Omaha, Nebraska is probably not the first place one thinks of as a locus for contemporary art, but often it’s in “flyover country” where the most enchanting destinations take shape. Over the course of four decades and a few major transformations, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts has been able to utilize vast spaces, draw on local talent and resources, and embed itself in the local community through an ongoing series of exhibitions, public programs, and performances. Hosting over 1,000 artists since 1981, it has positioned itself as an influential space for experimentation in a unique location with top-notch facilities and support.
Founded as an artist-in-industry program called Alternative Worksite, the foundation first expanded to a site in the former Bemis Bag Warehouse in Omaha’s historic Old Market District, providing inspiration for the new name. Now housed in the 100,000 sq. ft. former McCord-Brady wholesale grocery warehouse, the center offers a year-round program of residencies for visual artists, sound artists, and curators.
Artists are offered private live/work studios, financial support, technical and administrative assistance, and opportunities for intellectual discourse about contemporary art. The Sound Art + Experimental Music Program, the newest track for artists working in sound, composition, voice, and music of all genres, provides the same level of support along with dedicated facilities for rehearsing, recording, and performing. The Curator-in-Residence Program provides national curators the opportunity to interact and participate with the residency program and to organize exhibitions and public programs.
While residency applications have closed for 2023, mark your calendars for 2024!
↝ Spring + Summer Open Call, applications due March 31
↝ Alumni Artist-in-Residence Open Call, applications due April 14
↝ Sound Artist-in-Residence Open Call, applications due April 14
↝ 2024-25 Curator-in-Residence Open Call, applications due May 5
↝ Fall Open Call, applications due August 1
Find more information at bemiscenter.org.
All images courtesy of Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.