8 People by Watie White

Citylight Arts Project is pleased to announce the opening reception of 8 People featuring eight large-format portraits of Omaha community members by Watie White. These portraits are part of a much ager body of work, titled 100 People. Opening receptions at Citylight Arts Project are always free and open to all.

From the artist:
For this project I will be making 100 portraits of people I admire who make the world better in ways that are big and small. Generally, these are people who are surprised and flattered that someone - an artist - would be taking an interest in them and their stories. My model chooses their pose and the message told by their posture, costume and gestures. The murals and prints do not communicate much else, to keep an air of mystery to the experience of looking at them on site. They surely strike the viewer as a real person doing something, but just what may take a few viewings to puzzle out. The hope is the viewer returns often to mine it for new, subtle clues and in the process spend a long time with an image of a real person they have not met yet; someone they may find interesting when they do.

My models have come to my studio and chosen for themselves how they would like to be seen, what gesture they would make with their body, what object they would hold. I work from a photo I take to carve a 2 foot tall woodcut, a copy of which goes to the model.

About the artist:
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). Working as a painter, printmaker and public artist, White has been based in Omaha since 2006. His work has been shown nationally and internationally including at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville, Ark), Minneapolis Institute of Art
(Minneapolis, MN) and Telfair Museums (Savannah, GA), Dixon Gallery and Gardens (Memphis, TN), (Frist Center for the Arts (Nashville, TN), the Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC) and Joslyn Art Museum, (Omaha, NE).

His site-specific social practice has led to large-scale public art projects with area nonprofits: Habitat For Humanity-Omaha, InCOMMON Community Development, Justice For Our Neighbors-NE, Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance and Omaha Public Schools. I have been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Puffin Foundation, Nebraska Arts Council, Humanities Nebraska, and the Mid-America Arts Alliance.


About Citylight Arts Project
Citylight Arts Project seeks to grow the Benson renaissance through empowering the next generation of creatives. Therefore, our mission is to:

PIONEER a new space to learn, create, and cultivate.
PARTNER with like-minded community organizations.
PROMOTE emerging creatives and their work.
PRODUCE a new generation of art patrons.
PROVIDE for the underprivileged in our neighborhood.
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