KEARNEY — The Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney will host a MONA Showcase event on Thursday, Oct. 17, and a Collection Connection program on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

The Showcase program, organized in conjunction with the opening reception for “Threaded,” is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Artists represented in the exhibition will talk about their work beginning at 6. There is no admission charge.

“Threaded,” open through Feb. 9, displays the depth and breadth of the quality of Nebraska-related fiber arts spanning more than 100 years and includes quilts, sculptural hangings, wearables, weavings and rugs, among other fiber-based artworks. This exhibition is a survey of works selected from the MONA collection and on loan from other artists and collectors.

Artists included in this exhibition are Jean Thiessen, Michael James, Sheila Hicks, Judy James, Robert Hillestad and Mary Zicafoose, among others.

“Dr. Doyle Howitt: Wood Wizard” will be the focus of the Collection Connection program set for 2 p.m. Oct. 23.

This program is presented In conjunction with the exhibition “Compelled to Tell: Contrast,” on view through Jan. 26.

A self-taught artist, Howitt says he felt a connection with the energy and beauty of natural wood from an early age. His expert wood turning skills are a labor of love, working with brilliantly colored exotic wood in this manner is a process that involves years to complete one piece.

After the initial turning on the lathe, recently cut green wood can take up to three years to dry out before it is stable enough for final shaping. The wood is then finished by applying many layers of old-world paste wax. It is an approach to making objects that requires a masterful consummate understanding of a laborious, unique, and exquisite material.

Howitt graduated from the Nebraska State Teachers College at Kearney with a degree in business administration and communications in 1956. After obtaining his doctorate, he worked as a school principal, and school superintendent, before returning to the now Kearney State College (renamed the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1991) to become the director of housing from 1965 to 1972. He also held other positions at the college through the years.

Hosted by the MONA Guild, MONA Showcase is a five-program evening series featuring talented visual, performing and literary artists scheduled once a month in October, November, December, February and March. Each program is followed by conversation, art viewing and light refreshments.

The Museum of Nebraska Art, 2401 Central Ave., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; it is closed Mondays and major holidays. There is no admission charge.

The Museum of Nebraska Art celebrates the history of Nebraska’s visual art for diverse audiences. MONA collects, preserves, researches, exhibits and interprets the work of artists who were born, lived, trained or worked in Nebraska or who created artworks that reflect the culture of Nebraska.

For more information, call (308) 865-8559.

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