Mar/Apr 2020: “Motion Blur” Exhibition featuring Shawnequa Linder, Derek Courtney, and Joe Pankowski

"Motion Blur" Exhibition featuring Shawnequa Linder, Derek Courtney, and Joe Pankowski

March 6 - April 27 | Michael Phipps Gallery, 1st Floor

Shawnequa Linder shapes portraits out of rich layers of color and texture, melding many faces together and leaving room for the viewer to connect with the emotion underlying her psychologically dense but playful images. Derek Courtney illustrates a place where body meets machine and both break down, filling his works with snarls of color and line that convey tension both organic and mechanical. Joe Pankowski sketches bodies, objects, and faces in transformation, drawing on a background in animation to capture moments full of motion and change.

Shown together in "Motion Blur," these artists fill the Phipps Gallery with a variety of styles, sizes, and media, connected by potential energy and tension, creative renewal and transformation.

Please see the artists statements on the flyers below. For price lists or contact information, please ask at the front desk.

Join us for a casual discussion and hear the story behind each artists' vision. The aim of this exhibition is to connect the community with local art in the free, familiar, and accessible context of their library.

Find photos from the exhibition's opening reception on Friday, March 2 on OPL's Flickr page, opens a new window.


This exhibition was crafted by the artists. The exhibitions at the Michael Phipps Gallery at the Omaha Public Library are dedicated to displaying and contextualizing local contemporary art in a public space. We encourage you to spend time in reflection and conversation around these works.

Artists' Statements:

Shawnequa Linder

My subject matter is movement, texture, and color, whether it’s applied in a nontraditional landscape or portraits. The work explores the varying relationships between pop culture and fine art. I use a variety of materials and techniques in each painting to create some type of chaos within the subject matter. Using unconventional tools like crumpled-up plastic and business cards allows me to control the work in a rapid way, building up sculpture like texture forms. I sometimes use my fingers as a paint brush to give a more intimate look and feel within the work. Working in this way allows me to add a depth and meaning to my work that is often challenging for viewers, and even myself, to recognize. My photographs also emphasize surface in an effort to uncover what cities hide under layers of time.

Derek Courtney

The concept of trading physical work for currency has always been present to some degree in my work. What happens to an hourly wage earner when their body is no longer able to perform the task for which they are paid? With this question in mind I began to think of the body in terms of a machine. Machines can become inefficient due to wear and tear. Machines must undergo maintenance. Machines can break. Machines can be repaired. Machines can become obsolete. Machines can be replaced. Conversely, I began with the thought of one’s body as a temple. A body as a sacred place. It can be a place of reverence, a place to be cared for and restored. It is a place of comfort and strength. But a temple that is not cared for will eventually fall into ruin.

Joe Pankowski

Joe is an artist who is interested in dreams, machines, and capturing his daydreams with his sketchbooks. These drawings have spilled over into his paintings, films, gadgets, installations, and have recently been the subject of a series of animation experiments. Joe has taught drawing, painting, sculpture, and new media art as an art instructor throughout the Omaha Metro. He received his MFA in Electronic Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his BFA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with an emphasis in Intermedia.

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