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First exhibit of academic year features art created by North Omaha girls in summer workshop

Lydia ThompsonThe first exhibition of the new academic year at the Creighton University Lied Art Gallery will highlight an artist’s collaboration this summer with a dozen young girls from North Omaha. A wooden house and clay houses were created during the workshop led by artist Lydia C. Thompson. These works along with Thompson ceramic sculptures will be on display from Sept 6 to Oct. 6.

As Thompson worked with the nine- and 10-year old girls, she asked them questions about the needs of their community. The exhibition will combine their collaborative art from the workshop with Thompson’s stoic clay figures, carts and wall tiles. Some works were inspired by her daily walks throughout the North Omaha community during her visit. An opening reception for the exhibit will take place on Sept. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m., with a gallery talk starting at 4 p.m.

“My current research investigates the ideas of migration and residual ancestral memories that impact culture and social practices in the surrounding communities,” Thompson said. “I attempted to capture a bit of North Omaha in several carts during my brief visit based on my daily walks throughout the neighborhood, and my own interpretation of the physical change in structures during this phase of gentrification.”

Thompson’s clay figures are rooted in the heddle pulley from west Africa used in weaving and served as symbols of transformation to value one’s surrounding, she said. They are passed on as family heirlooms.

Lied Art Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 5 to 6 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Studio space, supplies, and support for the workshop was provided by The Union for Contemporary Art, and Girls Inc. provided transportation.

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