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Bethany (Betni) Ann Kalk, MFA

Associate Professor

Bethany (Betni) Kalk


College of Arts and Sciences
Computer Science, Design, Journalism
Graphic Design and Media
HCCA - Hitchcock Center for Communication Art

Bethany (Betni) Ann Kalk, MFA

Associate Professor

Bethany “Betni”  Kalk is an artist/designer who makes murals, installations and paints in encaustic. She is professor of design at Creighton University. She was born in Canada and at age three her missionary parents moved the family to Papua New Guinea (PNG) where they lived for 10 years. She lived in the States for high school, college and graduate school where she studied graphic design, painting, and drawing. When not teaching, she explores the natural landscapes of other countries and visits different regions of the U.S. to and from artist residencies. She has exhibited in numerous locations including Lexington, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Omaha and San Francisco. She has received numerous grants and residencies around the U.S. including Sitka Center, San Juan National Forest, the Anderson Center and the Pine Needles Program through the Science Museum of Minnesota.  For information and images, visit

Teaching Interests

  • Graphic Design, Painting, Drawing, Installation, Murals, Video

Research Focus

Graphic Design Trends, Community Murals, Mural Design, 


Computer Science, Design and Journalism


Associate Professor


  • Culture
    Each sale of the book creates $10 in profit which goes back to the Sawiyano for education and medical needs. Near the border between West Papua and Papua New Guinea lives small group of approximately 800 people called the Sawiyano who speak their own unique language. They live in an area of mountains and swamps. They have been in contact with outsiders since World War II. Some Sawiyano learned to read and write in the short-lived government school at the airstrip and missionaries also taught literacy. Within the last 50 years, many things have changed in the tribe. Cannibalism was abolished. Tribal rivalries and fights have mostly stopped. Houses are no longer as high off the ground when fear of attack from other tribes was prevalent. Some tribe members adopted a new religion, a few continue to follow the old ways, while many mix a new faith with the ancestral traditions, myths and superstitions. Despite the changes, many old ways of the tumbuna (ancestors) continue, especially in regards to crafts. Except for a few nails, most houses are built using the main traditional methods and materials. Steel axes and bush knives now fell the trees instead of stone axes. Food is gathered and prepared in a similar manner each day as it was fifty years ago. 2013
  • Nature
    “This book shows the beauty of the untamed landscape in the Daniel Boone National Forest area in Eastern KY, which is at the edge of Appalachia. The terrain is incredibly diverse with layers of rock, shale and limestone with creeks crisscrossing between the hollows of the many tree-covered hills and small mountains. Vines hang thick around the trees and the underbrush. This volume includes from photographs from landscapes around Rowan, Carter and Fleming County of Eastern KY.” Photos from Fall 2010-Spring 2011 2011


  • Culture
    I returned to New Guinea in summer 2012 to create a book and documentary called “Sawiyano: Traditional Arts & Crafts.” I grew up in the tribe and was given permission by elders a few years ago to document their lives and traditions. It is the beginning of a life-long project to document traditions of indigenous groups in many parts of the world. I still have lots of research to do in order to create or join a non-profit and to find a publisher for the books and films. After two months in the East Province the production is 1/2 complete and I am in post-production of editing. I will return in summer 2015 for more footage. While there I also did basic medical work daily and taught English a couple days a week. Visit for images and clips. 2016


  • MURAL - 15th & Dodge called 'Spring' of wildflowers of Nebraska, Project for Art + Infrastructure, Metro Transit, Funded by Faith Charitable Trust through Omaha by Design 2020
  • SOLO EXHIBITION: Eastern Nebraska at Connect Gallery / June 2019 / Omaha, NE 2019
  • "From the Wanderings"Kimmel Harding Nelson Art Gallery (Nebraska City, NE)Nov-Dec 2018 Solo Exhibition /// By Invitation   2018
  • PUBLIC ARTWORKCollaboration in Community Mural - Fall, Janus Youth Programs, Inc. (Portland, OR) August 2018Collaboration with staff and youth staying at shelter at the time I will be painting in August  2018
  • “Caught in the Current: Recent Abstractions” Fred Simon Gallery (Omaha, NE) /// July 27 - Sept 21, 2018 Solo /// By Invitation after Submitting Application 3 large paintings, 4 medium paintings, 2 laser-cuts /// 1/3 of art is new work produced in 2018  2018
  • Mural - Dream Again Therapy (Omaha, NE) June 2018 I designed and painted large but simple mural of large rainbow colored leaves for therapy office 2018
  • PUBLIC ARTMentorship & Collaboration Mural - Music Conservatory (Omaha, NE) Mid Jan - end March 2018 Mentorship & Collaboration with 5 conservatory teens and Joslyn Museum’s Kent Bellows Mentorship Program  2018
  • “MCAD Auction 2018” Minneapolis College of Art and Design (Mpls, MN) /// May 2018 Was asked to participate, I submitted art and one piece was juried into the exhibit auction The painting sold  2018
  • Open Door Rosalux Gallery (Minneapolis, MN) /// Dec 2 - 30, 2017 Group show /// Juried by Danielle Krysa, aka the Jealous Curator 241 artist submitting, with most submitting 3 pieces Exhibited: 74 x 91 in laser cut piece called Wabualu (previously exhibited in Omaha) Other Artists: 20 regional and national artists  2017
  • Bemis Benefit Auction 2017 Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE) /// October 14 - 27, 2017 Group show /// Juried - out of 300 submissions Exhibited & Sold: 1 painting, total size of 28 x 28 in Other Artists: 235 local and national artists to celebrate the capstone to the Bemis Center’s 35th Anniversary.  2017
  • “Search for the Sublime Metropolitan Community College Art Gallery(Elkhorn, NE) September-October 2017 Solo /// By Invitation after Submitting Application New Work - 3 laser cut wood pieces, one 20 foot painting, 16 framed photos Also included 3 drawings that I previously exhibited elsewhere  2017
  • Mentorship & Collaboration Mural - Child Saving Institute (Omaha, NE) Fall 2016 (mid Sept - mid Dec) Mentorship & Collaboration with teens from Joslyn Museum’s Kent Bellows Mentorship Program 2016
  • Bemis Benefit Auction 2016 Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE) /// October 15 - 28, 2016 - auction Friday, October 28, 2016 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Group show /// Juried - out of 500 applicants Exhibited: 1 painting, total size of 30 in wide x 40 in high Other Artists: 200 local and national artists to celebrate the capstone to the Bemis Center’s 35th Anniversary.  2016
  • Mentorship & Collaboration Mural - Heart Ministry Center, In food pantry area (Omaha, NE) Spring 2016 (mid March - mid May) Mentorship & Collaboration with teens from Joslyn Museum’s Kent Bellows Mentorship Program  2016
  • “Novus Conceptum” Contemporary Fine Art & Photography Hannah Bacol Busch Gallery (Houston, TX) /// April 9th - June, 2016 Group show /// The gallery invited me to Participate Exhibited: 1 triptych paintings, total size of 72 wide x 36 high Other Artists: 25 International & National Artists will display their paintings, drawings, prints, photography, & sculptures  2016
  • PUBLIC ARTWORKCollaboration Mural - Rainforest Scene at Childcare Business called Sunrise (Brisbane, AU) Jan 2016 Collaboration with Subvert Designs in Brisbane, Australia  2016
  • PUBLIC ARTWORKCollaboration Mural - Elementary School Mural of Gold Coast Ocean (Brisbane, AU) Dec 2015-Jan 2016 Collaboration with Subvert Designs in Brisbane, Australia  2016
  • PUBLIC ARTWORKMural at 33rd and Parker for Prospect Village (Omaha, NE) June - August 2015 Invited & commissioned by Union for Contemporary Art to paint mural for Prospect Village’s Neighborhood Association  2015
  • PUBLIC ARTWORKMural in Nelson Mandela Elementary School, Cafeteria (Omaha, NE) June - August 2015 Invited and commissioned to paint the mural, 5 walls of varying sizes in Cafeteria  2015
  • “MCAD Auction 2015” Minneapolis College of Art and Design (Mpls, MN) /// May 2015 I was asked to participate and one piece was juried into the exhibit auction Painting was sold  2015
  • “From the Floods” Union for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE) /// May 2015 Solo /// By Invitation (not juried) 2 large cut paper murals, 9 black and white photos, and five encaustic paintings - All new paintings for this exhibition  2015
  • “Graphite: Recent Drawings” Alley Poyner Machiatto (Omaha, NE) /// Feb - May 2015 Solo /// By Invitation (not juried) The drawings in this exhibit was a collection of drawings from the last few years and included 14 foot x 9 inch drawing of the St Croix river edge, a 5 ft x 32 inch drawing of Roots in Oregon, and three 24x24 inch encaustic drawings  2015
  • Mural in Nelson Mandela Elementary School, gym (Omaha, NE)June - August 2015 Invited and commissioned to paint the mural on Large Gymnasium wall  2015
  • Collaboration Mural at Union for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE) Collaboration with Alicia Reyes McNamara / Began in October 2014 and finished in May 2014 I did the typography, the female’s face and hair in addition to assisting with the painting of the Alicia’s designs  2014
  • “WARPED: Historical In/Accuracy“ A Museum of Alternative History Project Downtown Library Gallery (Omaha, NE) /// Sept 12 - 15, 2014 (During Lit-Fest) Museum of Alternative History; curated by Tim Guthrie, bringing together a curio cabinet of artists to create and display their own distorted commentaries on the historical aspects of person, place or thing Group /// By Invitation (not juried) I had 2 watercolor drawings in it  2014
  • Collaboration Mural at Cuming St + Florence St (Omaha, NE)June 2015 Collaboration of Student Daniel Thiessen and myself Group from North Downtown asked me to do a mural on Cuming st as a start of an effort to improve to corridor from Cuming St exit off 480 to north downtown  2014
  • “Ruckus Spring Show” /// Ruckus Art Gallery (Minneapolis, MN)Group Exhibition 2014
  • “Sawiyano” Ambrose University (Davenport, IA) /// Jan/Feb 2014 Solo /// Chosen from Submissions by Gallery Committee Exhibited 12 framed photographs along with artifacts from the Sawiyano A page of text of explanation was included with each image or set of images  2014
  • “Fellows of N41° 16.7531?, W095° 56.8453’ 1 | Union Fellows Group Exhibition”Union for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE)Group Exhibition 2014
  • “Ruckus Winter Show”Ruckus Art Gallery (Minneapolis, MN)Group Exhibition 2014
  • ”Parts of the Whole” MN Center for Book Arts (Minneapolis, MN) /// August - October 2013 Group show /// Invited, I had shown here twice previously Exhibited 1 installation of vinyl in the window  2013
  • “Driftless / Coppock, Eck & Kalk” Living Room Gallery (Chicago, IL) /// May 17-July 1, 2013 3-person Collaboration /// Invited, the gallery owner had seen our work online Exhibited Multiple installations created on site over 1 week which included collections of found items, wire & wax sculptures and 50 tinypaintings  2013
  • “How a Small Thing Can Be Pleasing: Contemporary Botanical Art” Living Arts & Science Center (Lexington, KY) /// April 19 - May 25, 2013 Juried Group Exhibit 2 works exhibited 2013
  • “Annual Faculty Exhibit” Claypool Young Gallery, Morehead State University (Morehead, KY) /// February 2013 Invitational / Group of 12 faculty No Juror / No Difficulty of acceptance / I chose which works to exhibit Morehead State Faculty only, participation was expected 18 photographs, 1 Video  2013
  • Ruckus Fall Show (Opening of Gallery) /// Ruckus Art Gallery (Minneapolis, MN) 2013
  • “Firmly Rooted” MS Rezny Studio & Gallery (Lexington, KY) /// November 16th – December 30, 2012 Juried Group Exhibit, 1 accepted works from 6 submitted Doug Stapleton, Assistant Curator of Art with the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery Selected 27 finalist from over 325 images Worldwide - They received submissions from US, Canada and Asia 1 work exhibited  2012
  • “Horizons: Contemporary Landscapes” Community Arts Center (Danville, KY) /// October 11– November 15, 2012 * Awarded Best in Show with $500 Award for 14 inch x 14 ft Drawing Juried Group Exhibit Landscape Artists Lynn Dunbar and Bill Fletcher were jurors150 submitted works narrowed down to 40 50 artists from 13 states 2 works accepted from 6 submissions  2012
  • “Tri-State Biennial Exhibit” Huntington Art Museum (Huntington, WV) /// September 9 - October 21, 2012 Juried exhibit, Large group Jurors Unknown, not Listed Difficulty of acceptance is unknown, numbers of applications were not provided REGIONAL: Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia 1 accepted work from 2 submissions  2012
  • “Hills & Hollows” Gallery 360 (Minneapolis, MN) /// April 14 – May 27, 2012 /// Reception: Saturday, April 14 from 7pm – 10pm Solo / Invitation - I was represented by Gallery 360 - this was my 2nd Solo exhibit with them Selected by Merry Beck, Owner of Gallery Mostly artists from Midwest are represented in the gallery 14 Works Exhibited, 13 Encaustic Paintings, 1 Installation - All Works Created from Feb - April 2012  2012
  • “Annual Faculty Exhibit” Claypool Young Gallery, Morehead State University (Morehead, KY) /// February 2012 Invitational / Group of 12 faculty No Juror / No Difficulty of acceptance / I chose which works to exhibit Morehead State Faculty only 3 paintings, 1 Video  2012
  • “STRATA: Collaboration of Caleb Coppock, Daphne Eck & Bethany Kalk” Rowan County Arts Center (Morehead, KY) /// January 25 – Sept 15, 2012 / Reception: May 21st, 6pm – 10pm 3-Person Collaboration Jurors: Unknown / Fuse the Muse Panel This exhibit was the result of being chosen for a “Fuse the Muse” grant and exhibition We chose which works to exhibit and had curatorial control Difficulty of acceptance is Unknown Mostly Regional, however it is open to all, my collaborators are from Nebraska I exhibited 8 personal photos, 6 collaborative photos, and 5 collaborative installations  2012
  • PUBLIC ARTMural On the Canal in Downtown Indy - under New York St Bridge (Indianapolis, IN) Fall 2011 Commissioned by Arts Council of Indianapolis I painted and completed a mural for the city of Indianapolis between mid September and the end of October - down at the canal, under the New York Ave bridge. It is 82 x 12 feet. The design was accepted in May. //// The 46 for XLVI program is a partnership between the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis. 46 for XLVI was created to elevate the arts and culture of the City in preparation for Super Bowl XLVI. Over the course of the program 21 artists (both local and national) will create 46 murals around Marion County.  2011
  • Design for Silo (Omaha, NE)Commissioned by Emerging Terrain Emerging Terrain’s project “Stored Potential” is a large-scale installation covering the silos of a vacant grain elevator near downtown Omaha, Nebraska in order to reposition the structure in the landscape. This second set of designs have subject matter to initiate conversation about the fused nature of transportation and transport in relation to the grain elevator, the citywide hiking trail (once rail) it terminates, and the 76,000 vehicles passing it each day on the cross-continental Interstate 80. ///// My multi-layered interpretation of the theme of inter twines the networks of constructed roadways in Omaha with ‘transport‘ formations of ant trails – the resulting image is a visualization of the similarity and interconnection between human and natural realms of movement. The honeycomb form of ‘food storage’ layers yet another important process into the overall image and idea. All these networks represented here at similar scale blurs the hierarchy of our often competing worlds and renders them equal in importance.  2011
  • “Caught in the Calm” Hannah Bacol Busch Gallery (Houston, TX) /// May 21 – Sept 15, 2011 /// Reception: May 21st, 6pm – 10pm Solo /// Invitation 30 paintings & drawings , 1 on site installation The exhibition included a wide range of approaches to the landscapes including both realistic and abstracted views of the landscapes or objects found in them; ranging from naturalistic drawings and paintings, wall murals combined with collected objects, patterns & layered abstractions.  2011
  • “State of Drawing - Invitational Exhibition, 2011” Georgetown College Art Galleries (Georgetown, KY)Group Exhibition, Won best in Show 2011
  • “Breathing Room” Peerless Gallery (Omaha, NE)Group Exhibition 2011
  • “This Strange Phase” (Collaborative Video/Audio)Big Omaha at KANEKO (Omaha, NE)Collaboration with Daphne Eck and Caleb Coppock 2011
  • “Annual Faculty Exhibit” /Claypool Young Gallery, Morehead State University (Morehead, KY)Group Exhibition 2011
  • “MCBA Jerome Fellowship Exhibition X”MN Center For Book Arts (Minneapolis, MN)Group ExhibitionJerome Fellowship Series XNovember 12, 2010 – February 6, 2011MCBA Star Tribune Foundation Gallery 2010
  • “Summer Invitational IV” Thomas Barry Gallery (Minneapolis, MN)Group Exhibition by Invitation 2010
  • “Re-Arted (Collaborations)”Fox Tax Gallery (Minneapolis, MN)Group Exhibition 2010
  • “Dusk” Gallery 360 (Minneapolis, MN) April 14 – May 27, 2009Reception: Saturday, April 14 from 7pm – 10pm Solo /// Invitation - At the time, I was represented by Gallery 360 - this was my 1st Solo exhibit with them Selected by Merry Beck, Owner of Gallery Mostly artists from Midwest are represented in the gallery 10 Encaustic Paintings Exhibited - All Works Created in 2009  2009
  • “Lingering Curses” Mina Dresden Gallery (San Francisco, CA) Fall of 2008 Solo / Invitation - I had been in 2 groups shows prior to the invitation Exhibited 1 large installation that included 10 paintings and large mural, also showed 3 other paintings  2008
  • “Sweetness Can Sting” Gallery 13 (Minneapolis, MN) March 6th-31st, 2008 /// Opening is March 15th, 7-10 Solo / Invitation after being in a group show Approximately 12 paintings & drawings, abstractions and landscapes  2008
  • “Waters Will Rise & Confuse” UCR Gallery (University Center, Rochester, MN) /Sept 10–Oct 26, 2007 / RECEPTION: September 12 6:30–8:30 pm, Gallery Talk at 7 pm Solo / Invitation after sending in my images to the gallery for consideration Approximately 10 paintings & drawings and one mural  2007
  • “Because of the Curses” Hue Art Gallery (Madison, WI) /// November 2007 Solo / Invitation after sending in my images to the gallery for consideration Approximately 10 paintings & drawings and one mural, no new work was created for this exhibition  2007
  • “Doubtful Advantage” Benedicta Arts Center (Collegeville, MN) /// August 28 - October 15, 2006 / RECEPTION Friday, Sept. 22, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Solo / Invitation after sending in my images to the gallery for consideration Approximately 10 paintings  2006
  • “The Hero Is No Longer” Edge Art Gallery (Big Fork, MN) /// June 2006 Solo / Invitation after sending in my images to the gallery for consideration Approximately 6 paintings and 1 40in by 30ft drawing  2006


  • Grant from MSU Foundation for Film Project "Sawiyano"

  • Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts - Residency


  • Creative Production Grant, Morehead State University

  • Studio Fellow of Union for Contemporary Art

  • CURAS Summer Faculty Research Fellowship

  • The Dr. George F. Haddix President’s Faculty Research Fund


  • Co-lead for Art + Infrastructure Mural Project
    Co-lead, curating artists and designs, helping muralists
    Chosen by Project funders to co-lead and administer mural project around Omaha. I help choose artists, help them develop their designs, present to Public Arts Commission, help artists with painting techniques as needed.
    Omaha By Design
    2020 - 2020