‘Lincoln Collects’ exhibition features private collection of Steve Wake

Steve Wake in his home, summer 2019. Photo by Francisco Souto.
Steve Wake in his home, summer 2019. Photo by Francisco Souto.

‘Lincoln Collects’ exhibition features private collection of Steve Wake

calendar icon24 Sep 2019    

Lincoln, Neb.--“Lincoln Collects: The Steve Wake Collection” exhibition opens Friday, Oct. 4 at the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery in Richards Hall.

The exhibition will be on display from Oct. 4-Nov. 1, with an opening reception on Oct. 4 and a closing reception on Nov. 1—both are First Fridays and last from 5-7 p.m.

The exhibition is the first in an ongoing series hosted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s School of Art, Art History & Design to showcase works belonging to notable art collectors in the Lincoln area.

Curated by Gallery Director Patricia Davis, the exhibition highlights work from the private collection of local collector Steve Wake. Wake is vice chairman of Seward’s Jones Bank. He joined the bank founded by his grandfather Claudius Jones after serving in Army Intelligence during the Vietnam War era and earning a law degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

The mediums represented the exhibition are contemporary studio glass, ceramics and sculpture—as this reflects the bulk of Wake’s collection. Anchored by glass works, the show explores the possibilities and masterful manipulation of the medium via formal abstraction, decoration, functional purpose, and concepts surrounding identity.

The diversity of the collection is apparent to Wake.

“There’s something about glass, it can be different and feel good with the different styles together,” he remarks in his recent interview with L. Kent Wolgamott of the Lincoln Journal-Star for the Hixson-Lied College alumni magazine.

This feeling was integral to Davis’ curation of the exhibition.

“He has such a vast collection and there’s much to discover,” she said.

Wolgamott observes in his article that, "seeing the work in-person is imperative with glass—it’s three-dimensional, multi-layered qualities can’t be reproduced in photography.”

Davis aims to highlight this personal connection between the viewer and the work, as her design of the exhibition was inspired by “Wake’s daily life intimately surrounded by these beautiful objects.” The exhibition will also feature books about glass art on loan from Wake and Love Library—an idea sparked by the extensive collection of books Wake has throughout his home. These books will be available for perusal in the space during the entirety of the exhibition, and Davis hopes this will add an educational component to the experience—offering information about a medium that isn’t present in the School of Art, Art History & Design’s curriculum.

Selected artists from the exhibition include:
Nicolas Africano (American, b. 1948)
Latchezar Boyadjiev (Bulgarian, b. 1959)
Jose Chardiet (American, b. 1956)
Matthew Curtis (British, b. 1964)
Chad Fonfara (American, b. 1974)*
Martin Janecky (Czech, b. 1980)
Karen LaMonte (American, b. 1967)
Jiyong Lee (Korean, b. 1971)
Benjamin Moore (American, b. 1952)
David Reekie (British, b. 1947)
Ross Richmond (American, b. 1971)
Sophie Ryder (British, b. 1963)
Therman Statom (American, b. 1953)
Lino Tagliapietra (Italian, b. 1934)
Tip Toland (American, b. 1950)
Bertil Vallien (Swedish, b. 1938)
Kenny Walton (American, b. 1947)*
Leah Wingfield (American, b. 1957)
Richard Whiteley (Australian, b. 1963)
Marek Zyga (Polish, b. 1968)
Toots Zynsky (American, b. 1951)

*Indicates a Nebraska-based artist

The Eisentrager-Howard Gallery is located in the center of the first floor of Richards Hall (Stadium Drive and T streets) on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln city campus. Admission is free and open to the public. General gallery hours during exhibitions are Monday-Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours for receptions.

Please contact the School of Art, Art History & Design for more information and assistance at (402) 472-5522. You can also follow the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery on Facebook and Instagram.