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Putting the ‘Art’ in artVenture


By Angie Hempel, Guest Blogger

artVenture isn’t just a super rad fundraiser, it’s also an important, immersive educational experience for girls.

Dozens of artists around the state donate their time to collaborate with girls to create a variety of art for sale at the silent auction events. But it’s so much more…

Girls also get to create a take-home piece of art. They get to spend time working closely with a professional artist. They get to explore their creative side and see what it’s like to make a living as an artist.

In addition, artists have the opportunity to sell a piece of art at artVenture – they receive 50 percent of the purchase price. Collaborative artists aren’t required to show a piece at the event, and artists who show a piece at the event aren’t required to collaborate with girls – although both are encouraged.

And Now for Our Featured Artists

Both the Omaha and the Lincoln fundraising events have a Featured Artist. The Omaha Featured Artist this year is Bart Vargas, who is no stranger to the artVenture world. He’s been a collaborating artist since 2014. In that time, he’s mentored more than 33 Girl Scouts. His collaborative piece drove the theme this year: The Nature of Friendship.

"Watching uncertainty and curiosity unfold and turn into confidence – and the excitement that comes with the sense of accomplishment – has been an incredibly rewarding experience,” Bart said. “Seeing these young artists realize that they can learn the skills and processes to make a professional work of art, makes me look forward to what they will go on to accomplish and create in both our state’s and nation’s future."

Bart is from Bellevue. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Nebraska Omaha and his Master of Fine Arts at University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He has had work recently in PLASTIC at Loosen Art's Millepiani Exhibition Space in Rome, Italy; PORTALS at Maison 10 in New York City; and Concept Winter 2016 at the Czong Institute of Contemporary Art (CICA) in Gimpo, South Korea. His work is in many collections throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, and has been featured in Sculpture Magazine, New American Paintings, and HGTV Magazine. Bart has also been listed as a Nebraska Arts Council Roster Artist for its Artists in Schools/Communities program. 

The Lincoln Featured Artist is Christian Scott, a 21-year-old artist from Lincoln. He has said everything he sees on a daily basis inspires him to create. His work has been influenced by some of the masters, including Pablo Piccaso and Salvador Dali. Distorted faces, exaggerated eyes, dramatic lips, and bold colors define his style. Christian says the context of his art and the style comes from years of being playful with new materials and being able to see the world in color.

“I support Girl Scouts because it teaches young future leaders the importance of life and creation,” Christian said. “artVenture is an amazing program where I teach brilliant Girl Scouts new techniques in painting and learn as much from them as they learn from me. artVenture is so much more than learning new skills, it brings people together.”

Program registration for artVenture is now closed. Find more information about the fundraising events in Omaha and Lincoln on our website.