Roberta (Bert) Leaverton
Less than six weeks after my Dad’s death in the winter of 2002, I was activated with the 530th Military Police Battalion from Omaha, Nebraska, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I had less than 48 hours to report to a unit I was not familiar with, gear packed and ready to deploy to a very unstable country, Iraq. My husband was already in route to Bosnia leaving the very day I got my call.
While still in the States, I started a journal, which continued most of my deployment. I wanted to preserve as much as possible; I felt I was making history. My journal along with my camera became the closest thing to my soul. When going out on missions, I would leave a magazine of ammo back in my quarters just to slip my camera in my ammo pouch. My camera soon became as much as a part of daily wear as my dog tags.
My journal and photographs made in Iraq were the point of departure for my series, “Tour of Duty: Iraq.” In these 1/35th scale models I have created and photographed my year of boots on the ground. The images are a symbolic representation of what occurred during this time in my life. The process of creating this work has truly served as therapy for me, a combat veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Bert Leaverton was born and raised in Dawson County and graduated from Cozad High School in 1978. After high school, she joined the Army National Guard and remained affiliated with the Army and Army Reserve for more than twenty years. Throughout her life, photography has remained her passion. Bert’s deployment to Iraq in 2003-2004 allowed her to return with hundreds of photographs, documenting history through her eyes.
In 2010, Bert returned to school and in 2014, she graduated with high honors from Metro Community College, Elkhorn, Nebraska, with an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Still Photography. Bert lives with husband, James Leaverton and Mom, Alice Cunningham outside of Weeping Water, Nebraska.
Her current work, “Tour of Duty: Iraq,” is a series of dioramas in 1/35th scale that depict the realities of war with images of “soldiers” in various scenarios.
Artist in Residence
Tom was born in Omaha, the first of ten children. His father
was a dentist who served in the Navy. His mother was an artist.
He was a Navy brat moving from Wisconsin to California and
beyond. The family finally settled down in Rapid City, South
Dakota. His earliest artistic influence, besides his mother and
aunt, was his father’s cousin, a famous Seattle artist. Prior
service in the Navy finished, he received his BFA from the Art
Center in Pasadena. After graduation, he worked as a freelance
Illustrator and continued painting. Later he graduated with an
MFA in multimedia design from the University of Minnesota.
He then worked full-time as an illustrator and graphic
designer. He is known for his fine art developed in seriesform
with diverse themes. Through art commissions, he does
scientific and botanical illustration. His paintings win awards.
My work is influenced by the Impressionist and the Romantics Claude Lorrain, Delacroix, and Turner with roots in the Modern Art of Matisse, Robert Henri and Thomas Hart Benton. I push beyond representationalism and explore new ideas, methods, points of view with a basic abstract foundation.
Each of my paintings begins with a strong sense of the present holding true to the reason I was attracted to the subject. I build my image, choosing medium, method, color, values, and composition.
My approach is direct with conscious strokes conveying what I want to communicate.
Artist-in-Residence John Groesser:
John Groesser was fortunate to grow up on a farm near
Weeping Water, NE. He graduated from Dana College with a BS in accounting and married his college sweetheart, Dodi.
He started working with Union Pacific and then began a 36 year career with PotashCorp. Working in mine sites in NE, IL, VI and NC, he served in Accounting, Human Resources, Safety and Materials Management.
Now after 3 years of retirement, John is happily pursuing his passion for art. He credits well-know artists, Kevin Macpherson as his beginning mentor in painting en plein air in 2000.
His new office is the great outdoors where he captures “the good life” en plein air on canvas.
A few years ago on an art study museum trip through NC, he came across a great painting by Robert Henri and instantly became a fan. Since then he purchased many books regarding Robert and studied his style. “I love the brush work, color and instructions of this great artist. “I could sit, study and wonder at Robert’s work for hours.” John attended the Robert Henri exhibit in Charlotte, NC many times when Henri’s work was on display. But what a surprise, while driving from Denver to Minden one day, to see the sign on I-80 that read…’Robert Henri Museum’. He turned around and went back to validate it was the same Robert Henri that he admired so much. ‘IT WAS!!!” What a great tribute to a great Artist.
“I’m excited to be in Cozad for the month of June.
“I’m excited to learn more about Robert Henri and why and how his painting style was influenced by those early growing up years in the plains of NE.
“I’m excited to help the Robert Henri Museum and to share what I know and understand more about Robert Henri.
“I’m excited about “’painting’ in Cozad, both people and places.
“I’m excited to come home to NE, to the good life, if for only one month.” John Grosser, Artist.
Marvin Berryman: Behind the oftentimes self-deprecating demeanor lives an exceptional talent, hiding but ready to whip out his pen, pencil, brush or any medium of artistic expression. This former Cozad resident will be our July artist-of-the month and will be the first to exhibit his work in the new Robert Henri Museum Art Gallery.
Kjell Cronn was born in North Platte, Neb., and raised in Cozad. Having inherited the busy imagination of his father, Keith, grandmother, Doris, as well as his maternal grandfather, architect Myron E. Jensen, he was encouraged in his drawing and building from childhood onward.
He began forming a notable college art career at the University of Kansas, and then the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, winning the Howard Award Fellowship as well as the Vreelend Award Fellowship, and the Hazel V. Emely Award Fellowship. Next, to the San Francisco Art Institute, for the terminal degree in studio art, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) which he earned in 1996.
Jake Scott is an extremely talented photographer from Achill, Mayo, Ireland. He’s consented to exhibit his photography in September of 2014. I hope the visitors next year who come to the museum will enjoy his work of the land Henri loved as much as I have. In 2015 Jake and I have something REALLY BIG planned but we’ll keep it a secret for now. Below is an example of his work.
Creativity is not a separate act, but an integral part of being. Creating art is not just something I do, but a manner in which I live. It is about finding beauty in the mundane, each day observing the world as if I have never seen it before. I have always been intrigued with shape, color, line and texture. Using a mix of media within a non–objective/abstract theme allows me to explore those things while creating my art.
My work is reflective of what I enjoy most, the creative process, it is much more than gluing down my stained papers into a pleasing design. It is about building layers and bringing out the beauty in the mundane. It is about the journey I enter when I approach my paper and bring to light what is intrinsic. It is time with God, an act of worship. The final layers of the process are added through community, conversations brought through the eyes of the viewer that expose layers of ideas and meaning that are new to me. . I am fascinated with how the viewer relates to my work. It is through this dialog and relationship building that my creativity grows and flourishes.
Roberta Barnes, a native of Nebraska, lives with her husband on a ranch in the middle of the Sandhills at the edge of the Nebraska National Forest, Halsey, NE. The artist maintains her studio at this location along with teaching at Stapleton Public School since 1998.
Barnes received her Bachelor’s degree from Concordia College, Seward, NE, in art and elementary education. After graduating in 1979, she taught art for four years. In 1984, the artist moved to Greeley, CO with her husband and entered a graduate program at the University of Northern Colorado, taking graduate courses through 1987. Following a return to Nebraska in 1988, she started her professional career along with raising four boys. Barnes returned to her original teaching position in 1998, where she still teaches.
The artist works in oil painting, pastel, prismacolor, clay and fibers. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and has received numerous awards. She is currently a member of Impact, the Art of Nebraska, Wild Rose Gallery, Broken Bow, Nebraska, Burkholder Gallery, Lincoln, NE.
Nicole Rowe Fowler
June 1-July 4
July 4- Mid August
Jorn C. Olsen
Mid August - Sept. 30
Waterfield has shown his work nationally for the past 25 years. He is currently also exhibiting at the in and has a show of eleven paintings at the National Nuclear Science Museum in until December 31. His work is accessible on the web at is showing 15 works at the Robert Henri Museum, from May 31 until June 30th. The abstract works represent a five year exploration into pictorial symbolism, dealing with subjects ranging from the Last Supper, http://www.dougwaterfield.com