Outlet for local artists in central Nebraska

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 10:29 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A few miles outside of Comstock where the blacktop ends, you’ll find an old church that’s been converted into an art gallery.

We talked with Sue Oiler Dowse about the gallery. She is the owner of it. “It started in our house next door,” Dowse said. “The gallery was on our upper level, but getting art up the staircase was difficult. When the church congregation acquired property in town and moved, I purchased the building. We’ve been in here in the church building since 2005.”

The church used to be a Swedish Covenant church, and parts of the building date back to 1897. As you might imagine, it’s undergone a number of changes, and it’s been empty for a while. Dowse says you can find almost everything in the gallery when it comes to art. “I carry pottery, paintings, needlework, gifts, and candles,” Dowse said. “Most of the artists are from Nebraska. I would say 95% of the things in here are from our state.”

“This is financed by my social security check,” Dowse joked. “You’ve heard the term ‘starving artist’, well, it’s true. But actually, members of our club donate so much to keep things going here. We are right in the middle of a cornfield, so art may not be the biggest thing around here, but for those who enjoy art, this is big for them.”

The gallery is free and open to the public. Dowse says it serves as an outlet for rural artists. She says a big mission for the gallery and the art club is education. “We’ve had a lot of kids go through here,” Dowse said. “Art is for everyone. There is something about art that appeals to people. I love having kids go through the gallery, because it’s an experience that they won’t forget.”

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