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Collaborating with poet, Creighton alumnus will open 2017-18 Lied Gallery exhibitions

Detail of Creighton alumnus Bill Hoover's painting The first exhibition at the Creighton University Lied Education Center for the Arts Gallery for the academic year features the combined talents of two Omaha-based artists: Creighton alumnus and painter Bill Hoover, BA’93, and poet Devel Crisp.

The show, “Tell Me What You Are Going To Be,” will run Sept. 8 through Oct. 8 and feature paintings by Hoover, inspired by Crisp’s verse. Over the past 30 years in his inimitable oil-based crayon drawings, paintings and murals, Hoover has become a fixture of the local and national art scenes, his characteristic style marked by an almost child-like sense of color, form, texture and line, but with a complex and layered vocabulary lending itself to deeper narrative and symbolism.

Crisp, who will perform a reading of his poetry as part of the opening artist reception on Sept. 15, is an Omaha native and has been writing and performing his poetry for more than a decade. Styling himself as “an edutainer,” Crisp has worked with high school students in the “Louder Than A Bomb” poetry competition, taught with the Nebraska Writers Collective and is a creative consultant at the Clouds and Gutters of My Mind workshop. He is a co-founder of Tapestries, a monthly spoken-word performance event.

Hoover said collaborating with Crisp has awakened new ideas in his visual art and given him wider outlets to pursue stories on canvas. The show will also plumb some of the depths of Hoover’s process, providing insight on how a painting reveals what it will be through his interaction with it — asking it what it will be. “Devel’s poetry is fresh and compelling,” he said.

“His use of imagery and place creates a picture all its own, and I, as a collaborator, merely translate his metered instructions. The other half of the exhibition explores the process driven nature of my latest work. I rarely have any idea what a painting will be. I instead trust the story to be revealed through random shapes, line, and color.”

With 23 solo shows to his credit and exhibitions in New York and Baltimore, Hoover’s work is esteemed by collectors around the country, a journey that began for Hoover when he earned a first-place award in a juried ceramics exhibition at Creighton.

The artist reception for “Tell Me What You Are Going To Be” will take place at the Lied Education Center for the Arts Gallery on the Creighton campus, 24th and Cass streets, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15. Crisp’s poetry reading will be held in the Gallery at 6 p.m.

Hours for the Lied Art Gallery are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

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