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The Second Most Important Thing About artVenture


By Angie Hempel, artVenture Volunteer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: artVenture season!

That’s right, I said it.

The holidays are overrated. It’s cold, driving becomes more stressful, and everyone’s either on a sugar high or sugar crash.

But, the holidays mean we’re that much closer to the next artVenture!

Why is artVenture better than the holidays?

You’re surrounded by fascinating and beautiful art, you’re eating delicious food, and most importantly, you’re supporting girls. No dry turkey, no cold noses, no decorations to take down.

Let’s delve into the second most important thing about artVenture: the art. (The first thing is the girls, of course, because helping girls discover and achieve their dreams is what we’re all about. Girls can do anything. And are awesome.)

Both the Lincoln and Omaha events have a Featured Artist. The Featured Artist works on a special collaborative piece with a group of Girl Scouts and also works with the planning committee on another piece.

Omaha Featured Artist

The Featured Artist for Omaha’s event is Dar Vande Voort. Dar is an Iowa artist who specializes in portraiture, public art commissions, and teaching. Over the years, Dar has transformed as an artist navigating new mediums and subject matter. Always in search of a new artistic voice, Dar boldly moves forward in new and exciting creative directions. Her signature style includes incorporating puzzle pieces into her paintings. Dar has exhibited throughout the United States and is a sought-after commission portrait artist.

“I enjoy working with all the girls at any age because they are so willing and eager to dive into the projects I offer,” she said. “After they realize there are no mistakes in my studio, only more layers of paint and creativity, they become truly free. This freedom in art can only grow into freedom in other areas of life as it helps us to problem solve in a fun way. The other reason I participate is just that, it’s fun, and if you’re not having fun, you better get another brush!”

Lincoln Featured Artist

The Featured Artist for Lincoln’s event is Carrie Strope, who has been participating in artVenture for nine years. Carrie specializes in fused glass art and mosaics, integrating stained glass and lampworking techniques at times. She is the resident specialist in glass fusing and mosaic at Lincoln's premier fused glass and glass class studio, Architectural Glassarts. Carrie travels internationally to teach in glass studios and at national conferences, including the Glass Craft & Bead Expo in Las Vegas, NV, and the annual American Mosaic Summit.

"I enjoy being a part of the artVenture program because I believe it helps girls learn how to work together collaboratively and creatively, helping to develop crucial skills for a quickly changing world,” she said. “No matter what career choices the girls make, being able to creatively problem solve and communicate well with each other are important life lessons."

If you are an artist or know of one who would be interested in being involved in artVenture, please fill out this form.