University of Nebraska Lincoln Fine Art Grad Student
EXHIBITING May 18 - Jun 26
Bio: Hannah Demma is an avid outdoorswoman, outdoor educator, and lifelong Nebraskan. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2017, with an emphasis on printmaking and drawing and is currently pursuing her Masters in Fine Art at her alma mater. Her mixed-media approach to art speaks to aspects of science and nature both familiar and strange, and mines the environment for inspiration, examining the intersection of the imaginative and the biological, of the creative and the empirical. Her process stirs the imagination and sparks excitement for exploration and adventure.
Since graduation, Hannah received the Kimmel Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and a Mayor’s Art Award in 2018. She completed an artist residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City, and served as a visiting artist at Maxey Elementary School. Hannah’s passion for art education has taken her to Lincoln, Montana where she spent a month leading the education programing for an outdoor sculpture park, Blackfoot Pathways Sculpture in the Wild. Hannah has served as coordinator for the Cedar Point Biological Station Art Program since 2018, as well as worked as lead art instructor for the Arts are Basic summer camp at Culler Middle School.
In addition to teaching, Hannah has maintained a busy studio practice and exhibition schedule and looks forward to expanding her studio practice to include new mediums and collaborations within the college and the community at large.
Artist Statement: What does it mean to be enchanted? To me it is something that happens several times a day. Often it is those moments spent in nature, when I am paddling or hiking. However, enchantment also happens at times when I am doing something as mundane as washing dishes— noticing the delicate rainbows that form when the soap meets the light coming through the window above the sink. It’s the surprising contrasts between flowering plants in the springtime, or unexpected pops of color from the duckweed floating ethereally on the surface of some murky Nebraska lake. It’s also the way leftover casserole layers look gorgeously stratified in a glass container in the fridge. I make work that aims to enchant the viewer. Using the formal elements of art (particularly color, texture, shape, and pattern) as a basis for my abstractions of nature, science, and printed textiles, I surprise and stimulate the viewer’s senses in hopes of taking them out of their worries and into a state of reverie. I use paint primarily because of its immediacy—I see it in my mind, put paint to paper, and have captured it. When I apply opaque dots of gouache to tissue paper and then wax the sheets, the dots appear to float in space, making me feel like I’ve isolated and suspended a single layer of duckweed. That spontaneity allows for unexpected results that feel alive. I have come to consider paper my primary medium. It is ancient and humble, but adaptable to my own shifting modes of art-making. Paper, when treated, can resemble textiles and fabric. I love thinking about the ways it can flow and drape around other structures. I want to pique the curiosity of the viewer with the materiality of my work. This newer addition of handmade paper and pulp-paintings in my work has added a layer of materials that feels full of infinite possibilities for color and pattern. Working in the studio puts me in a constant state of enchantment. The word has otherworldly connotations—the idea of being bewitched, possessed, or spellbound. Certainly, I feel spellbound while I work. In the studio, repetition becomes pattern, pattern becomes rhythm, rhythm becomes movement, and these things in combination produce results. An effect. But I also consider it a theme of my work to find the otherworldly in nature. Natural effects can produce seemingly supernatural results in the viewer—evoking a sense, a memory, an emotion. I might even consider that the purest intention of the artist. Summer goals: This summer I plan to continue to develop this series of gouache and acrylic paintings on top of the pulp-paintings on handmade paper. I will make larger sheets of paper at Constellation Studios, but also at the invitation of past UNL visiting artist Shannon Brock, in August I will have the opportunity to make paper in her new studio in Montgomery City, Missouri. By working larger, I think I can further envelop the vision of the viewer, and a shift in scale will bring them into my enchantment trap. I also plan to begin working in textile, which is something I’ve never done and prefer to practice without anyone watching me. It is my goal to begin to use fabric and paper interchangeably in an effort to continue to develop my works into large-scale installations over the summer.
Tuesday Through Saturday
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays & Mondays
-Bates-Gould Funeral Home
Carnegie Arts Center
204 W 4th St
Alliance NE 69301
WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE NEBRASKA ARTS COUNCIL AND THE NEBRASKA CULTURAL ENDOWMENT