Current News & Events  -  Artist Talk

Come join Jean and Tom Sitzman at Connect Gallery for  an artist talk with Monte Kruse on Friday November 20th at 7:30 pm.

Enjoy hors d'oeuvres and a tete-a-tete with Jean and Tom and Monte  as you peruse among Monte's amazing photos. The photos were taken at Hummel Park then printed on canvas in colors. Monte Kruse used objects found on site and then arranged them for the photo shoot. Monte Kruse employed only natural light in this series.


“Relationship with Nature,” shown, features lovely blues and greens of a Nebraska landscape, an appropriate example of Thorsen’s personal philosophy.

More on The Reader Website:

Join Thorsen on Saturday, February 20th, at noon for a bicycle ride on the Field Club Trail beside the gallery.

Al Rhea

 Current News & Events  -  Lecture  -  April 29, 2015  -  5 p.m.

Dan Klima

Evelyn Render-Katz

 News & Events  -  Celebrate Women's History Wednesday March 30

Robert Engler


 News & Events  -  aaART

JK Thorsen

Thorsen’s paintings are completely different, but they work well with Katz’s pieces. While the latter are more free and organic in form, Thorsen’s work lends itself to a more geometric type of abstract work.

“Apricot Hillside” is a plein-air or “in the open air” style of painting of Washington County in Nebraska. Thorsen used whole oils, glass flake, and cristobalite to create this piece.  The result is stunning. “Although I don’t adhere to one genre,” Thorsen said, “and I do not pursue themes, (unless commissioned), for several years I have been moving toward the inclusion of eco-friendlier options in my art & design production.”

The colors used in this painting are lively and intense.  The bright blue sky is juxtaposed with rich colors of apricot and ink blue and black in the hillside.  It is a quiet painting and viewers can envision themselves gazing at this beautiful site. 

“My art is frequently a reflection of experiences, relationships, dreams and a suggestion of stories from others,” she added. “For many artists, what a painting suggests depends on where a piece takes us. For me, when a piece is coming to a close, if it includes a sense of invitation or love of painting, I leave it in, (if it works).”

“Humble Eyes” is an immaculate execution of a female figure that gazes at the viewer in an unobtrusive, peaceful way.  Her expression is modest and the colors are beautiful.  Using oil as her medium, the viewer can see the softness of the colors play off the softness of the figure.

“My work remains greatly intuitive,” Thorsen said. “My paintings are sometimes painted - or started - on-site. Mind's eye & varied references sometimes assist when I return to my unheated workshop. From a young age, I was encouraged in my own style; not relying upon trends, grids, etc.”

Even though the abstract movement has given us a new way to think about art, it can still be somewhat of a puzzle to most viewers.  Some may view this style as daunting, but the interaction of saturated colors with the process and intensity of lines and shapes make this show creative and fun.

The pieces can be very controlled, but the emotions of the artists tend to be revealed.  Because art is so subjective, your emotional response also depends on how you perceive it.

Nancy Lepo

Congratulations also to artists who have been accepted into the Bemis Exhibtion and Auction on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 6:00pm.

JK Thorsen

Evy Katz

Al Rhea

Robert Klein Engler

Courtney Porto

Pamela Conyers-Hinsen


Giclée Fine Art Reproduction Prints, (limited edition, signed), are an entry-level option for those beginning to appreciate fine-art, and for others who are budgeting closely, yet desire meaningful fine art reproductions in their home and business.

Although originals are preferred, we provide Giclée Fine Art Reproduction Prints for several of our artists' best works. Framing, delivery and shipping available.

Please contact us for pricing details.

Giclée is the name for the process of making high quality fine art prints from a digital source using high resolution ink-jet printing.

The word "giclée", from the French language word "le gicleur" meaning "nozzle", or more specifically "gicler" meaning "to squirt, spurt, or spray". The term represents any inkjet based digital print produced to be used as fine art. Images are typically generated from high resolution digital scans or digital camera photographs and printed with archival quality inks onto various paper media including canvas, fine art, and photo papers. The quality of the Giclée print rivals traditional film based photography printing processes and is commonly found in homes, businesses and photographic galleries.

Suzanne Smith Arney, author of HerArt/Herself: Profiles of 56 Women Who Make Art Matter

Jean B. Mills, fiber artist, educator, author

What better way to wrap up Women's History Month than with a double presentation by Jean, one of the women who makes art matter, and Suzanne, who wrote the book. Jean's appearance at Connect Gallery is a special treat since she now lives in Alaska. Other artists featured in the book are especially invited to meet and mix.

At the end of the presentation, all artists present will join in a Q&A session and book signing.

Wednesday March 30 | Noon

We look forward to seeing you!

Courtney Porto

John White spent 14 years waiting, editing and revising his artwork. Finally, with printer and ink that has past his archival test, he is ready to show the fruit of his labor.

aaART was printed on canvas and also has been overpainted with acrylic paint to give the print a distinctive and unique quality. John has created this work so that it could fit against any wall color and lighting. With no correct orientation, John White hoped that it will encourage viewer to look at it often, at length, under changing lighting and in different environment. 

Somewhere in our unconscious mind, the tangible memories we have can be reconstructed and distorted into fragmented abstract forms.  Abstract art goes beyond the simple pictorial images found in most art, but uses art as a mode of allegorical discourse by using basic shapes, lines and colors to represent the message rather than the imitation of pictures of everyday objects in the things we see.

Evy Katz and J.K. Thorsen redefine abstract art.  Their self-titled show at Connect Gallery, which continues through Jan. 4, allows the viewer a glimpse into the abstract process while connecting in a fundamental way with the visual forms used.

Katz, a low vision occupational therapist, says her work in the show is motivated by a an excerpt from one of her poems, Lacunae, that reads, “This is the place of bone and spirit.  What has been constructed cell by cell; is continually torn down, is recast, is rebuilt and reformed, to be injured is not to be broken.”  Only in the past five years has she really gotten back into paintings including this series also called Lacunae. 

“The word ‘lacunae’ has various meanings,” she said at her opening last weekend. “It is a small interior space or inlet that is like a lagoon.  So, these are the paintings that come from my interior.  And with my semi-medical background the lacunae is also the little holes in your bones.”

“Lacuna with Peduncles” is a non-descript image of bright colors and lines.  In this piece you can see what Katz means by interior spaces.  The painting draws you in and the movement within the piece helps move the eye.  The vivid acrylic colors make the painting explode on the canvas.  “I am really interested in color and shape and space.  That is what drives my work,” Katz said.

Synesthesia is something else that inspires her.  Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense is simultaneously paired with another sense; in Katz’s case she can actually see colors when she listens to music.  She has always had this.  “Sometimes colors and things that I see are directly inspired by something I have heard and vice versa,” she added.

Still a bit abstract, but extremely interesting are her sculptural pieces created with chicken wire Katz “found in my backyard and wanted to do more sculptural things.  So, I thought this is something I could bend and paint and I did.”  The sculptures range from a head, to a female torso, and baskets.

With her “Tempest Teapot” the large chicken wire is formed into a teapot complete with a spiral wire handle. These pieces are very delicate, but draw people in.  “I like playful things in art,” she said.

 Current News & Events  -  Awards and Distinctions

 News & Events  -  Saturday February 20th Noon Bicycle Ride

Congratulations to the artists who made it into the OEA awards!  The OEA( Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards) are given to artists by online nominations and votes.   Connect Gallery's artists nominated are:


Courtney Porto nominated for best solo exhibit, best 2D  artist, and best emerging visual artist.

Dan Klima and Nancy Lepo are nominated for best 2-person exhibition "Ebb and Flow"

Evy Katz and JK Thorsen are nominated for best 2-person exhibit.

Please go and show your support for our artists by voting at

Pamela Conyers-Hinsen

Color Her ‘Green’
Artist Thorsen offers her earth & people-friendly painting at Connect Gallery
by Eddith Buis

Painter J.K. Thorsen is the featured artist at Connect Gallery for February, opening to the public this Wednesday, Feb. 3.  Combining the use of earth-friendly art materials with a theme of nonviolent play, Thorsen promises saturated and glowing oil colors untouched by plastics or chemically-changed media.

Along with Thorsen’s signature loose painting style, we will often discern suggestions of a cyclist, golfer, or people somewhere in the compositions.  Because the paints Thorsen has researched and developed are from organic oils, Himalayan salt and ultra-fine sand, this artist says something about her convictions without being provocative. 

And these are paints that dry slowly enough to be adjusted and moved, as well as being gentle to our earth. All new work will be shown by this prolific painter. Several of the pieces feature a grid that offers a “window” for the color field behind.

 Published News - 2014


JK Thorsen & Evelyn Render-Katz


Abstract Musings 

Connect Gallery Exhibit

 Expresses a Reality
Free of Imitation

by Laura Vranes

of Nebraska's "Reader"

Check out Monte Kruse photos online.