March 16, 2014

'Dry Times' exhibition opens

"The Future of Drought," Jess Benjamin

The Great Plains Art Museum at UNL has opened a new exhibit of drought-related artwork from Omaha ceramic artist Jess Benjamin. Benjamin’s work focuses on water usage in the Great Plains: a regional concern related to the phenomenon of global drought.

The exhibit, “Dry Times,” runs through May 18. Benjamin will be present at the exhibit’s First Friday reception from 5-7 p.m. April 4 at the museum, 1155 Q St.

Benjamin’s artwork presents her research on similarities between hydrological objects, chemistry and cartography.

“I was raised on a farm and ranch in rural Nebraska and still feel a profound responsibility towards the land,” Benjamin said. “Below Nebraska lies the greatest underground water reserve in the world, the Ogallala Aquifer. Since 2000, I have witnessed the drought-like conditions in the Midwest, and I have witnessed how people have responded to the drought. We must change our mindset and begin to protect our most precious resource, water.”

The show is a special event during the 2014 Great Plains Symposium, “Drought in the Life, Cultures, and Landscapes of the Great Plains,” hosted by the Center for Great Plains Studies April 1-4 at UNL. Scientists, scholars, agency officials, farm leaders and others from across the spectrum of disciplines and organizations will share their expertise and perspectives as the symposium explores all aspects, causes, impacts, projections, and social and cultural consequences and ramifications of drought in the Great Plains. More information is available here.

During the art exhibit’s reception week from March 31 to April 6, the museum will take part in the See Lincoln: Picture to Win contest, where visitors can enter to win a $25 gift certificate to the museum store by taking pictures of themselves inside the museum and posting them to the museum’s Facebook page.

The Great Plains Art Museum is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:30-5 p.m. Sundays (closed Mondays, holiday weekends and between exhibitions). There is no admission charge. For more information, call 402-472-6220, e-mail, or click here.

"Ogallala Aquifer," Jess Benjamin