Chris Ware exhibition's focus is artist's graphic novel based in Omaha

Released on 02/01/2007, at 12:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 16, 2007, through Apr. 29, 2007

WHERE: Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, 12th and R Streets

Lincoln, Neb., February 1st, 2007 —
Chris Ware black-and-white JPEG
Chris Ware black-and-white JPEG
Rusty Brown's Lunchbox color JPEG
Rusty Brown's Lunchbox color JPEG

"Chris Ware" is an exhibition that includes drawings and materials related to the artist's upcoming graphic novel based in Omaha. On view Feb. 16 and continuing through April 29 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, the exhibition opens with a reception and public conversation between Ware and Sheldon curator Daniel Siedell from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 16, with their talk beginning at 5:30 p.m. The conversation will be available on a live Web cast at

Of his novel, the artist writes: "'Rusty Brown' is a graphic novel I began many years ago and am serializing chapter by chapter in my regular comic book, 'The ACME Novelty Library.' It concerns the doings of a group of seven people all either employed by or attending a private high school in Omaha, Neb., which bears a striking, affectionate and hopefully non-litigious resemblance to the 1970s version of my own high school, Brownell-Talbot, though all of the main characters and situations are completely invented."

The exhibition will include 18 pages of visual highlights (in original manuscript form) from the story, a Rusty Brown lunch-box, drawings and a doll of Quimby the Mouse, a character which Ware describes as "a stand-in for myself and a changeable cipher," and drawing and a doll of The Hurricane, who the artist says is a "third-rate superhero" who has emerged several times in his life.

Coinciding with this show will be another exhibition, "Comic Art," which explores the place that comic art occupies in American culture and in the high art world today. "Comic Art," on view from Feb. 6 through April 29, includes works from Enrique Chagoya, Jon E. Gierlich and S. Clay Wilson, Howard Finster, Red Grooms, Philip Guston, George Herriman, Roger Shimomura, Saul Steinberg, Art Spiegelman and Walt Kelly, among many others.

Both exhibitions have received generous support from the Duncan Family Trust, Runza Restaurants and West Gate Bank, the Hixson-Lied Endowment, the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Art Association.

Public events and programs related to "Chris Ware" and "Comic Art" are:

* Artist Conversation, beginning 5:30 p.m., Feb. 16. Siedell and Ware discuss comic art in Sheldon's Ethel S. Abbott Auditorium. A reception will follow their dialogue.

* "Comic Art" panel, 5-7 p.m. Feb. 20, moderated by Patrick Jones, a UNL history professor. The panel, including Richard Graham, a UNL librarian; Timothy Schaffert, an Omaha author; and Siedell, will discuss the significance of comics. This event is sponsored by the Nebraska Humanities Council.

* Second Sunday gallery walk, 2 p.m. March 11. Comic artists Paul Fell and Bob Hall discuss "Comic Art."

* Comic Art Workshops for Sixth Graders, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 10 and 24. The workshops, which have a cost of $20 per student, are available to the first 50 students with paid registrations. For more information, call (402) 472-1170. The workshops are generously sponsored by Security Federal.

With the exception of the workshops, all events are free and open to the public, as is admission to the exhibitions.

The Philip Johnson-designed Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery houses a permanent collection of more than 12,000 objects focusing on American art. The museum, 12th and R streets on the UNL City Campus, is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday; and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. For information or to arrange a tour, call (402) 472-2461. Additional information is available on the Sheldon Web site,

CONTACT: Tom White, Public Relations Manager, Sheldon Art Gallery, (402) 472-1197