Week Fifty Two

Before and After

Posted in general interest, Home design by sarahbakerhansen on 18 November 2010

I know this is usually an art blog, but I’m awfully excited about our new house and so I figured I’d devote a few posts to “house stuff.” Please excuse the interruption if you find “house stuff” boring, but I kind of cant’ help it. I spend way too much time perusing Design Sponge and my new obsession is its “Before and After” section. I have a couple of pieces in my home – namely a dark stained wood desk and dresser – that I’m itching to transform. How great is this piece of glass transformed with mirrored paint?

I also love the idea of transforming lighting with spray paint.

Once we get settled after the move, I plan to devote some time to my own “Before and After” projects. In the meantime, check out Design*Sponge for some more inspiration.



Posted in general interest by sarahbakerhansen on 14 November 2010

The past few weeks in my life have been literally ripe with changes.

I cut my hair off.

I’m in my very first art exhibition, opening next Friday at the Bemis Underground.

I’m closing in on the home stretch for a project I’ve been working on for months (more on that very soon.)

Oh, and my husband and I bought a house. We’re leaving our Old Market loft – which has been an absolutely lovely rental – for Dundee. Moving day is next weekend.

I’m also writing my first blog post in (blush) literally months.

Change is scary. But it’s also very good.

Happy Thanksgiving! Because it’s officially the holiday season, this week’s Mixed Media will be devoted to all things holiday, beginning with the Durham Museum’s annual tree lighting ceremony. The ceremony itself begins at 4 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, Friday, Nov. 26, and runs until 7. Vocalist and local KIOS radio personality Michael Lyon will give a performance, and visitors can decorate cookies, create holiday gifts and share their list with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Durham’s annual holiday trees exhibit also opens Nov. 26. The exhibition explores holiday traditions from around the world and is created by Omaha community groups. The show includes a selection of holiday trees decorated with diverse holiday customs. The show continues through Jan. 2.


On Saturday, Nov, 27, ten studio locations in Benson will be part of one big holiday art show. “Get Gifty” includes work from more than 40 artists – including Wanda Ewing, Julie Conway, Andrew Hershey and Jason Gerber, among many others. The event starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 6; galleries include Studio Illuminata, 2725 N. 62nd St.; Adventure in Art, 6001 Maple St.; Pizza Shoppe Collective, 6056 Maple St.; Justin Beller Studio, 6110 ½ Maple St.; Silver of Oz, 6115 Maple St.; Ying Zhu Studio, 62nd and Maple streets; Blue Pomegranate Gallery, 6570 Maple St.; and JD Gerber Photography, 6572 Maple St. A portion of all the art sold during the event will go to support Omaha Youth Emergency Services, which offers a safe place for at-risk young people in the Omaha area.


On Friday, Dec. 3, the Artists Cooperative Gallery opens its annual holiday show. The show has a theme – this year’s is “quarters only” – and the members of the space will be showing work that fits into that theme, but with their own personal interpretation. The artists will play host to two openings during the run of the show: one of Friday, Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and a second on Sunday. Dec. 5 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.


The Annual Hot Shops Open House is slated for Saturday, Dec. 4. and Sunday, Dec. 5 From noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Hot Shops artists and galleries will be open for business. Studio visits, art displays, live music and a huge variety of work – including the ever popular blown glass holiday ornaments – make the weekend one not to miss. The event takes place at the Hot Shops, 1301 Nicholas St. in North Downtown Omaha.


And one final note this week: The Joslyn Art Museum has free admission all weekend. The museum will be free Friday Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 27 from 10 to 4 and Sunday, Nov. 28 from noon to 4. All the Joslyn permanent collection and special exhibition galleries will be open, as will the museum shop, café and sculpture gardens.






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A different kind of artist

Posted in Fashion, general interest by sarahbakerhansen on 8 August 2010

Last winter, over Christmas, we had a flood in our apartment. Snow burst through the roof of our six-story building and water found its way through the four floors above us and into our apartment; the leak was partially over our closet. It missed a Chanel suit by mere inches; one of my bags, a Bottega Veneta, wasn’t so lucky.

Even though it was in a dust bag and stuffed with paper, dank water-soaked through both sides and into the woven leather and the silk lining. The leather, once buttery soft, became stiff and crusty. The darker portion in the picture above left a distinct water mark on the purse. Even though I knew it was likely ruined, I didn’t have the heart to give it up and it sat around my apartment, in a very sad state, for six months.

I made some calls to local cobblers and none of them wanted to touch it – they said the woven nature of the bag – Bottega’s signature “intrecciato” technique – made dying, cleaning or fixing it in any way basically impossible. I decided to take it to Andy’s Shoe Repair in Omaha and simply show it to the owner in person to see what he thought. I trust this shop with my best shoes and I’ve never been let down, so I figured it was worth a try. While he didn’t have a lot of hope, he said he’d do what he could. He had it for close to three months – partially because he did a number of treatments on it and partially because he misplaced my customer tag inside the bag and didn’t have my phone number.

Long story short, after cleaning and treating my bag, it looks like this.

It’s not entirely perfect – there’s still a few stiff, darker spots, but I’m so thrilled to have it back. If anything, I think the darker spots, the patina of the handle and the deluge this bag survived make it even more special.

Aubrey Beardsley

Posted in Fashion, general interest by sarahbakerhansen on 15 March 2010

I de-camped this past weekend to my in-law’s home in the country. Before I left, I remembered this great book I picked up last year in the Red Cloud Bookstore, Cather & Company (which sadly shut earlier this year.) I first heard of Aubrey Beardsley when I was reading an old copy of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” and became entranced with the book-plate inside. Beardsley was the artist behind the illustrations. I was so excited to have found this book in Red Cloud, of all places. I pulled the book off the shelf and captured some of my favorite images to share here. I apologize for the semi-funky quality of  the photos–my camera seems to be on the fritz.

A collaborative approach

Posted in Fashion, general interest by sarahbakerhansen on 14 March 2010

I am so excited to announce my newest project: Only Style Remains the Same Key Pieces. Many of you may be familiar with my sister’s style blog, www.osrts.com. Because we both love fashion, we decided to launch a sister site (no pun intended) to Lindsey’s main blog, to focus solely on the pursuit of “key pieces:” those wardrobe staples that every person needs. Find the new site at http://osrts-keypieces.blogspot.com/.

Please visit, contribute, comment and, most of all, enjoy!

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W52 Style: Catherine Baba

Posted in Fashion, general interest by sarahbakerhansen on 11 March 2010

Style is such a personal thing. It’s an artistic genre in its own right, and certain people just have a way with it. Fashion is one of my deepest loves, and so this is the first of what will likely be many posts about fashion on Week Fifty Two. Art is such a vast subject matter: some people make art, while others dress themselves as art, turning a handful of lifeless pieces of fabric into an eclectic personal statement.

I first learned about stylist Catherine Baba on Scott Schuman’s blog “the Sartorialist.” I constantly find inspiration from his blog–and lots of other fashion blogs–and Baba is simply a standout.

This is the first image I ever saw of Baba, from Schuman’s blog. She’s wearing so many elements here–powerful elements–but somehow they all seem to work. Thick fur coat, embellished belt, patterned harem pants, pumpkin-shaped orange bag, fierce sunglasses. I could never pull it off, yet I love it.

I can’t imagine riding a bicycle wearing either of those pairs of shoes, but how fabulous is the thought of attempting it? And again, look at the genius layering that’s happening in both these outfits. Simple staples still make their presence here: a pair of black leggings is at the heart of both of these looks, and who doesn’t have a pair of those? A kimino-inspired top, a thick waist belt, stacks of bangles and a big pair of sunglasses are Baba staples.

To see more of Baba and her work — she’s a fantastic stylist — visit her Web site.

Images courtesy of the Sartorialist and various other fashion bloggers.

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Saturday Art

Posted in Art openings, general interest, The art of food by sarahbakerhansen on 20 February 2010

This morning I went to the first art talk at the new Bemis Underground. Tana Quincy talked about her installation piece “SODZO” (she’s pictured first) and Rebecca Herskovitz spoke about the work in her show “The Things I Cannot Say.” As you can see, there weren’t any chairs and the audience moved through the gallery during the talk, allowing for lots of audience participation and an open atmosphere that welcomed questions.

After the talk, I had myself a lovely solo lunch at one of my favorite places, La Buvette. Nothing like a glass of white wine, a slice of salmon cod loaf, (adapted from a classic Julia Child recipe, so the chef told me) the newspaper and my ever-present Blackberry. Happy weekend!

Reader Cover Story, 2/18

Posted in Art news, Art openings, general interest by sarahbakerhansen on 18 February 2010

I wrote the cover story for the Reader this week, and I’m quite proud of it. If you’re interested, check it out here.

Brigitte McQueen is re-launching the Bemis Underground tomorrow night, and it’s looking to be an amazing opening. I’m excited to attend and hope to see lots of familiar – and new – faces there.

An art talk featuring the three emerging artists showing takes place Saturday at noon. Brigitte and the bU need our support, so I hope to see you there.


Posted in general interest by sarahbakerhansen on 17 February 2010

So Sarah Baker – the other Sarah Baker – doesn’t really look anything like me. But we share a name, which I think might be just as important as a face. I’ve written about her before, in my column in the Reader. She’s a performance artist, from the states originally, now based in London.

She first contacted me a while back because we had the same name. Since then we’ve shared a periodic e-mail correspondence, and I find myself keeping up with her on Facebook, where we’re friends. It’s odd sometimes when her posts pop up on my page. Often, I say to myself, “wait, I didn’t post that.” But then I remember.

She invited me into her Facebook group today. Called “Dear JackieCollins,” it focuses, like most of her work, on over-the-top celebrity culture. My favorite post so far is probably “Joan Collins Fashion Forward.” I just love Joan Collins. And fashion.

Check out Sarah and her work here.

Things that are inspiring me right now.

Posted in general interest by sarahbakerhansen on 10 February 2010

Coral lips. Chris Benz “Chris and Tell” via Lancome


Vera Naumann

Cascade 220 in Ruby, which will soon be around my neck

Vintage Valentines

More to come soon.