Familiar scenes of Nebraska are on display at the Noyes Art Center. The owner is presenting an exhibit called "Interpreting Nebraska."
The gallery has been operating for 27 years. Owner and artist Julia Noyes is excited to be showcasing the state in her art. "The windmill is really an interesting icon because it speaks about Nebraska," Noyes said. It turns out, her gallery once housed a windmill company. "This was the Bird Company Windmill Factory in 1880. The most famous windmill they made and sold was the Kalamazoo Windmill. In 1880, they sold more than $75,000 in windmills. So when I drive by windmills, I think it's just such a part of our DNA here."
There are many paintings that make up the exhibit. One features a flowering tree perhaps to highlight Arbor Day and the love of trees in our state. "The next one is my interpretation of clouds and sky. How many times do you like to look at the clouds and see things and say, what a breath of fresh air?", Noyes said.
Noyes also captures the majesty of the Sandhill cranes in her art, and she created a piece showcasing the State Capitol. It's a building her mother always liked. "We went to the capitol all of the time, and had to study the mosaics, the murals, and the quotes." Noyes says she especially likes the phrase "Equality Before the Law", and added it to her capitol painting.
Some paintings feature the Sandhills, and others reflect farmland. In one piece, it feels like you are looking down on Nebraska from an aerial view, and seeing the center pivot circles. Noyes is not only focusing on some of the iconic rural scenes in Nebraska, but on some urban scenes or street scenes as well.
"One painting features the corner of 9th and O," Noyes said. To make the painting, she takes a soft-focused skyline shot, then does thumbnail sketches, before going on to produce the actual painting. Through it all, the exhibit features a real pride in Nebraska. "I like to be able to appreciate the trees, and where you are. I think it's important to take pride in where you are living," Noyes said.