Wanda Ewing Memorial Scholarship Recipient

by Nicholas Clark

I began in Springfield, Missouri and followed my father’s career to Denver, before settling home in Omaha. It’s been a great place to grow up with consistent opportunities for my education. Day to day, I am my younger brother’s full-time caregiver. He requires assistance in every facet of living because of a severe brain and spine injury that occurred as an infant. Yet, he’s continued to endure and share a contagious smile for almost twenty years. Much of my work is inspired by him and the way that trauma has sculpted both of our lives to date.

The months following graduation from UNO’s 2D BFA program, I’ve spent learning and unlearning how to paint by imitating different styles and mediums of artists I admire in NYC, Detroit, Chicago, and LA. There is a sneaking hope inside of me to apprentice for one of these artists within the next year (if they’ll take me). I feel it would be a radical transition out of being my brother’s caregiver of twelve years, but I’m eager to embrace a change.

I regret having not known Wanda Ewing personally, but through stories and artwork, her influence in my life is undeniable. Her portrait that hangs in Weber Fine Arts always reminds me of the many hearts she touched of my friends and colleagues. I am humbled and inspired to belong to a community which has been fostered by Wanda Ewing, and continues to. I am honored and grateful to have been selected for this scholarship in her memory for its aid in my work and education. This scholarship greatly assisted in the cost of preparing paintings and drawings for my 2017 BFA exhibition, titled Slow Fun:

Slow Fun is a series of interrelated paintings, drawings, and assemblages. Slow Fun refers to stoicism in moments of grief and the process of appreciating that grief. Slow Fun is used loosely—not necessarily  a joyous, crawling event—but a prolonged participation in life which is to be observed, digested, and reconstructed.
These paintings, drawings, and assemblages exist as individual artworks, but also contribute to a thematic hive. Translating imagery through multiple mediums establishes a deeper, nuanced physicality and invites déjà vu. The high contrast and sharp line of graphite speaks clearly with a scratch. Oil paint slurs its speech with a pull, drag, and blur. Assemblages remain silent as relics sealed in time.

My imagery is autobiographical, akin to self portraits, wherein I am substituted by the pinball interactions between subjects of the composition, engaged with (or disengaged from) friends and family. Slow Fun attempts to solve emotional memory puzzles, replacing missing pieces with symbolism, both redeeming and damning.

You can see more of Nicholas’s work here.


Wanda Ewing Scholarship
If you would like to contribute to the scholarship fund established by Wanda’s family, please donate here. Thank you.

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