Artist INC Omaha

M-AAA collaborates with the Omaha Creative Institute to present Artist INC Omaha.

About Omaha Creative Institute

Omaha Creative Institute provides Omaha Metro artists with the training and opportunities they need to build sustainable careers in the arts.

We do this by:

  • Providing professional development
  • Awarding grants to artists
  • Connecting artists and patrons
  • Advocating for the success of the artist community

Artist INC Omaha last convened September 11–October 30, 2018.

Omaha Peer Facilitators

Susan Knight

Susan Knight, a Nebraska-based paper artist has exhibited at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha), The Sheldon Art Museum (Lincoln), The Museum of Nebraska Art (Kearney), and Creighton University (Omaha) and was featured in Fiber at Kaneko Open Space for Your Mind. Internationally, she has shown in Canada, China, Ireland, and Italy. Among her honors, Knight is a recipient of a Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. In 2013 she was chosen by The Colorado Art Ranch and The Nature Conservancy for a “Land/Water” residency at Carpenter Ranch, Hayden, CO, and awarded artist residencies at Ragdale, Lake Forest, IL in 1997 and 2009 and at the International School of Art, Montecastello di Vibio, Italy, in 1999. Born in Grand Rapids, MI, she earned a BFA in art from Saint Mary College, Notre Dame, IN, and attended The University of Notre Dame, The Glassell School of Art, Houston, and The School of the Chicago Art Institute.

Dominique Morgan

Dominique Morgan is a 2018 Union for Contemporary Art Fellow, 2017 Young Black and Influential Award recipient for Advocacy, Greater Omaha Young Professionals’ 2017 Change Maker Award recipient and 2016 NAACP Freedom Fighter Award recipient. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Queer People of Color Nebraska, National Director of Black and Pink – the nation’s largest prison abolitionist organization and an award winning musician—2018 Omaha Entertainment Arts Award winner for Best R&B and chosen as the first to perform on the TEDX stage with his song “Stand Up”.

 Ellen Struve

Ellen Struve is an Omaha-based playwright. Her play Prince Max’s Trewly Awful Trip to the Desolat Interior was selected for the 2015 PlayPenn Playwrights’ Conference and presented at GPTC PlayFest at Joslyn Art Museum and will have its premiere in 2017 at Red Theatre in Chicago,IL. She is a Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellow, a WhyArts resident artist, and serves on the board of Shelterbelt Theatre. In 2017 she was be playwright-in-residence at Creighton University working on The Dairy Maid-Right and The Octopus Play. She has degrees from University of Iowa and School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Bart Vargas

Bart Vargas is from Bellevue, Nebraska. He received his BFA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and his MFA at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, and his work can be found in many collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His works have also been featured in many publications including Sculpture magazine, New American Paintings, and HGTV Magazine. Vargas is currently a member of the fulltime Art Faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Watie White

Watie was born in 1971 to a family of Itinerant cultural Anthropologists in Palo Alto, CA.  Eventually settling in rural Southern Illinois, he worked at the family business, Ancient Lifeways Institute until attending Carleton College (BA, 1993). Degrees followed at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA, 1999) and American University (MFA, 2003).

Currently, he is a Painter and Printmaker living in Omaha, Nebraska. He has two adorable kids and a loving wife.

Mary Zicafoose

Mary Zicafoose is an award-winning textile artist known for bold color, dramatic scale, and articulate process in contemporary Ikat tapestry. She also translates her powerful ethno-contemporary textile images into fine prints. She received her BFA from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN with graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Nebraska. Zicafoose was a 2008 Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts resident artist, is codirector of the American Tapestry Alliance, chairman of the board of the Omaha Union For Contemporary Art, and former board member of RugMark USA and the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery. International exhibitions include the 13th Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland, Interweaving Cultures, Museo de Textil, Oaxaca, Mexico and Peter Gray Museum, Puerto Vallarta and the collections of fifteen United States Embassies abroad. She lives, weaves, and teaches from her home on the Great Plains in Omaha, NE.


Omaha Administrators

Peter Fankhauser

Peter Fankhauser is an artist and educator who has held posts at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel in Los Angeles, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and The City University of New York, where he also received an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Practice. Narrative’s mutation across different media platforms has become a recurring theme in his work and a primary preoccupation. He has exhibited at independent and alternative spaces nationally and abroad including Judson Memorial Church (New York City), Death By Audio (Brooklyn), Silent Barn (Brooklyn), AC Institute (New York City), and the Meltdown Festival (London). In addition to his position as Programs Manager at Omaha Creative Institute, Peter is a contributing editor at Flatlanders (

Andrew Saladino

Andrew Saladino is the Executive Director of Omaha Creative. His first experience with the arts was at a summer camp in the small suburb of Bedford, MA, where he grew up. When in an adorable production of How to Eat Like a Child, he was asked to do a handstand that he was certainly not capable of. Luckily, two cast mates agreed to help prop him up, and this valuable lesson sparked his passion for the arts and the communities that support them. Andrew got his BA in Theatre Education from the University of New Hampshire and traveled to Omaha soon after to become a Teaching Artist at The Rose Theater for three years. This led him to step into the arts administration world in NYC, where he worked at TADA! Youth Theater on the development team and helped his zany artist wife through grad school. It didn’t take them long to figure out their home was back in Omaha, however. Andrew took a job as a Major Gifts Officer at the Red Cross, but couldn’t stay away from the arts for long. After directing a web series project in New York (Adapting), producing and contributing to a podcast right here in Omaha all about local and nationwide theatre (The Bridge Club of Madison County Podcast), and directing or designing other creative projects, Andrew knew hobbies alone wouldn’t do. His work also had to reflect his passion. He is thrilled to be a part of the OCI team and one of those cast mates helping to support the arts in the tight knit Omaha community.

Caitlin Osborn

Caitlin Osborn grew up immersed in the arts, thanks to her mother’s profession as a music educator and her father’s love of live music and public radio. Born in Lincoln, NE, her earliest days were spent at Kindermusik classes playing the xylophone, which translated to twelve years of piano lessons. Throughout childhood Caitlin participated in choirs, musicals, and dance (tap being the hands down favorite). High school was all about concert choir and show choir. This appreciation of music has never left, and now Caitlin enjoys attending live shows, and making glorious music with Sing Omaha’s Women’s Choir. After graduating from UNO with a BA in History, Caitlin moved to Minneapolis to pursue a Masters degree in Public Policy, focusing on Nonprofit Management. She is excited and ready to work hard to make sure Omaha stays creative and fun for everyone.