Upcoming Fred Simon Gallery exhibit: “Near and Far” by Gretchen Peters and Paula Wallace

Near and Far


April 12 – June 5, 2024

Exhibition Statement

Artists Gretchen Peters from Gering and Paula Wallace from Omaha, who reside near and far from the Fred Simon Gallery, are both treasured members of their art communities. Despite the distance from each other, their attention to their natural world around them clearly manifests in their artwork. This exhibition, “Near and Far” by Gretchen Peters and Paula Wallace, includes work that examines nature from different perspectives – as through a magnifying glass or from a scenic overlook.

Gretchen Peters’ colored pencil work depicts a detailed exploration of the world that is within arm’s length, a counterbalance to the vast magnificence of Paula Wallace’s landscape oil paintings. And although the subject in each artists’ work is either near or far, there is still an intimacy that draws viewers in – both in the modeling of light and color, and in the reminiscent, beautiful imagery in each artists’ work.


Artist Biographies

Gretchen Peters advocates and volunteers for the arts, makes art, and teaches art.

She taught at Gering High School for 35 years and now makes art from her surroundings, using colored pencils. Her work hangs in numerous collections across the country, including the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney.

She serves on Oregon Trail Days and West Nebraska Arts Center committees, as well as the Nebraska Cultural Endowment Advisory Council. Her previous board work includes: Nebraska Arts Council, Humanities Nebraska. Judicial Nominating Committee, West Nebraska Arts Center, Theatre West, Nebraskans for the Arts, Nebraska Historical Society.

In 2023, Gretchen Peters organized the selection, fundraising, and installation of three contemporary sculptures by Nebraska artists for the new Gering Civic Plaza.

Peters earned degrees at the University of Nebraska Lincoln and Chadron State College, summa Cum Laude. She works and resides in Gering, Nebraska.

Artist and illustrator, Paula Wallace, a graduate of the University of Iowa, recalls a professor once saying, “The artist’s job is to pay attention.” How we attend to the world enables both artist and viewer to be in relationship.

Wallace’s art and illustrations express a distinctive point of view, an off-beat humor, and a sensitivity to the nuance of image and word. She has written and illustrated several picture books, as well as illustrated for other authors, including a recent release of Ted Kooser: More Than a Local Wonder by Carla Ketner (University of Nebraska Press.) Wallace’s book, Choose Your Days (Cinco Puntos/Lee & Low) won the Nebraska Children’s Picture Book Award and later represented Nebraska at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. in 2018.

Wallace’s studio is at the Hot Shops Art Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Her fine art is regularly exhibited in the United States and Italy. Her work is in public and private collections internationally.

Related Events:

The reception is April 11th, from 5-7pm. Reception is free and open to the public.

We will post a video with the artist on our YouTube channel. Follow the Nebraska Arts Council on Facebook for updates: NAC Facebook Link.