Schedule of Exhibitions

Gwen Westerman
Gwen Westerman
Star Knowledge, 2013
100% cotton quilt, glass bead embellishments and Swarovski crystals in constellations, hand quilted with metallic thread.
Constellations associated with winter sky in northern Plains as described by traditional Dakota teachings. Courtesy of the artist

We Are Star People: The Art and Poetry of Gwen Westerman

September 1 - January 30

Recent work by Gwen Westerman, 2014 Contemporary Indigeneity Exhibition Prize winner, features unique quilts and textiles alongside poetry inspired by personal connections to her Dakota family history. Dr. Westerman is a professor of English at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She co-authored MniSota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota, with Bruce White, which won a Minnesota Book Award and has published a collection of poetry written in Dakota and English entitled Follow the Blackbirds

SEPT. 1-5 AND NOV. 11-14: Artist in Residence -- Westerman will create artwork in the Museum lobby. Contact us for special events and to schedule tours.

Denizens: Wildlife on the Western Frontier
Frederic Remington
Solitude, 1897Hand-tinted half-tone engraving

Denizens: Wildlife on the Western Frontier

An Exhibition of Vintage Engravings 1770-1902

February 5 – June 25, 2016

Curated by Lee Silliman, a spectrum of original nineteenth century engravings of wildlife that graced the American West will be on view. Images published in Harper’s Weekly, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, The Illustrated London News, and other historical sources illuminate the native species and their interaction with humans. Included in this menagerie are bears, bison, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose, wolves, beaver, cougars, wolverines, eagles, osprey, rattlesnakes, and even (feral) wild horses. These fauna are portrayed in their natural habitat or as the object of mankind’s penchant to hunt them for food, clothing, or sport. The panoply of scenes includes dramatic surprise encounters between man and animal, stealthy approach by hunters, conflicts between predator and prey species, a stampede from a prairie fire, Native American veneration of wildlife, and faunal portraits set in their natural habitat.

From This Grass Earth

From This Grass Earth

March 4 – May 28, 2016

From This Grass Earth celebrates the wild and immense beauty of the North American grasslands by exploring the legacy of stewards of the Great Plains landscape. Through a marriage of art, science, and poetry, visitors can experience and engage with the landscape through a myriad of aesthetic, scientific, and ecological lenses. 

The collaborative exhibition features photographs from the Rediscover the Prairie expedition by Sebastian Tsocanos, photographs and poems written on the trail by Robin Walter, graphics compiled by the World Wildlife Fund that articulate ecological trends underway in North America’s grasslands, and an interactive interface that allows viewers to identify the threats facing the Great Plains ecoregion.

From This Grass Earth aims to increase awareness of a critically endangered landscape and excite a deeper understanding, appreciation, and engagement with the natural world and our place within it. For more information about the project, please visit: This exhibition was made possible with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

We, the Heartland

Leota Eastman- Iron Cloud, Ideal, South Dakota, 2013
Archival ink jet print


We, the Heartland

April 1 – August 27, 2016

We, The Heartland is a love letter to the cultural landscape of the prairies. Photographs by Kate Schneider portraying the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route in Nebraska and South Dakota are paired with handwritten letters to President Obama from landowners and Lakota natives. The landscapes address the unseen threat the proposed pipeline poses to the land, and the accompanying letters address the indexical relationship between the land and those who seek to preserve it.

Schneider is a Toronto-based photographer and educator. Her work is based in the traditions of documentary storytelling and ethnography, and her most recent works focus on the impact that land and the socialized landscape have on individual and cultural identity in North America. Schneider was recognized by the Magenta Foundation's 2013 and 2015 Flash Forward competitions, and has recently shown her work at the Soho Photo gallery (New York), the Society of Photographic Education (Cleveland), and the floor of the United States Senate. She received her MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University (2009) and is an Instructor of Photography at OCAD University and the Unviersity of Guelph-Humber. This exhibition was made possible with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

Cropping to Circles
Kendall McMinimy
Pivotal 2, 2013
Acrylic and toner on birch panel

Cropping to Circles by Kendall McMinimy

June 3 – August 27, 2016

Kendall McMinimy fuses photography and printmaking in monochromatic abstracted renderings of irrigation systems. The artist draws attention to agricultural water use through images that explore the nature of center pivot irrigation as “a system that encircles multiple conflicting truths — a worldwide revolution in food production is also complicit in the depletion of groundwater; humanitarian aid aligns with hegemonic order; global market forces allow and deny local economies; a system simultaneously produces and diminishes.”

Born and raised in the High Plains of Kansas, McMinimy holds an MA and MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Cropping to Circles was recently recognized in the Critical Mass Top 50 Portfolios of 2014.

B.C. Gilbert
B.C. Gilbert
High Back Swell Fork, 2011
Watercolor, pen & ink

Flat Land, Flat Water: Rubendall Artist in Residence B.C. Gilbert

July 12 - October 29, 2016

B.C. Gilbert's work is influenced by experiences of growing up on the High Plains of Texas where ranching is prominent. His work brings into question the iconography of West Texas incorporating cowboys and Indians alongside landscape markers such as water towers. In multi-media constructions that merge unconventional materials such as tooled leather, metal siding, and found objects with painting, Gilbert depicts the West in a manner reminiscent of Pop artists. Most recently, Gilbert began making prints combining Western icons with text. Gilbert’s sculptural paintings and prints present a unique perspective of the contemporary American West.

Gilbert will be in residence at the Museum from August 2 - 6 and September 27 - October 1. Call 402-472-6220 for information on scheduling a tour or school group.

Contemporary Indigeneity 2016
Gina Adams
Honoring Modern Unidentified 2, 2013
Encaustic and oil on ceramic
Great Plains Art Museum Curator’s Choice Purchase Prize for Contemporary Indigeneity 2014

Contemporary Indigeneity 2016: Spiritual Borderlands

September 2 – December 23, 2016

The 2016 iteration of Contemporary Indigeneity at the Great Plains Art Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will explore Native American spirituality and sovereignty in relation to philosophical interpretations of borderlands in the Great Plains. Legislation defining and regulating geographic and cultural borders throughout American history has estranged indigenous peoples from sacred sites leaving them with only a spiritual link to the places where they once resided. By bringing together works incorporating a diverse range of artistic media, this exhibition will seek to create dialogues regarding interpretations of sovereignty, spiritual connections to the land, and cultural identity within the boundaries of the Great Plains.

Bridges, Sharing Our Past to Enrich the Future

Bridges, Sharing Our Past to Enrich the Future

January 6 – March 25, 2017

In collaboration with the Hildegard Center for the Arts, the Great Plains Art Museum with host the statewide traveling photography exhibition as part of Nebraska's 150th Sesquicentennial. This juried exhibition open to all Nebraskans 15 years and older will serve as a bridge to connect Nebraskans with their culture and heritage highlighting historic places and often over-looked historical treasures in all 93 counties.

If interested in participating in the exhibition, information about how to submit photographs can be found on the Hildegard Center for the Art's photo call. The Governor’s Sesquicentennial Committee (the Nebraska 150 Commission) has officially endorsed the this project.