Artist INC Omaha

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

About Amplify Arts

Amplify Arts promotes unity, innovation, and progress in the arts to build strong and vibrant communities.

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

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.

Maggie Webber

Maggie Weber is a muralist and community organizer. As a child, she attended summer art camp in her hometown of Shenandoah, Iowa, along the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, which cultivated her love for art in the outdoors. She owns a small business, Magdalena Murals, and has created public art installations for the past 10 years. Maggie is invested in the next generation of creatives and has collaborated with local organizations such as Project Everlast, The Kent Bellows Mentoring Program, and The Montessori Co-Op School to empower young people to pursue their passions.

She received her B.A. in Studio Art and Art History from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2014. Maggie is passionate about public art and creative placemaking, and currently serves as Public Art Director for BFF Omaha in addition to her role as Development Director at Amplify Arts.

Watie White

Watie White 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.

Jave Yoshimoto

Jave Gakumei Yoshimoto is an artist and educator of multi-cultural background. He was born in Japan to Chinese parents and immigrated to California at a young age. He believes in creating art works that are socially conscious and true to his authentic self. Yoshimoto has received his Bachelors of Art from University of California Santa Barbara in Studio Art, his Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Painting and Drawing and Masters of Art in Art Therapy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his Masters of Fine Arts in Painting at Syracuse University.

He is a recipient of the 2015 Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Painter’s and Sculptor’s grant, which he used to travel to Nepal and Lesvos Island in Greece to research on the topics on human crisis, survival and resilience. Yoshimoto has been an artist-in-residence in various residencies across the United States, including his recent completion of 2 years at Tulsa Artist Fellowship, and the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans in the summer of 2019. Yoshimoto is currently a foundations coordinator at University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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 Amplify Arts, Peter is a contributing editor at Flatlanders.

Andrew Saladino

Andy has worked in the arts nonprofit sector in many different roles for over 10 years. Originally from Bedford, Massachusetts, he moved to Omaha to work as a Teaching Artist and Director at The Rose Theatre after completing his BA in Theatre Education at The University of New Hampshire. But it was during a 2-year stint in New York where he discovered that he was both a midwesterner at heart and that arts administration was his real calling.

Andy has also worked at TADA! Youth Theater, Underling Productions, and the American Red Cross. He has worked as a Teaching Artist and/or Director at The Rose Theatre, Atlantis Playmakers, Children’s Acting Academy, Random Access Theatre, and Wingspan Arts. He lives in midtown with his wife, Jennifer, and two boys, Toby and Indiana Jones (a dog).

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.