Arts, presents “Artist Becoming: The Growth of a Young Artist Erin Gallagher.”
The arts center’s exhibition will be a collection of artworks from a former local artist who does the posters for the Old West Balloon Fest. She also has included some art from a special collection of Colleen Johnson. Since the number of paintings is fewer than usual, WNAC will be using the pieces from the “2022 President’s Show: Icons” to fill the gallery. Gallagher’s talent is inspiring. The public is encouraged to support this beautiful display.
At a young age, Gallagher drew on every scrap of paper she could find. She would enter her own world of fantasy and draw for hours. Her mother, Colleen Johnson knew she had to support this and enrolled Gallagher in art courses. Johnson found a hands-on art centered elementary school called the Renaissance School to nurture her creativity. Gallagher’s art teacher in second grade submitted her work “Squashed Bug” to the Douglas County student show where she won the first-place prize.
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When Gallagher was 7, she visited her grandparents who lived in Amsterdam at the time and her grandmother took her to the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. She was enthralled and at that point decided to become an artist. She has been one ever since. Gallagher got her BFA in Illustration at California College of the Arts. After college, she traveled to India to study traditional Tibetan Buddhist Thangka painting. She has spent eight summers in Italy working as the studio manager at La Romita School of Art. Gallagher’s work is greatly influenced by her travels and particularly the study of the Late Renaissance. Gallagher is an art educator, fine artist, muralist, illustrator and has worked in theater as a scenic painter, set designer, costume designer and props artisan.
This exhibition will be on display at the West Nebraska Arts Center through Aug. 28.
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.