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New work by John Thein will open 2018-2019 exhibitions at Lied Art Gallery

Dust to the Wind Chimney Rock, a painting by John Thein, MFA, emeritus professor of art.The new academic year at Creighton University’s Lied Art Gallery will be celebrated next month with an exhibition of new work by John Thein, MFA, an emeritus professor of art at the University.

The new exhibition will feature pieces homing in on the very stuff Thein has encountered in his more than a half-century as a painter. It’s a journal of sorts, he said. A diary.

“The accumulative marks seen in these drawings and paintings reflect my belief in image making,” Thein said. “These images are the continuous diary of a life gratefully spent in the artist studio.”

For 18 years, Thein’s art has returned again and again to the 1890 massacre of Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota, creating a cycle of paintings exploring the massacre itself and its resonance into the present day. Paintings from the “Wounded Knee/The Painted Spirit” cycle hang in the Lied Education Center for the Arts, including a massive panel in the building’s main lobby.

Thein’s new work includes some further explorations of Native American culture and narrative.

His “Dust to the Wind, Chimney Rock,” combines seemingly surreal elements of Native American history and religion looming over the notable western Nebraska landmark.

Thein taught as an associate professor at Creighton from 1975 to 2015. He has also taught in China, England, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. He has had 44 one-person exhibitions, participated in nine international, 22 national and 45 regional exhibitions, and illustrated six books. Besides many private collections Thein’s art is found in 13 public collections including the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Missouri; Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha; Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln; the University of Nebraska Medical Center; Shannxia Art Museum in Xi’an, China; and the Instituto Guatemalteco Americano in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

The exhibition runs Sept. 14 through Oct. 12, with an opening reception on Sept. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Lied Art Gallery hours are Mondays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.


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